Bebe Rexha posts a message from her ex-boyfriend: did he fat-shame her?

Bebe Rexha looks like the missing Kardashian sister – she’s short and curvy, and it often appears like her body type completely blows people’s minds. She’s a beautiful young woman, and she’s never going to be teeny-tiny because that’s not her body type, and that’s fine. Bebe is sensitive about other people commenting on her body, which everyone has been doing since she was a teenager, basically. She’s spoken about that at length over the years – how her record label told her to lose weight, how people are always commenting about her weight, how stylists and designers refuse to work with her because of her “size” (she was a size 8 at the time). Well, now it appears that Bebe has broken up with her boyfriend Keyan Safyari because he “fat-shamed” her. That’s the headline, that he fat-shamed her. There’s nuance to the conversation though, which I’ll get into in a moment. Here’s the text which Keyan sent her, which apparently was part of the breakup:

I would be interested in reading the messages which came before this, just because I’m curious about the larger context and what sounds like a longer conversation about Bebe’s relationship with her body. Like, I think it’s valid to say “I love you and I think you have body dysmorphia and you should see a therapist.” Which is part of what he’s saying. But my radar is definitely pinging – there’s something passive-aggressive to this, which is why I wish she had given us more context. I would like to know what he said initially about her weight gain, which is seemingly what led to this message.

A good rule of thumb is… find other ways to be supportive other than “I’m just being honest about exactly how many pounds you’ve gained during our relationship!” He accuses her of “weaponizing her anger” (it sounds like she was simply angry) when really, he’s weaponized his “honesty.” The thing about weight gain is that we KNOW when we’ve gained weight and we’re dealing with that and we don’t need Mr. I’m Just Being Honest And Keeping It Real chiming in with “you’ve gained 35 pounds, your face has changed, get some therapy.” I’m going back and forth on this – as I said, I kind of need more context to determine whether this would fall under the “emotional abuse” category. One thing is for sure – if I received this message, I would also break up with the guy.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Bebe’s IG.

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52 Responses to “Bebe Rexha posts a message from her ex-boyfriend: did he fat-shame her?”

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  1. Never let a man have any say over your body. She is better off being rid of him.

    • Sarah says:

      “The only person who should tell you you’ve gained weight is your doctor, and they better say it nice!”

      • Yup, Me says:

        I’m in full support of us fully claiming our bodily sovereignty, but we need to not be on some bullshit, either. He says she asked him – if that’s the case and she was expecting him to be anything other than honest with her, that’s messed up. She may be sensitive because people have commented on her weight (unsolicited) for years, but if people cannot be honest with you (or you don’t trust the honesty of the people who are supposed to love you), you do need therapy. If you are soliciting feedback and then get angry about it, that makes you the unsafe person. If your own eyes and scale are telling you something, don’t ask another person’s input (or be honest that the input you want is reassurance).

        For some people, “yes, you’ve gained weight.” and “yes, your weight gain shows in your face” are just statements of fact, not judgements or attacks.

      • ME says:

        @Yup, Me

        Really like your comment and 100% agree with you.

      • Shirin says:

        I met Bebe at a Starbucks a few years back. She was NOT fat at all. She was super tiny, as in petite. She was also really nice and funny and was loving up on my dog. It’s sad to me that she has become a victim of body shaming from the public and now her bum ass boyfriend? She’s better off without him and his non apologies

      • ginger says:

        @Yup, exactly this.

    • look says:

      Looks like SHE is the problem. If you don’t want an answer don’t ask the question ⁉️

  2. teehee says:

    It all sounds like

    “YOU have problems if I hurt your feelings by being superficial! Rather than tell me I’m wrong for being petty and mean to you, go talk to a psychiatrist about how miserable I am making you! (It’s all in your head! Your insecure! You have anxiety!)”

    ANYTIME ANYONE tells you go to to a psychologist– IMMEDDIATE RED FLAG.

    No sane, caring person tells you this.

    A sane, caring person supports you THEMSELVES.

    Rather than making it necessary that you GET a shrink.

    • teehee says:

      Another point is:

      His message is all about defending himself.

      Not about hearing what she said, and saying what she feels is valid even if you disagree.

