Woman fat-shamed in viral post by motorcycle taxi driver, netizens defend driver

PHOTO: Twitter/@sembadass (Screenshot edited to remove identifying details)
PHOTO: Twitter/@sembadass (Screenshot edited to remove identifying details)

Body-shaming is still unfortunately rampant in Indonesia. While some “woke” Indonesians are already aware of the pain it can inflict, for many others, it’s totally normal and acceptable, as this case illustrates.

A Jakarta woman, identified by her initials IK, recently tweeted that she ordered a GrabBike to get from her kosan (boarding home) to her office, just like any other day in her life.

But what she never expected later was that a picture of her went viral after it was posted in a Facebook group for Grab drivers, posted by her driver from that morning. The picture was accompanied by the insulting caption: “I was about to cancel but she was already there… It’s only morning but I already got a hippopotamus.”

IK posted a screenshot of the Facebook post along with her Grab booking and the caption, “Wow, this is my first time getting body-shamed by @GrabID when I was about to go to my office this morning. What made it worse is that it was uploaded to a community group. This is crazy, what did I do wrong?”

PHOTO: Twitter/@sembadass (Screenshot edited to remove identifying details)

Grab immediately responded to IK’s complaint, promising to give a heavy sanction to the driver.

Coconuts’ attempt at contacting IK failed as she set her Twitter profile to private, seemingly upset that many netizens actually defended the driver. A few hours before she went private, IK tweeted, “I got blamed for no reason by people here, I’m out”.

Yeah, seriously, some defended the driver. Here are a few of the comments from netizens about the incident, some of whom were more concerned about the motorcycle’s suspensions than another human being’s feelings.

The woman didn’t do any wrong. Maybe the driver was disappointed. In my opinion, the driver could’ve suffered loss because his shockbreaker could leak or be destroyed. And I’m sure he’s jobless now. Poor him. But it doesn’t make him right. But I still pity him, he lost his source of income.

Every motorbike comes with a manual, they explained maximum total gross weight. Be positive, maybe this is just a joke from the driver because he knows it would be hard for him to drive. The passenger would be much more comfortable sitting in a car rather than ojek.

Some others commented that plus-size passengers should order GrabCar instead of GrabBike.

Maybe the woman could spare a little more to order GrabCar, more suitable and safe for her too. It’s fair that the driver was not happy, the passenger is overweight for motorbikes, booked using promo as well, sorry to say. But the driver was also wrong.

There were some who condemned the driver, saying that body-shaming should never be permissible.

I’m sure if the driver said his reasons to the passenger in a polite way, the passenger would’ve understood. But this, taking her picture, posting and making her a laughingstock…. #physicalcommentisntcool

Taking other’s picture without consent, sharing it, even making fun of it. That driver doesn’t have manners or what? Shame on you Grab.

Some also gave IK support, telling her to be patient and that it was never her fault.



Through their Twitter account, Grab Indonesia has confirmed that they have fired the driver.

It’s never okay to body-shame other people, even if you know the person really well. The driver was fired because of his ill-mannered “joke”, when his job is supposed to be serving his passengers equally, no matter how they look.

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