Plus-Size TikToker Criticized After Asking For Seatbelt Extender On Plane
Samyra Miller's video received over 3 million views, but the praise in the comments was joined by many judgmental responses.
Plus-size TikTok creator Samyra Miller experienced the doubled-sided nature of viral fame when a video showing her ask for a seatbelt extender on a plane took off online. While some expressed sympathy, others criticized her tone and questioned her health.
Miller, a Harvard graduate and singer-activist based in New Orleans, has over 1.6 million TikTok followers, according to Business Insider. On Dec. 19, she posted footage of herself unable to fit the unusually short seatbelt on a Delta flight and asking staff for an extender while waiting for a response.
The video received over 3 million views, but the praise in the comments was joined by many judgmental responses. Critics took issue with her phrasing, saying she didn’t say “please,” and made assumptions about her health based on her size.
Miller posted a response on Dec. 23, though it’s no longer available. She said it received nearly 19,000 likes, showing that many were more concerned with her tone than the airline neglecting to provide adequate safety restraints, the site reported.
“I’m never ‘passionate’ like my other counterparts. I’m ‘loud,’ I’m ‘angry,’ I’m ‘entitled,’ I have ‘audacity.’ Because who am I, as a fat, Black woman to have wants? To have desires? To have dreams?” she said. “You want us to shrink ourselves so bad, and for what?”
Miller received an outpouring of support in the comments, with many calling such policing of her tone a racist microaggression.
She is not the first plus-size creator to face backlash when highlighting the difficulties of air travel. TikToker Jae’lynn Chaney has campaigned for extra free seats, a policy Southwest Airlines already has.
While Miller’s initial video went viral, her response calling out racist and fat-phobic comments received far less traction. But the passionate support in the comments showed many rejecting the notion she was “rude” for simply asking for a seatbelt that fits.