Gold Coast’s Chloe Szep slammed for hosting child’s birthday party

After being caught flouting mask rules in Big W, a Gold Coast influencer has been accused of flashing her cash as Aussies “can’t afford to eat”.

A Gold Coast influencer who was forced to apologise after flouting mask rules in Big W last week has copped fresh criticism for throwing her one-year-old a lavish birthday party.

Just days after Chloe Szepanowski told her 649,000 followers she was sorry for “publicly not wearing a mask” during a shopping trip, she has copped heat for “splashing cash” on her son Arti’s birthday party while huge parts of Australia battle through Covid lockdowns.

News.com.au has contacted Chloe for comment.

The 22-year-old shared photos from the milestone event on social media, showing the influencer and boyfriend Mitchell Orval had gone all out with a themed Winnie the Pooh event featuring a giant balloon arch, a customised photo wall, goodie bags and a personalised tiered cake with matching cupcakes.

Chloe tagged an array of expensive party services in the post, including a luxury planner and stylist along with a professional photographer to capture the celebration, captioning the photos: “Angel Arti’s birthday party on the weekend.”

But while many comments wished her little one a “happy birthday”, others were quick to brand it “tone deaf” while New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT remain in lockdown battling the Delta strain.

“I mean Australia’s unemployment is at an all time high due to a virus this one doesn’t believe exists yet let’s splash cash on a 1 year olds birthday?! READ. THE. ROOM,” one wrote.

“Wow people are so extra these days,” another said.

While one remarked: “There are people who literally can’t afford to put food on the table right now, this feels off.”

Chloe’s mum also shared photos of a previous birthday celebration for the bub on the day of his birthday, a more intimate event with just close family.

Some defended the self-proclaimed wellness advocate, arguing it is not Chloe’s fault unemployment is high and she can spend her money how she chooses.

However, others said the birthday party was “inspo”, commenting Chloe looked “incredible” in the white jumpsuit she was wearing.

Last week, she and boyfriend Mitch were criticised for posting a video showing Chloe blatantly breaching the local health mandate ordering people in southeast Queensland to wear a face mask when they leave home in most indoor and outdoor spaces, unless they have a lawful reason not to.

“It was my mistake for publicly not wearing a mask and I take ownership of that mistake,” she wrote in an Instagram post addressing critics.

“I completely understand that times are really hard right now, for everyone. Each in their own individual way.

“Everyone has their suffering right now and no ones is less than anyone else’s. Compassion and unity is the only way forward. Kindness. And looking after our mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing in whatever way serves us best. It’s more important than ever right now.”

The mum-of-one has been “bleeding followers” since sharing controversial views on Covid-19 vaccines and lockdowns, describing herself as believing in “choice” as opposed to “anti-vax”.

“I am not anti or pro anything. I believe in choice,” she wrote.

Chloe also said she was “lucky” to have more freedoms because she lives in Queensland, describing herself as “grateful”.

“I never want to come across as abusing those rights,” she added.

She has lost over 20,000 followers since sharing posts that appeared to be in support of recent anti-lockdown protests.

“I’m losing followers by the day and I literally am waving them goodbye. The more alignment for me, the better. Only up from here” she told the Outspoken podcast recently.

In a separate Instagram post on the topic, she also criticised those who have slammed her, stating they “have an illness worse than any virus going around now”.

Continue the conversation @RebekahScanlan | [email protected]

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