Plus-size rapper unfazed by fatphobic tweet about Calvin Klein billboard

Megan Sims
Rapper Chika on a Calvin Klein billboard in Manhattan's Soho neighborhood. (Photo: Twitter)
Rapper Chika on a Calvin Klein billboard in Manhattan's Soho neighborhood. (Photo: Twitter)

Apparently Chika speaks her truth in or out of her Calvins.

On Tuesday, self-described conservative and “Brexiteer” Dominique Samuels posted a picture of a Calvin Klein billboard featuring Indie rapper Chika Oranika in the designer’s bra and underwear to Twitter. “Out of all the black plus-size models that exist, you just had to pick the one that looks 5 minutes from diabetes to promote unhealthy living, Calvin Klein? You should be ashamed,” Samuels wrote.

Samuels’ tweet incited a heated debate amongst thousands of users, with some of the discussions focusing on conflating diabetes with weight and stigmatizing obesity.

Oranika, who went viral in April 2018 for her freestyle to Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks,” added her two cents to the conversation by sharing the tweet and writing “someone’s mad they’re not on a billboard.”

She also shared again a tweet from May about her health.

To get her message across all platforms, she took to Instagram, sharing a screenshot of her Twitter response and captioning the photo: “we still doing this? lololol”

And instead of invalidating Chika’s beauty, Samuels helped it to become more apparent that standards are definitely shifting as many showed their support for the rapper on the rise.

The ad in question, located in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood, first made waves at the end of August and appeared to show an attempt by Calvin Klein to reach an audience that is increasingly valuing inclusion.

“We believe the most compelling and engaging campaigns are those that embrace not just diversity of race, body type, sexual orientation or gender identity, but also diversity of opinion and experience,” Calvin Klein Chief Marketing Officer Marie Gulin-Merle told the New York Post.

In an interview with InStyle following the photo shoot, Oranika said she was surprised she was given this type of opportunity, but she knew it would be too important to pass up.

“When I first heard I would be ‘in my Calvins’ there was hesitation," she told the magazine. "I’ve never wanted my career or message to center around my body and I knew it could bring a lot of attention. But, the more I thought about it, I felt it was integral that I practice the same self-love and boldness that I preach. That made the day a breeze for me. I knew I was doing something to help push an important statement."

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