      Its not a “I’m so sad” “I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings”

      Its just mega “This is your problem for leaving because you failed to see a future with me and I am disappointed in you for failing yourself by giving up on a jerk like me” energy.

      He wants to make a golden image of him, in her head, to make her feel bad for leaving him, like he was the better person here.


    • Skye says:

      @teehee. Totally agree! If she did ask him, which we don’t know, it was likely for validation because she was feeling insecure. In that case, he chose to be a jerk and make her feel worse. His text reeks, at the very least, of extreme insensitivity and, at worst, emotional abuse. I was married to someone who did this to me for years and I was quite slim by any normal metric. So, I might be projecting my own issues, but he would say sh*t exactly like this all the time after he was cruel to me, e.g., don’t you want me to tell you the truth, you know how you look is important to me, just trying to motivate you, you should go to therapy, I hope you would say the same to me (which I would never do), etc. My instinct is she has some issues and he’s a complete ass.

  3. Kokiri says:


    You really shouldn’t put a number in anyones body.
    Even, especially, if they ask. It’s not “being honest”, it’s being cruel. A number has absolutely nothing to do with a person.

    If someone gained weight, you wait for them to tell you they have gained, they know they’ve gained, & need/want help to regain control over what caused the gain in the first place.
    It’s never about food. They might need help talking about what’s happening that made them turn to food.
    It’s never about a number, nor food.

  4. Sam says:

    She is beautiful and he is an ass.
    Nothing new here.

    • Sarah says:

      She’s not fat! She’s short!!!
      To be really petite framed and carry even a few pounds over starving can read as heavy.
      Just like a really tall person can distribute a lot of pounds over their frame and still look slim.
      If this gorgeous juicy girl is fat then we are all monsters.

  5. Eurydice says:

    Yeah, for me the context part would be “you asked” – did she ask something like “Is my face looking puffy?” I can’t judge about emotional abuse, but he’s certainly using therapy-speak. My ex used to say “I’m so sorry you’re unhappy, you should see a therapist.” When it was actually “I’m unhappy because you cheated on me, you rat.”

  6. Brassy Rebel says:

    It’s bad enough when complete strangers go after Bebe and her body. But her boyfriend too? She’s well rid of this gaslighter.

  7. Laalaa says:

    I’ve been told throughout my life by men who wanted to own me exactly how many kg I gained, and how much I need to lose. For reference, that number was never bigger than 6kg. Which is not a round number, so it’s not an off the cuff estimation. They watched me and anaylzed me and told me how much weight I should lose.
    Never went with them. I found a guy who always says I am perfect and I can see it in his eyes he means it. Mind you, I am an EU medium, which is completely “normal” weight, so those guys were just trying to manipulate me.

  8. Mei says:

    We don’t know the wider context, or how he said what he said to her. That’s the first thing, so we don’t have a real idea of what’s happened previously in their relationship.

    But if what he is saying is true, that she asked for his honest opinion of how her face looked as she had gained weight and he said yes it had changed, I don’t see the issue. Why ask if you aren’t wanting to hear the truth? Everyone says they want honesty but do they only want it if it’s a compliment? I also doubt he pulled the 35 out of nowhere, she clearly had told him that number which is why he said that number specifically.

    Also, if what he is saying is true that she had previously called him fat for gaining a few pounds, why are we glossing over that? Then she’s just being hypocritical IMO. Why is it okay for her to say that to him?

    • MF says:

      Totally agree on both points. It sounds like she asked and he gave her an honest answer but still said he still finds her beautiful. Hard to say what happened w/out more context, but based on what we see here, I don’t think he did anything wrong.

    • poppedbubble says:

      This reflects how I’m feeling about it. Would need more context before calling him out. It reads like she asked him something and he is defending himself because she got angry about his response. Plus his comment about her calling him chubbs and fat should not be ignored. I see how the therapy speak could be a red flag though. Also, him saying is he supposed to pretend it’s okay, doesn’t sit well with me, but I still would need more info.

