Aussie bikini designer hits back at 'woman who called her fat at the shopping centre'

Sarah Carty
Features & Style Editor

Aussie bikini designer, Karia Irby, has hit back at an elderly woman who called her fat at the shopping centre.

The influencer, who has one million followers online, told Yahoo Lifestyle she was shopping with her mother-in-law at Pacific Fair Shopping Centre on the Gold Coast last month when the woman made a beeline for her.

Karina Irby has hit out at the 'women who called her fat in the shopping centre'. Photo: Instagram/Karina Irby

“We were literally standing, waiting and having a chat when we noticed an elderly lady basically bee-lining it towards us and begin talking to us… well, me in particular,” Karina said.

The woman proceeded to say to Karina: “When I was your age and if I had a bum like you, I definitely wouldn’t have worn that (workout leggings) in public and I suggest you cover up your big bum and think twice about what you wear in public.” 

Karina was so shocked she actually had to say “I beg your pardon, what did you say?” to the elderly woman, who again told Karina her attire was inappropriate.

“She had actually wandered on off before I had even comprehended what she said or thought of something to say back. But others who were waiting near us heard the whole thing and actually came up to see if I was okay and to tell me that what I was wearing was totally fine.”

Karina, who is the owner of Moana Bikini said the shopping centre has a gym attached to it and is in “one of the most outdoorsy and active locations in the country.”

Karina Irby said it's the second time she's been body-shamed by an elderly person. Photo: Instagram/Karina Irby

“I think that we all definitely found it quite shocking that someone could be shocked and offended at someone wearing workout clothes… no matter the size of their rear end,” she said.

Karina understands that there are generational differences however, when it comes to manners and common decency, she doesn’t think there are any generational differences there.

“I think the age-old ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all’ can and should still apply,” she said.

While Karina does have a ‘thick skin’ from being so influential on social media, she said she was ‘quite embarrassed’ after the incident and it did briefly make her feel self-conscious and unsure of herself.

“I think the biggest difference to this happening in real life, when compared to all the gross, mean comments you can get online, is that I didn’t have any chance to draft a response or reply in my head, nor did anyone else, and we all just kind of stood there in shock as she wandered on off. Quite funny, really,” Karina said.

The influencer was simply going about her day-to-day life at the time. Photo: Instagram/Karina Irby

“It actually takes a lot of guts to go up to someone in real life and be that blunt and mean - way more guts than an online comment - so she must have really been offended by my bum.”

While Karina says the woman must have had other things going on in her life to make her so sensitive to a stranger’s bum, she said she does worry that if she had said that comment to someone with thinner skin, it could really do some damage.

“People really do have to care more, and be more careful, when saying things to people they don’t know personally or know what personal journey or struggle they’re on,” she said.

Karina hits back on Instagram

Earlier today, Karina took to her Instagram account to post a photo in response to the woman’s comment.

“Here’s me caring about your opinion. Here’s me covering up. Here’s me trying to lose weight,” Karina said, alongside an image of herself wearing a multicoloured bikini at the beach. 

“This is the second time I’ve been body shamed by an elder person, but the first time was about my eczema.”

Karina, who is no stranger to taking hits from trolls online, went on to say that it’s “easy to let someone’s unasked opinion upset you BUT just flaunt those ‘flaws’ with confidence instead and watch their rolls eyes roll”.

The stunner had the support of her followers after uploading the image, with people applauding her and calling her ‘perfection’. 

“Imagine thinking it’s okay to body shame someone, how cringe is that,” one person said. 

“Thank you for giving me confidence about my body,” another person said, with a commenter agreeing writing: “You are so beautiful and so is your body!! Your confidence is something I aspire to have!”

Karina is known for her body positive snaps on Instagram and is regularly called a ‘role model’ by her fans for being real online. 

Just three days ago, Karina uploaded a bloated video of herself in a bikini, saying that while she wasn’t feeling the best about her body at that moment she decided to post the video to ‘help others who may be also feeling a little BLEH’.

“Use your insecurities as superpowers to help lift up others. And in return you will also be lifted,” she wrote. 

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