RHSU VP Wellbeing and Diversity regrets ‘body shaming’ penis comment
She says “size doesn’t matter”!
RHSU’s VP for Wellbeing and Diversity, Henn Warwick, says that she regrets making a “body shaming” comment about penis size on the Union’s Instagram story last night.
Warwick had posted a poll asking students to share sex myths that they’ve heard. A student replied to the poll that “12 inches is average”, to which Warwick replied with some factual information about average penis size and “🥺I wish🤪” captioned in small.
The VP said that she thought students would see the caption as a “sassy joke”, but on a popular Royal Holloway Confessions page, they accused her of “body shaming”.
One post labelled Warwick a hypocrite, highlighting that the VP had posted the poll as part of her “Let’s Talk About Sex” campaign, which has featured topics such as “inclusivity”.
“Imagine preaching about being inclusive and then shaming guys for their body. Your hypocrisy is astounding Luv [sic],” read the post.
In another submission to the page, a user called the VP’s behaviour “unacceptable” and suggested students write a complaint to the SU about it, arguing that if a male VP had made a similar comment about a woman, “it’d be a riot”.
“We can’t let her get away with body-shaming just because it’s against men,” they urged.
Others questioned whether the comment was body shaming, and some responded to the words in a more light-hearted way, with one student commenting: “tbf is she wrong?”
RHSU has also apologised for the Sabb’s behaviour.
In a statement posted on their website and also emailed to The Royal Holloway Tab, RHSU said that the caption “while meant in a humourous [sic] manner fell below the expectations of the Students’ Union and the student body”.
Henn Warwick said: “On the 18 February as part of my Let’s Talk About Sex campaign I took over the SU story to have a fun and open conversation about sex myths and created an interactive sex quiz. During the takeover I replied to a sex myth stating “12 inches is average” with a body of text debunking the myth highlighting that the average erect penis size ranges from 5 – 7inches. In small writing I regretfully added the comment “🥺I wish🤪” to the picture.
“I want to openly and personally apologise for this extremely careless comment. My intention was to add some personality and humour to this post as it was intended to be a fun and exciting takeover. To me, a 12 inch penis was entirely unrealistic given it is 5 inches larger than the average size and I thought it would be taken as a “sassy” joke. In reflection, adding in “I wish” was extremely contradictory and served no purpose to the message I was trying to convey.
“I am very disappointed in myself for making this mistake and want to formally apologise to all students. This comment was entirely inappropriate and was striking completely the wrong tone. I realise the detrimental impact my comment could have to people with penises and want to highlight that there is no standard size and I personally advocate that size doesn’t matter!
“My entire campaign has focused on inclusivity and challenging social stigmas surrounding sex. I will continue to release the content for my campaign and hope we can come together to stamp down social stigma. This situation has taught me a lot, especially about when and where is appropriate to joke and making sure that a joke is never at anyone’s expense whether that be unintentionally or intentionally. For my campaign today I am talking about sexual wellbeing and actually have posts prepared to talk about penises and Sunday I am focusing on vulvas and other important topics!”
In the statement, the SU also promised to review their social media training before any further takeovers happen.