    • Scurryalongnow says:

      Yeah I have a similar opinion. A few months ago I was on steroids and had serious moon face, plus my appetite skyrocketed and I put on a lot of weight. I asked my husband repeatedly if I looked different to him, and he would always say no, I was still beautiful. I appreciate what he was doing, but I also needed confirmation that what I thought I was seeing was true. I sent a friend a pic of my face and asked if I looked different and she immediately said I did, and asked what happened. For me, I needed to be grounded and validated this wasn’t normal. My husband was trying with the best intentions, to say I looked the same, which made me feels so much worse (I always look like this?! That can’t be true…is it?!). Being honest is a double edged sword, I think you can be kind about it, or cruel, and that’s what context is lacking here.

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree, I think the context is important here, and I don’t love that she put this one snippet of the conversation out there publicly.
      That said, I can’t imagine what she has faced in her industry for not being teeny tiny, so I can understand it being a sensitive topic for her.

    • Robert says:

      I believe the mention of 35 lbs was due to an interview where she specifically spoke about having a health issue that caused her to gain 35 lbs. And, yeah, why is everyone glossing over the fact that she actually called him fat? Guys don’t like to be called chubs or fat either.

    • pk says:

      This is what makes the most sense. She asked, he answered honestly. She also has no issue calling him fat. That’s being a hypocrite. I don’t think it’s ever fair to post personal texts like this, especially when they are one-sided. Post the whole dame conversation or don’t post at all. Is this what the future holds now? You can’t have an honest text convo with someone out of fear they are going to blast it all over social media? This ain’t cool.

    • Fabiola says:

      She sounds like someone that can dish it but can’t take it. He gains weight and calls him chubby but knowing she gained weight asks him if she has gained weight just to set him up so she can call him a fat shamer. The person that talks about her weight gain is her. If she didn’t complain about it all day others wouldn’t focus on it. She needs to accept her weight or do something about it and lose the weight. She has the means to get a trainer and a chef. Also, why share this text?

      • Kitten says:

        That part stuck out for me too. If she actually does that then she might be the emotionally abusive one.

    • ally says:

      Very well said!

  9. Bettyrose says:

    30 years ago people would’ve been drooling over her body type. I hate that men are so susceptible to beauty trends and don’t even realize it. They love to concern troll but they’re just easily manipulated by the billion dollar weight loss industry.

    • VoominVava says:

      30 years ago I had pretty much her body (5’3″ size 9-11) and I was the fat girl in high school, it was definitely not a desirable body type. Kate Moss, Winona Ryder, Gwyneth Paltrow were the ideals then.

    • greenmonster says:

      I remember it differently. Even 30 years ago people were not drooling over Bebe’s body type. We came straight out of the Supermodel era and even the likes of Claudia, Naomi, Linda etc. looked heavy compared to upcoming models like Kate Moss. The early 90s were not friendly to girls who looked like Bebe.

    • bettyrose says:

      I admit I was a bit clueless because I never read fashion magazines before the internet and going to college in the midwest we were all under layers of padded clothing all the time, but thinking back to the first season of 90210, which was 1990, plenty of the hot popular girls had curvier bodies than we see now. The main characters themselves slimmed down quite a bit during the show’s run (while some of the bustlines increased) but the character Valerie, Brenda’s replacement, was built almost exactly like Bebe, and she was considered a sex bomb. At the very least, there was more diversity in what was considered appealing 30 years ago.

      • Fabiola says:

        30 years ago the standard body type was waif. Everyone was thin. Valerie from 90210 was Tiffany thiessen and she was not consider curvy or thick. She was thin just not as rail thin as Tory spelling at the time.

      • bettyrose says:

        IDK, I’m probably gonna get told I’m wrong again, but if fat shaming was socially acceptable in the 90s, I didn’t know. We were all under layers of flannel and down coats, and I just don’t recall being self conscious or having Kate Moss on my radar. Tiffany Theisen on 90210 was probably a size 6 or 8 (as I would’ve been in those years and as Bebe Rexa is now). This is a bit further back, but in my childhood Elizabeth Shue was the dream girl, and she wasn’t even close to being a waif.

      • greenmonster says:

        It’s funny that you mention 90210 because I thought of that show as well. I was 13 when the show started to air in Germany (in 1992) and my mind was already messed up when it came to body images. I remember an episode in which Brenda, Kelly and Donna perform on stage, wearing tight black dresses and back then I thought Kelly aka Jennie looked chubby! And I would have given everything to look like her!

