Model Winnie Harlow Lashes out at Fat Shaming Allegation ... BUT

7/12/2017 5:30 AM PDT

Model Winnie Harlow Lashes Out at Fat Shaming Allegation BUT ...

Model Winnie Harlow is lashing out at media reports she fat shamed the hell out of a passenger on a yacht, because the guy is her uncle and it's a family joke ... but ya could have fooled us.

The former "America's Next Top Model" contestant posted 2 videos and blasted it to her 2.3 million Instagram followers ... showing an unsuspecting shirtless man getting some sun. She overlaid the vid with the text, "Sexy views.. You're welcome."

Winnie -- who has been bullied herself -- also appears to be secretly shooting from a distance, behind some couches.

Harlow -- born with the a skin condition, vitiligo -- has since taken down the videos and fired back at the Daily Mail report ... saying, "That 'random passenger on the boat' is like my uncle and was a family joke. He was actually poking out his tummy for the photo." She calls the outlet "the real bullies for not fact-checking before slandering my name." 

Fair to say ... Winnie certainly had the power to identify the guy in her initial post so her followers wouldn't jump to the logical conclusion that it was fat shaming.

Winne's "uncle" is jumping to her defense.