An influencer who offers tips on how to pose for pictures to her 4.8 million followers on TikTok has caused a storm of protest after showing how to take nice snaps well in a wheelchair.
Stunning model Catarina Leal who has made a name for herself online by showing how best to pose to get the best shots decided to take the opportunity of using a wheelchair after she was given one to use when she injured her foot.
In one of the four pictures, the 27-year-old influencer, who was born in Governador Valadares, in the Brazillian state of Minas Gerais, is seen leaning forward while in another she has a leg up over the side of the chair.
When she shared the images she said that the pictures were shot at an airport and that she had the wheelchair because she had fractured her foot.
But the pictures which were then shared online caused widespread outrage.
Disabled activist and influencer Ivan Baron said a real person should have been used adding that “being in a wheelchair is not something people need to pretend”.
He added that there seemed no indication that she had spoken to anybody who was a real wheelchair user, saying: “Whenever I watch content like this on the internet, I keep asking myself what is the difficulty of inviting people with disabilities to share their real needs?”
Addressing her directly, he said: “Catarina Leal, I suggest you invite wonderful influencers and wheelchair users to the next content!”
Defending herself against the critics, she said that she decided to do the poses in response to requests from followers saying: “I’ve been asked to do this for a long time.
“People who are trying to cancel me are probably just frustrated because it was genuine, it was from the heart.
“I believe God broke my foot in a very tumultuous month of commitments just so I could stop and feel what this is like.”
When it was pointed out that some of the poses were not practical for people paralysed in a wheelchair she said: “This month will be dedicated to these people because I’m disappointed with myself for not having stopped and paid attention to this detail.
“My poses are I admit not so easy to copy, but they will become so, in the name of Jesus.”