        I think the 90s were just as bad as it is now. We started that decade with Supermodels and ended it with shows like Ally McBeal. Most of the women on that show lost a significant amount of weight. So much that Jane Krakowski (who I remember to stay the same) looked heavier set in comparison to the others. Maybe the same could be said about Tiffani aka Valerie on 90210 – she was bigger in comparison to someone like Tori (who definitely lost weight during the run of the show) but she was actually still thin.

  10. McMe says:

    Did everyone miss the part about her calling him chubbs and fat?

    • pk says:

      I guess it’s ok for women to call men fat? Seems that way from the responses I’m reading. Hypocritical.

      • Fabiola says:

        She is a hypocrite for calling him Chubb. She’s exhausting. Sharing this text makes her look like she craves attention and wants everyone to feel sorry for her.

  11. Cel2495 says:

    Gosh this is so triggering… I mentioned before how my soon to be ex husband emotionally abused me and used my anxiety against me …. He also made me feel unwanted at times ( I gained weight)… he told me a few times that I would be sexy again if I loose the belly fat… force me to exercise with him, ordered salads for me. All that while dealing with crippling anxiety and thyroid issues. I felt so lost , angry and worthless many times. It hard when a love one does this … they want you to be the same person and have the same body as how they met you. I am still dealing with all that and working with a therapist and nutritionist as well as my endocrinologist. He did a number on my self esteem.

    Saying above , I hope she didn’t call him fat or chubbs either… that would be also fat shaming. Men get fat shamed too. Def more context is needed because it seemed that she asked for his opinion and there was a conversation about it ? I also don’t think he pulled the 35lbs out of nowhere… she must have told him. Not even my crazy ex husband knew the number I gained.

    • Yup, Me says:

      You HOPE she didn’t call him fat or chubbs? He just said that she did exactly that (and over a few poundsm at that). Your hope means nothing.

    • bettyrose says:

      IDK what to think about this text, and if he felt criticized or ashamed by her calling him “chubs” rather than it being affectionate teasing that he turned around on her to be controlling, then it’s pretty bad. She shouldn’t be fat shaming either, but this text doesn’t prove that she was. It is much more common and socially acceptable for men to use weight as a tool of control over women than vice versa. Men with pudge have “dad bods” and it’s considered adorable. Women with pudge are pressured by a multi-billion dollar industry to spend money to fix themselves. Beauty standards are just capitalism, but like many of our capitalist obsessions we’ve easily adopted them as a cultural standard.

      I’m sorry that you’re having to deal with that behavior from an ex. As I said above, men are too often convinced by a very powerful industry that they have the right to police women’s bodies. Definitely not all men, and yes, some women, but I can’t ring this bell enough: commercialized beauty standards are capitalism. They benefit no one but the companies making money.

      • Kitten says:

        I remember my father and brother “affectionately teasing” me about my weight when I was a kid and that’s at least partially why I’ve struggled with an ED my whole life. Honestly, those microaggressions couched in humor are the most damaging in many ways because it grants the aggressor a level of cover (“I was only kidding!!!”) while essentially absolving them of any accountability for the pain they are causing (“It’s YOUR fault for taking it so seriously!!”) so, yeah.

      • bettyrose says:

        @Kitten, that’s awful, but what you’re describing is neither affectionate nor teasing. That’s body policing. I didn’t refer to body policing or gaslighting as “affectionate teasing.” I was making a distinction between the two. Many healthy happy coupes engage in affectionate teasing, but it’s no more acceptable for a woman to abuse or gaslight a man than way than the reverse.

      • Kitten says:

        Totally get it, Bettyrose. I hope you didn’t think I was calling you out or anything. My husband and I engage in affectionate teasing all the time but we both have boundaries that we know not to cross. His are mostly related to a shitty relationship with his dad, one in which he never received any validation, and mine mostly related to self-image. Definitely shows the importance of strong communication, understanding, and knowing each other’s triggers.

