Who exactly is Olympia Anley? The ‘tone deaf’ Bristol student shaming people’s food shops
The TikToker has a senior student welfare job at Bristol Uni, The Tab can reveal
Olympia Anley is a name which seems impossible to escape this week on TikTok. The 20-year-old TikTok influencer has grown an impressive following over the past three years showcasing her extravagant lifestyle to more than 300,000 followers. The second year Bristol University student produces the type of content you expect to see from a privileged Bristol University student. Think sweater vests and ski holidays.
She doesn’t hide her affluence. If you follow Olympia Anley, you’ve seen all inside her home counties mansion. You know she’s got a kitchen the size of some people’s flats and if she’s not recording from there, you can bet it’s from one of an endless number of trips and holidays. But this week something changed. Last Friday, while nursing a glass of iced-water invariably with two slices of lemon, Olympia took to TikTok to tell her followers all about the unfathomable junk food a stranger was buying in their food shop. In less than a week, the video has been viewed more than 1.6 million times with viewers widely condemning her comments as wildly “out of touch”.
Who is Olympia Anley?
Olympia grew up in Kent where she went to Cranbrook School, a highly regarded grammar school for day pupils and boarders.
After leaving school with two A’s and an A*, she joined Bristol University where she’s studying philosophy.
Currently in her second year, The Tab can reveal Olympia is employed by Bristol University as a Chief Resident in a city-centre hall of residence.
Her job involves being “approachable and non-judgemental” to the residents, the vast majority of whom are in their first year of university.
As part of the pastoral role, she is expected to help identify “vulnerable” students or those “struggling with University life”.
Documents seen by The Tab show the role is intended for postgraduate students however the university chose not to comment when we asked why a 20-year-old undergraduate holds the role.
As a fresher last year, she lived in Wills Hall. Arguably Bristol’s most prestigious hall of residence, Wills hosts weekly formals for its students where the majority of rooms cost £8,820 a year.
Balancing her studies, Olympia has spent time working as a ski nanny and has spoken about the university allowing her to change her timetable to give her time to travel abroad.
What did Olympia Anley actually say?
Olympia begins her one minute and 21 second public service announcement by saying: “I don’t want to offend anyone with this video.” Unsurprisingly, she then goes on to say lots of things that have offended lots of people.
“We live in a society that has normalised and literally encourages treating the symptom and not the cause” she says, before adding:”Something which I’m quite snobby about and which I’m not proud of are people’s food shops.”
Olympia then begins to set the scene. She explains how she was at the supermarket that afternoon, she was doing her food shop and then she saw a woman in front of her.
At this point it’s too much. She stops her story. Scoffs. When she continues she says: “Just for context, she might have been having a party, I don’t know if she was going to eat it or who the food was for but she was loading on all of this junk food: white bread, crisps, Pot Noodles – all that kind of stuff. And also, a whole load of medicine like pills, sachets… I could not believe it.
“Anyway it was so paradoxical for me and again no judgement and I don’t know her personal situation but it really spoke to me about how we don’t pay attention to what we’re putting in our bodies enough and then we numb it with drugs so we can’t feel what’s going on inside.”
Admitting she’s not a “nutritionist or functional health practitioner”, Olympia explains it simply to her followers. “You ingest crap, you feel crap and you get all sorts of illnesses, symptoms and diseases that arise as a result of not looking after your body properly.”
Back to slamming “big pharma”, she goes on: “You stifle it with like drugs and stuff rather than just feeling good in the first place because of what you’re eating. Was I triggered by the cyclical pharmaceutical industry over a loaf of white bread? Absolutely!
“But there’s a reason, what I’m saying is, please eat your vegetables.”
Why has the TikTok video caused so much controversy?
There is nothing unreasonable about encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Everybody knows the importance of eating your ‘five a day’ and that junk food isn’t good for you, but her comments come at the same time as a quarter of students being forced to skip meals to save money because of the cost of living crisis.
Despite turning off the comments on the video, and even briefly taking down the video on Monday, TikTok users have not held back in finding ways to criticise the student.
In a video viewed more than 200,000 times, Reb McComb explained why so many people think the comments are “tone deaf”.
“You are privileged to be able to eat in a way that can nourish your body. Most people don’t have the money to be able to look at a food label and think ‘hmm is this going to give me all the micronutrients that I need?’. Most people are picking up what they can thinking ‘oh god I hope this is enough food to last me’.”
Before turning off the comments to the video, Olympia had attempted to defend her position. Replying to one comment, she wrote: “I never commented on poverty, I think it’s really sad there are financial barriers to nutrition.”
Reb however wasn’t impressed. She said: “If you really thought it was sad that there is a financial barrier to nutrition, you wouldn’t then come online and make a video about this person buying Pot Noodles and stocking up on paracetamol and essentially mock them.
“You would have just minded your own business.”
Has Olympia Anley apologised?
At the time of publishing, six days after the original video, Olympia has not publicly addressed the video. A screenshot circulating on TikTok appears to show her replying to a fan that she is working on responding to the video, but hasn’t “had time yet”.
Her comments remain turned off for all of her other videos and she hasn’t produced any new content since the controversy began to escalate on Monday.
It may be a question of waiting out the incident and not wanting to draw any more headlines. However some users have urged her to “bite the bullet, and make an apology video.”
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Featured image via TikTok/@olympiaanley.