Vivy Yusof Apologises After Being Criticised For Her Views On Working Pregnant Women

The popular entrepreneur explained that her New Straits Times article has been misinterpreted by many.

Malaysian entrepreneur Vivy Yusof has received backlash on social media after she wrote about her thoughts on pregnant women at work in a New Straits Times column on 27 March

In the New Straits Times article, Vivy announced that she is currently expecting her third child with husband Dato' Fadzarudin Anuar, with whom she co-founded popular online fashion and beauty retailer, FashionValet.

The 30-year-old explained that her first two pregnancies were "smooth-sailing", making it possible for her to continue working with relative ease. Unfortunately, her third pregnancy has proven to be more difficult.

Vivy Yusof, Fadzarudin Anuar and their two children, Daniel and Mariam.

Image via Vivy Yusof/New Straits Times

Vivy joked that she expected her third experience of carrying a child to be just as easy as her past pregnancies, since her body "already knows the drill".

However, she wrote that the common symptoms of pregnancy - exhaustion, nausea and a change in appetite - has hit her harder now than it did before. 

Due to her fortunate past experiences, Vivy admitted that she did not always understand the struggles faced by her pregnant employees. "I thought they were "weak" and were just entertaining their self-pity".

"Oh, the amount of MC slips I received and even calls from their husbands and mothers to tell me they wouldn’t be coming in to work – I dreaded it and used to complain to the HR department," she added.

"Pregnancy shouldn't impair your ability to perform and it shouldn’t affect your other teammates whose work you are also delaying."

The entrepreneur, who describes herself as a "tough love kind of boss," said that she was under the impression that "It's all in the mind".

Vivy explained in the column that she has since realised that every pregnancy is different. She encouraged her readers to "not be the reason why people say pregnant people are weak."

She wrote that, "There are so many women in our past who did it all – hustled their way through, pregnant and all. They ain’t got no time for morning sickness."

However, Vivy's sentiments were perceived negatively, with netizens expressing their disappointment on Twitter

Image via Twitter

Image via Twitter

They argued that many women cannot help that their bodies are more affected by pregnancies

Image via Twitter

Image via Twitter

Reacting to the backlash, Vivy took to her Instagram account earlier today, 1 April, and tried to explain her intentions behind the article

"I wrote an article in NST and what was supposed to be a happy pregnancy announcement became sour," she wrote, adding that many people are now demanding that "I give statement because I’m in the public eye. So here goes."

Vivy clarified that the whole issue is "taken out of context."

"I wrote a whole article about my journey and one paragraph was highlighted separately instead where I wrote about me as an employer not understanding the pains of pregnancy. That’s exactly what the article was about if you cared to read on. I said that karma hit me because my third pregnancy now is rather difficult and it made me sympathise with women a lot more.

"Having said that too, the comments are making me out to be a monstrous employer," Vivy rued, saying that she feels that’s an unfair statement considering how FashionValet staff knows she loves them and sympathises with any situation they go through.

"We allow flexible hours for moms, we give moms a day off every month to bond with their child, and we give a lot of leeway if you are having any kind of pain, pregnancy or not. As an employer, I will continue to strive to give my employees the best treatment.

"I also mentioned that all pregnancies are different and some have to even be hospitalised. I mentioned that we should listen to our bodies and our doctors, but this somehow wasn’t picked up by the nasty commenters."

Vivy has now offered her apology, saying she was only trying to motivate working women through her article

"I uphold my belief that women are stronger than they think and I am trying hard to combat my pregnancy woes because a lot of people depend on me.

"My article was intended to motivate each other and if read in entirety, I think it could be achieved. But if I failed to deliver that message, I do apologise. Hope this clarifies, guys! Sending love to all, no negativity," reads her Instagram post.

I wrote an article in NST and what was supposed to be a happy pregnancy announcement became sour. I received a lot of backlash and nasty words thrown. So many people are demanding that I give statement because I’m in the public eye. So here goes. The whole issue is taken out of context. I wrote a whole article about my journey and one paragraph was highlighted separately instead where I wrote about me as an employer not understanding the pains of pregnancy. That’s exactly what the article was about if you cared to read on. I said that karma hit me because my third pregnancy now is rather difficult and it made me sympathise with women a lot more. Having said that too, the comments are making me out to be a monstrous employer. I feel that’s an unfair statement because any woman or man working at FV will know that I love them and I sympathise in any situation they go through. We allow flexible hours for moms, we give moms a day off every month to bond with their child, and we give a lot of leeway if you are having any kind of pain, pregnancy or not. As an employer, I will continue to strive to give my employees the best treatment. I also mentioned that all pregnancies are different and some have to even be hospitalised. I mentioned that we should listen to our bodies and our doctors, but this somehow wasn’t picked up by the nasty commenters. There were also comments on me being privileged which I thought had nothing to do with the article. This was just purely personal. If anything, the fact that I’m privileged and wanting to be a strong woman who is trying to get up and go to work, isn’t that a good thing? At the end of the day, I believe in the power of women. I uphold my belief that women are stronger than they think and I am trying hard to combat my pregnancy woes because a lot of people depend on me. My article was intended to motivate each other and if read in entirety, I think it could be achieved. But if I failed to deliver that message, I do apologise. Hope this clarifies, guys! Sending love to all, no negativity #thisisVivynotPivy

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