Given that many people look up to various celebrities, their power of influence runs deep among the masses. For some high profile personalities, they usually give more thought to the messages they convey to the public.

For Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, however, it seems that a recent Instagram post has been interpreted as an unhealthy message to fans and is not being well-received on the digital sphere.

In an Instagram album, Gellar shared a series of her images—captured from a 2007 lingerie photoshoot with Maxim magazine—with the caption, “I’m just going to pin these up all over my house as a reminder not to overeat on Thursday #thanksgivingprep.”

Unsurprisingly, the words have triggered some internet users, who feel that the caption is deeply problematic and can be especially damaging to those battling eating disorders.

One Instagram user commented, “Projecting the idea that we should restrict ourselves from eating food to be skinny is a dangerous and damaging mindset which clearly plagues the minds of many, inducing celebrities as it’s pretty apparent here.”

“It’s a hard truth to acknowledge. Nobody should ever feel guilty for eating food, period,” the Instagram user continued. Another wrote, “This caption proves once more that diet culture is really everywhere and that so many women have internalized this kind of thinking. It’s really a shame.”

Some of Gellar’s fans stepped in to defend her, saying that her images are a way to help her maintain her healthy lifestyle during the festive season.

One of Gellar’s fans wrote on Instagram, “She’s about healthy eating get over it. Don’t turn things that offend you into something more than it’s not. That’s all she meant.” Another fan responded, “Yes!!! Holidays are NO reason to throw all the hard work and clean eating out the window.”

The criticism that Gellar received spurred her to issue an apology. She clarified in the comments, “It’s come to my attention that some people think I was ‘fat shaming’ with this post. That could not be further from my intentions. I love Thanksgiving and unfortunately my eyes are often bigger than my stomach, and I tend to eat so much I make myself sick. This was a joking reminder to myself not to do that.”

She concluded the comment with, “Any one that knows me, knows I would never intentionally ‘shame’ any one on any basis. I am a champion of all people.”

[via News.com.au, opening image via Sarah Michelle Gellar]

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