  12. Juxtapoze says:

    Knowing nothing about their relationship but this one text, here’s how I see it:
    1. Bebe leaked this private text, seeking validation from strangers when she didn’t hear what she wanted after asking her boyfriend for an honest response.
    2. Don’t ask the question if you really don’t want an honest answer. Setting someone up to either lie to you -or- fall into a trap with an honest answer is f’d up & immature sabotaging behavior.
    3. It seems like her boyfriend was trying to address a touchy subject in a sensitive, honest and thoughtful way. His response was far more nuanced than many I’ve heard from other men and women with regard to weight.
    4. She’s consistently called out fat shamers and then fat shamed her boyfriend.

    • Chantal says:

      @Juxtapose. +1.

      A couple of decades ago, a beautiful teenager named Stacy Lattisaw burst into the R&B charts at the age of 11. Her hits Let Me Be Your Angel and Love On A Two Way Street showed her vocal prowess at such a young age. She was never teeny tiny and as she got older, she gained some weight. The pressure from music execs became so great, she walked away from the industry before she had even reached her 20s. She talked about the stress and toll it took on her, the hard time she had trying to lose the weight and still be happy making music. Her parents supported her decision to walk. Who knows how many girls and women this bullying behavior happened/happens to and the effects on their self-esteem. The policing of women’s bodies in the music industry (and other industries) despite obvious talent continues to be problematic and soul draining. Even Beyonce faced horrible scrutiny and comments after she didn’t lose weight fast enough for body shaming morons despite the fact that she had given birth to twins.

      It sounds like she going thru some things and having a “fan” throw a cell phone at and hit her in her face has to be troubling her too. She’s a beautiful young woman but this industry can eat you alive. I wish her continued success.

  13. Tiffany says:

    She is currently on tour and from the footage that is online, she is active on stage. So the say she gained 35 lbs is something I just don’t buy.

    I can totally see Bebe saying something like, ‘I feel like I have gained 35 pounds’ because she is have a blah day, like I am sure we all have had.

    He took it to heart, like a douche, and started nitpicking at her body.

    I totally believe that is what happened.

    • Robert says:

      She gave an interview not too long ago discussing a health issue she developed that caused her to gain 35 lbs. so yeah, she gained 35 lbs.

  14. Kate says:

    I really can’t tell the context here to know if she brought it up and asked for his honest opinion or if he brought it up out of the blue. If the latter, a red flag for me has always been a partner critiquing my weight or amount I’m eating or exercising or my body shape period. If he makes any kind of little back handed compliments like “you’ve gained some weight but I still love you” that’s a no. Or “you’d look hotter in that outfit” or even anyone too earnest about me exercising WITH them when it starts to feel like they’re trying to keep me ‘in shape’ – those are no’s. Only they know what really happened here so I’m not indicting this guy necessarily just giving my two cents about this topic!

    ETA if I ASK him if I’ve gained weight and am still attractive and he says “you’ve gained weight but I still love you and find you very attractive” that’s obviously fine – but again can’t tell here if that’s what he was saying or if he was veering into criticizing territory where the intent is to deplete her self confidence and make her more dependent on him.

  15. Emily says:

    It seems like Bebe is sharing her texts after seeing the discussion around Jonah Hill’s treatment of Sarah Brady. Except, the situations are totally different and should not be lumped into together.

    It sounds like Bebe asked for her ex’s opinion on her weight and he gave her an honest answer. If his response was a statement of fact and not a judgement then I don’t see what’s wrong. Unsolicited comments on weight or judgements about how it’s ugly are bad. But “yes you gained weight. Yes I noticed” isn’t shaming.

    • Kitten says:

      Agreed. I generally think that men should just say less (particularly about women’s bodies) but if she asked, she opened herself up to it. Ultimately, this screenshot isn’t proof that he’s been fat-shaming or verbally or emotionally abusing her.

  16. Oswin says:

    It seems like she made comments/jabs about his weight and appearance (“I gain 3lbs and you call me chubbs), so why isn’t she accused of “fat shaming” him, too?

    What was the goal of releasing this message? She’s a beautiful woman, no one should insult the person they care about, but this seems like a weird response. Maybe he’s a jerk, maybe she’s not nice, or maybe it just wasn’t the right combination of people for a lasting relationship.

  17. Jaded says:

    I wish people would just keep this kind of private stuff off social media. There’s no need to share something this intimate with a million strangers. Keep it between the two of you instead of trying to garner thousands of “negative advocates” to side with you in shaming someone for what appears to be an innocuous and honest answer to her question.