It’s great and all to stay woke and vigilant against prejudice, no matter how casual it is, but this one might have escalated unnecessarily.
Gushcloud influencer (ugh don’t get us started about influencers) Ellie dropped by the massively (over)hyped Geylang Serai Bazaar over the weekend — and surprisingly, she didn’t like it all that much. Aren’t influencers supposed to be shining beacons of positivity and lovers of all things basic?
Anyhoo, she seemed to have really disliked the food options at the bazaar — so much so that it “sucked balls”, according to her advanced influencer palates. She even told her followers not to bother going to the night market at all.
One Twitter user was so offended by Ellie’s posts that she called out the influencer for being a “privileged Chinese ass”. Welp, that certainly escalated quickly.
What makes you think the ramadan bazaar is for your privileged chinese ass. pic.twitter.com/9w4lNqOd1T
— Dil (@punkylemon) May 28, 2017
Furious to “see this shit happening in 2017”, she explained that the influencer had no right to bash the “yearly tradition for Muslims in Singapore”.
But here’s the thing: Ellie simply posted that the food at Geylang Serai Bazaar sucked — a totally legitimate criticism that has no bearings on race, culture or tradition. If she thinks hype foods like candy floss burritos, taco deng dengs, and various rainbow-hued consumables are shit, she’s perfectly entitled to think so. Even we would be be averse to that Unicorn Drink that keeps popping up in our feeds. What the fuck is up with inserting a balloon into a cup of pink diabetes anyway?
But where the influencer might have been a wee bit off was the fact that she — in a position of power with a humongous social media following — told people not to go to the bazaar, just because she had a few bad bites. It’s fair enough to find fault with bad food there, but to say that a whole bazaar (set up in commemoration of the Muslim holy month) “sucked balls” to her 34,6000 followers on Instagram was unfortunate. Tactless? Yes. Childish? Definitely. Racist? Ehh, not so much.
@punkylemon Geylang bazaar is a public place, any races are welcome. Opinions on food are subjective and all are valid. Race rly isn’t an issue here
— Hadi Abdul (@hadi_abd92) May 29, 2017
— Hybreed.Tenaga (@Ego_Daemonium) May 28, 2017
@punkylemon I mean, she clearly mentioned “Food sucked.” soooo…. food sucks la. We shouldn’t assume anything else out of what her opinions mean no?
— sfyn (@DeadFuzzyWuzzy) May 28, 2017
@punkylemon Oh god. Where in the world did she mention race, culture? Quit attention-seeking in the name of race. That’s so unnecessary.
— Justin Francis Chua (@infachuation) May 28, 2017
Dil isn’t entirely wrong in her annoyance with Geylang Serai’s bazaar being increasingly catered for the legions of food pointing, click-baiting, basic influencers who, up until a few years ago, didn’t even know about the annual night market extravaganza until it became trendy.
Many are treating the bazaar as the “mother of all pasar malams”, while ignoring the fact that it’s a market meant to cater to the needs of Muslims during Ramadan in the lead up to Eid. The whole issue about nearly half of the F&B vendors at the market not being halal-certified isn’t helping things as well.
Regardless, Ell chose not to challenge the sensitive issue and just issued a sincere apology for her gaffe. Rightly so — it’s probably for the best to just concede and express regret rather than let the (admittedly incidental) issue snowball into something way, way bigger.
Ignorance is not bliss. I am sorry to have upset anyone. Have a blessed Ramadan everyone 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/y21AiDcGYM
— ell (@ell4d) May 28, 2017