Chrissy Teigen Gets Into A Twitter Debate About The Word ‘Oriental’

The 30-year-old model causes a storm after telling fans about an 'oriental dressing option' during a flight...

Chrissy Teigen found herself embroiled in a huge Twitter debate yesterday.

It all started when the 30-year-old model Tweeted about the use of the word ‘oriental’ on an aeroplane menu.

She told fans: ‘I really really really really clearly am not a PC type of gal but I’m a little weirded out at the oriental dressing option on my flight.’

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Chrissy – who’s half Thai – continued: ‘Like if you’re over 50 you can call me oriental to my face but this is a new menu and I’m not a rug.’

But when asked if she found the word offensive, she said: ‘Not offensive, really. Just weird. Old school. Just say Asian.’

And that’s where things really kicked off.

Clarifying her point, she said: ‘Them saying “oriental” makes no impact on me. I know that, most of the time, their intention is not to hurt.

‘For instance, you can call my mother Siamese. Thailand was Siam. But yeah. A little weird now.’

However, some of her followers responded by telling her the term is a slur – and that she should be offended.

Chrissy Teigen hair

One wrote: ‘It might not be offensive to her but it’s considered offensive to many. It perpetuates cultural ignorance.’

Another said: ‘@chrissyteigen sorry, but they are correct. ‘oriental’ is pejorative/derogatory when its used to describe people from Asia.’

This led the mum-of-one to say: ‘It’s not a slur, though. It’s just a bit of forgivable ignorance [sic],’ before adding: ‘I’ve never come across anyone who used it as a slur. Maybe when paired with an adjective, yes. Ignorance without malice isn’t something I can be offended by.’

She then hit out: ‘I really appreciate all the non-Asians telling me what is offensive to Asians, though. Thank you. Writing it all down.’

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However, when a follower Tweeted her: ‘”Oriental” is adj. for goods/merchandise – offensive when applied to people,’ she replied: ‘So many people writing me this but no, it is not. Lol. This is a new, made up definition I guess.’

Chrissy Teigen and her mum

Chrissy Teigen’s mother is Thai

And when someone told her that they ‘didn’t realise she was Asian’ and that she ‘rarely ever talks about it’, she was NOT impressed.

She ranted: ‘So your objective here is to get me to stop speaking on what is an “Asian issue” because i don’t speak on “Asian issues”? [sic].

‘Except i work and donate thousands to a charity whose primary goal is to stop the southeast Asian sex trade. Or have 45 pages of my book devoted to my thai background.

‘Or the show where I explored thailand. Or my well-documented thai mother who lives with me. Yeah. I don’t claim Asian enough.’

Trying to clear things up, she said: ‘I think our miscommunication here is the fact we have different definitions of the word “offensive,”‘ before adding: ‘But thank you for reminding me why Twitter can be insufferable. I was getting too comfy enjoying it and all.’

What are your thoughts on the debate? Let us know over on Twitter @lookmagazine.