The model later clarified that her riding in economy was "a statement" because "the grind never stops"

By Rachel DeSantis
September 19, 2019 09:40 AM

Winnie Harlow is defending herself against critics after an Instagram post in which she described her struggles with flying coach drew backlash.

The model, 25, explained in a post on Wednesday that after not sleeping for four days straight, a flight she had scheduled was canceled.

Because she had a “huge” shoot at 6 a.m. the next day, Harlow had to take the first available flight out – which meant she was bumped from business class back to coach.

“I realize this may not seem like a big deal to some, but when a plane is your bedroom and a flight the only time to get sleep during a hectic fashion month, it’s tiresome,” she captioned a photo of herself sleeping on a friend’s lap while aboard the plane in their coach seats. “Regardless I’m grateful, god works in mysterious ways and everything happens for a reason. It’s not everyday glamour, you have to do what you have to do to be successful in life.”

Fans comments on the post were divided with some relating to her struggle and respecting her career hustle, and others taking issue with her speaking out about something the average person does daily.

“I’ve been there before.. I feel you 😴,” singer Austin Mahone wrote, while another added, “Why so much hate for this post? Everyone is going through different struggles. Don’t compare. Get your beauty rest love💕.”

Among the criticisms were fans who considered Harlow’s post a so-called “first-world problem.”

“Kids walking miles to get to school everyday, to look for food.. OMG poor you!!!!” one user wrote, to which another responded: “She’s not even complaining, she’s saying what had to be done to make it to her job. If she didn’t say that part y’all would still be getting on her for not being in business class.”

Credit: Winnie Harlow Instagram

Another user wrote, “Girl no hate but we all fly that kinda seat in a plane don’t act like it’s a sacrifice to travel in a normie seat.”

Much of the criticisms against Harlow were rounded up into an article published by the Daily Mail, prompting Harlow to hit back and defend herself.

In a lengthy Instagram caption, the model took issue with the outlet writing that she “bemoaned” flying economy, and instead said she was grateful to have been able to get on a flight at all.

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“Hmm ‘bemoaning’.. not Winnie Harlow is grateful for being able to get on a flight period because of the amazing work of the people in the airport?” she wrote. “All you took was ‘had to give up business class flight.’ This whole ‘woah [sic] is me’ take is sickening. Me not flying in business is a statement, not a moan. If the class mattered I could’ve waited for the next availability. If I can post pictures in business class and be proud, I can also take pictures in coach and be proud. Proud that making it to work is more important to me than how I got there. That is the message. Like I said, ‘the grind never stops.’ Put that in your headline.”

She later re-posted an Instagram Story from fellow model Aube Jolicouer that stuck up for her.

Credit: Winnie Harlow Instagram

“I knew someone would say something about her post. As soon as I saw her post I’m like, ‘Damn us Caribbean woman we are too honest, watch someone take what she says out of context’ not even posted for a few hours then boom someone already dragging her,” Jolicoeur wrote. “That’s not even at all what she says. She was just humble bragging about giving up her business seat bc her flight was canceled and had to rush to a new one.”

Harlow, who recently unveiled a collaboration with Kim Kardashian West’s KKW Beauty, had been spending time in Italy for Milan Fashion Week and recently walked the runway for Prada.