An American yoga instructor and travel blogger riled many online after she implied, in a recent post on Instagram, that Indians are too poor to buy an iPhone. Instagram influencer Colleen Grady was slammed for being “racist” after she expressed surprise that someone in “the poorest most overcrowded country” would return her lost iPhone X.
The blogger from Indianapolis, Indiana, shared her ordeal of how she lost her “sleek, expensive, 5-month-old iPhone X” on the streets of Jaipur. “Yep, I lost it in the poorest most overcrowded country I have ever visited and one of the most scammy tourist cities in all of India,” she wrote, adding th at she didn’t expect to get it back since the phone was “worth more money than some people in this country will have in their whole lifetime”. Anyone who finds it “probably would not even know what to do with it,” she said.
Many users found the 24-year-old’s explanation of how her host in Jaipur tried to help her “condescending”, and said it reeked of “colonial hangover”. Grady had written, “We called the family and zipped around on their motorcycles to get back to my computer to try find my iPhone. Then I found out that it is irrelevant if your phone is on airplane mode. The owner of the guesthouse left some messages to my phone in Hindi in case anyone found it. And I just was still frozen in shock.”
However, later the same day, she received a call from a local who informed her that her phone was found. “But then an hour and a half later someone called back from my phone. We raced again on a motorcycle through the chaos to meet some stranger in a dark alley to retrieve it. (All I was thinking was should I have brought my mace?) lol,” she joked.
Grady called it “miraculous” that the person who returned her phone was also an iPhone X owner. “Miraculously the person that found the phone also had an iPhone X. Now that is another miracle in itself because hardly anyone in this country has an iPhone period. They gave it back with no problems and didn’t want anything in return, just blessings.”
After the post garnered attention — and hate — online, Grady not only deleted it but also her account. However, screenshots of the post are viral on Facebook and Twitter. Users have ttargeted her for her ignorance and threatened to boycott brands if they do not stop working with Grady.
Wow, the cringe are top levels. She is also totally poor. Rich person would be like “shit, I’ll buy new one once I return”. Smart person would be like “Shit, that’s a lot of unbacked data”. https://t.co/jroas2k5Tb
— Muhammad Majid (@mhd_majid) January 5, 2019
The way she talks about India with such condescension and ignorance is so frikking insane. Idc if u volunteered at an ashram or what, ur clearly racist. https://t.co/WAE76vfEVG
— Raaf (@shahi_raaf) January 4, 2019
‘Mindbodycolleen’ – her mind is so impure that any amount of yoga won’t help cure anything. She deserves to be in an asylum.
— KapMan (@bkapilan) January 4, 2019
Wow. Just wow. This is so white, it’s blinding. Just astounding how racist this person in India is being. Just, wow. https://t.co/05TJySMKcH
— Rajeev Mishra (@rajeevfilm) January 4, 2019
“Hardly anyone in this country has an iPhone”
Read an article not long back from Apple saying how India alone has more than 10 million users of their mobiles lmao !!
Doubt all this even happened.
Star Plus Drama at its best. https://t.co/GaXzARmrd8
— shawarmapapi (@moaizmq) January 4, 2019
Why is this MindBodyColleen even allowed to make a living off Yoga when she thinks India is such a poor dirty country and that Indians can’t afford anything and have no brains? Why?
— Chitra (@MyBookJacket) January 5, 2019
I’m pretty sure a significant percentage of people working in Silicon Valley developing magic western tech like the iPhone X come from the “poor, overcrowded, scammy” country, which btw is my home. And oh I’m tweeting from an iPhone. pic.twitter.com/UskfM766ym
— Bombom (@saloneegadgil) January 4, 2019
I’m a brown person currently working an iPhone X to type this message. If I met Colleen in real life it would shock her so much that she’d stand up the normal way.
— Rob Mahal (@RobMahal) January 4, 2019
I love how she talks about the local Indians at being so technically illiterate that they can’t use an iPhone. INDIA REACHED MARS WITH LESS MONEY THAN IT COST TO FILM ‘GRAVITY’!!!
