If you’ve scrolled down your FYP over the past week, chances are you’ve seen a series of stitches and videos responding to Bela Delgado’s take on feminist creator Drew Afualo.
It all kicked off last week when Bela (@tenc1999), known for commentary and posting music-related content, shared a TikTok criticising the 27-year-old viral star.
Responding to a comment asking Bela to share their thoughts on Drew, the creator noted, “I get the point of her content, especially like on paper. We take these abhorrently misogynistic men who are saying these really terrible things about women’s appearances, and we give them a taste of their own medicine.”
However, Bela went on to criticise Drew for generalising and stereotyping these men based on their appearance, inserting a screen-recorded video of Drew declaring that “misogynists are either bald, balding, short or all three.” In the now-deleted TikTok, Bela found fault with Drew’s tendency to make these sweeping generalisations without “being provoked… (where she) just actively made the decision to insult the entire demographic of bald, short men and box them all in as being misogynist.”
Bela also shared that their “main qualm” with Drew’s content is when she “decides to make fun of children’s looks,” noting that “[it’s] a bit far for me.” When explaining this issue, the creator also included a screenshot from one of Drew’s videos where she roasted a group of “kids [who] look like 14-17 years old,” according to Bela.
Drew responds to Bela’s video
Having built her platform off roasting men who make misogynistic comments about women, Drew is no stranger to controversy — valid or not. Nevertheless, she quickly took to Twitter to address Bela’s remarks.
In a series of tweets, Drew defended her unfiltered and unapologetic approach to misogyny online. She first pointed out that “this kind of take is normally based through the lens of a white person. What this means is you lack the ability to understand, initially, why I do what I do THE WAY I choose to do it.”
As a woman of colour, much of the misogynistic hate Drew receives online is rooted in white supremacy, stemming from her Samoan descent. By commenting on the appearance of these men, Drew hits back, showing them that they do not meet the standardised Eurocentric ideals of beauty either. However, as Drew explains, “it’s much easier for white ppl to write off what I’m doing as “mean” “aggressive” “too much “… because I’m not white.”
Making a TikTok addressing Bela’s comments, she expanded on this point, explaining that “[race] plays a huge role, and you’re ignorant if you don’t think so.”
Drew also responded to Bela’s accusations about making fun of minors. She noted that each person in the screenshot was over eighteen, and some were in college. Drew also went on to clarify that she “is not actively seeking them (minors) out” to roast.
Bela responds to Drew’s Twitter thread
Bela replied to Drew’s tweets in another TikTok video, which has since been deleted.
The TikToker first replied to Drew’s comments around race and her content. “She just wastes absolutely no time before just mentioning the fact that I’m white,” Bela notes. “I hate when people bring up the fact I’m white-passing because that means I have to involuntarily share with the class that I am half Native American Mexican.”
Nevertheless, Bela maintained “that the matter at hand really has nothing directly to do with race.”
On Drew’s commentary on minors, the creator apologised, “if the kids she was body-shaming were 18.” However, Bela also went on to include homophobic tweets that Drew posted in 2012, asking, “would it be appropriate for me as a bisexual man to shame you for the way you look because of the fact that you said something offensive?”
In Drew’s TikTok addressing the situation, she criticised the influencer for bringing up these 10-year-old tweets saying, “I took accountability for what I did.”
TikTok users react to the drama
The initial response to Bela’s criticism and Drew’s reaction was mixed — with viewers rushing to both TikTokers’ defence.
Content creators like @procrasclass stitched Bela’s response video claiming that their take on Drew is “all the way wrong.”
Summarising the criticism levelled at Drew, he explains that Bela’s “premise is that body shaming is bad, therefore, all instances of body shaming are bad, regardless of context.”
However, he goes on to note that “when someone is judging someone else to a standard that they themselves cannot fit, they are opening themselves up to be judged by that standard.” With this, he maintains that Bela misses the nuances of Drew’s content and her response to the situation.
Some users have pointed out that Drew has “never claimed to be a woman of kindness,” where she knows that her content is rooted in stereotypes. Creator @robbiesmoonmusic, for example, noted that “on this app, we need to take people for who they are and remember what their content represents.”
Other creators like Ali, known as @carnivalgyal, have even questioned, “why is it okay to police women’s reaction and response to misogyny?” In her video addressing Bela’s response, she criticised them for focusing on how Drew replies to misogynistic comments rather than the patriarchy as a system of oppression.
Meanwhile, TikTok users like @h_idknow praised Bela for calling out the type of rhetoric Drew uses. While the TikToker acknowledged that Drew continues to receive undue hate online, he also notes that “for a lot of people when critiquing critics of Drew, they will jump to calling them misogynist.”
Many TikTok users flooded the creator’s comment section with support for his take.
One viewer wrote, “Drew’s video has some ideas that I think are correct but she mostly deflects and continues to deflect from the larger criticism of the body shaming.”
Another shared, “I like some of Drew’s videos but I think her approach can be very problematic at times and I think the other creator made good points.”
After days of going back and forth, the drama subsided when Bela apologised to Drew in a TikTok posted two days ago.
“So this may come as a curve ball to some of you, but what I am going to do is apologise to Drew” they begin.
Bela explained that their original video was unscripted and made from a place of hurt.
“As someone who both struggled with a very awful eating disorder as a teenager and also had some pretty ignorant views… I just kind of felt personally attacked I guess when I saw that video of her body shaming them,” Bela shared.
The creator also expressed regret for underestimating the role of race in this context, where “race is in everything… we just live in a racist society,” they reflected.
Drew seemingly accepted Bela’s apology writing, “I appreciate this video & the discourse we had. Thank you 🤝” in the comments.
With the beef squashed, it is safe to say that both creators are eager to return to their regular content. But if there is something we can learn from this saga, it’s that when we engage with social media influencers, we should always take a moment to consider their perspective and the nuances of race and gender that come with sharing content online.