Don’t let these people back into India! https://t.co/MfkJJmSuMO
— Samar @TheMJAP (@TheMJAP) January 4, 2019
Somebody returned the damn thing (she did not just find it) and she still has the gall to talk nastily about the people.. “scammy, poor, overcrowded”.. Wow. “worth more than they’d make in a lifetime” how can somebody be so.. desensitized and horrible?
— LaniLou ❤ (@BonnyLani) January 3, 2019
this mindbodycolleen post reminds me of a classic: Passage to India by em forster. There was an expat/colonizer character who really wanted to see “the real india” but safely away from non-westernized indians. Different era, different colonizer, same garbage mentality pic.twitter.com/P46Egui1Qu
— 🧙🏼♀️🔮🧜🏼♀️Jonina Lee🍵🍚🥊☘️🌾 (@JoninaLee) January 2, 2019
If we see another brand collaborating with racist @mindbodycolleen we will take them down! Are these the values you want to project as a brand? pic.twitter.com/pUgALbtpT2
— Juanny DeVito (@juannydevito) January 2, 2019
Do you realize @mindbodycolleen just posted an epic racist tirade concerning a country who’s culture she profits off of appropriating? Doesn’t make me want to try your product.
— Chrissy Wojtewicz (@exusme21) January 2, 2019
Imagine talking smack about a country whose culture you literally flaunt on social media. mindbodycolleen or might I say another-racist-dweeb maybe grow just atleast a little bit of awareness #theprivilege pic.twitter.com/ulyqofGkUm
— Stardust (@starziggydust) January 1, 2019
With the continued attack, she even shut down her travel website. On the front page, however, stands just an apology which too didn’t leave anyone impressed.
her response is…… a treat pic.twitter.com/phuYWEnG5a
— Jonathan Fisher (@fishplums) January 4, 2019
Grady has issued an apology for the post. “I am sorry that my words did not give clarity to the intentions in sharing my story. I had no intentions to belittle the Indian culture. The moral of the story was the blessings and gratitude I had for the Indian people who helped me in a moment of panic when losing my phone in a foreign country. I apologize the most for the amount of pure hate that this has pulled out of so many people’s hearts and spread around the world.
“Ask yourself — If you found a smart phone device on the street locked, out of service, broken, no buttons, and the software is not in your native language: would it be easy for you to find the owner and return it? For me, the answer is no. I think most of us would agree the answer is no. This has nothing to do with race, ethnicity, class, education, etc.” she said in defence.
you can gauge the level of sincerity in other’s apologies just by picking apart the way they word their “I’m sorry” statements https://t.co/vbUHx4Q0qI
— m (@venusmalz) January 4, 2019
who doesnt love a white saviour that wouldnt think twice about theft https://t.co/7Q2O3UlZYb
— – (@nadhsyahmi) January 4, 2019
And her apology with the infamous: “I am sorry my words were perceived in a way that …” phrase. https://t.co/fjP8bXzWlp
— Emine Deniz (@emine_writes) January 4, 2019
“I’m sorry that you were negative towards my racism. I do yoga, so I can overcome your anger and not actually think about whether I’m a worthless piece of shit who shouldn’t be allowed to go anywhere or meet any new people. In the future, I’ll hide my racism more.” https://t.co/hp6PibMKZO
— 𝐍𝐢𝐧𝐚 (@NinaBambina) January 4, 2019
haha oh man. All time worst apologies. https://t.co/qMNvLVXerH
— Aaron Dunlap 🗽 (@aarond) January 4, 2019
This apology is the whitest shit I’ve ever read https://t.co/a4H0P48iFr
— mehriah carey (@piratebaythot) January 4, 2019
seriously mindbodycolleen didn’t meet one english speaker in one of the largest english speaking countries outside US/UK? With all her love of 🇮🇳, no clue how big indian communities are online? Maybe they all share 1 iphone between em? lol how do u travel so much and still be 💩 https://t.co/yecJqzFDm9
— 🧙🏼♀️🔮🧜🏼♀️Jonina Lee🍵🍚🥊☘️🌾 (@JoninaLee) January 4, 2019