I think it’s safe to say we have all seen the following advertisement…
I think we have also heard the uproar it caused since it was first revealed on the London Underground. A number of the posters have been defaced with apparent ‘anti body shaming slogans’ and thousands of people signed a petition to get the posters removed indefinitely.
I had been following Protein World on Twitter for several months and was astounded by all the positive and happy results people were getting from using their products. These customers wanted to feel good about their bodies for their own personal reasons. Holiday or not, Protein World’s customers want to feel and look good…and with nearly 70k followers on Twitter that’s a lot of support for a supposed ‘sexist and anti feminist company’.
Not long after the advert hit the news I went on holiday to Center Parcs where I wore a swim suit for the first time in years, and I wore it for a week around the pool and spa. But personally I didn’t feel as confident as I wanted to. Having had body issues all of my life I gritted my teeth and did everything I could to feel good in a swimming costume. I personally wasn’t beach body ready. Don’t get me wrong, there were lots of women there who were larger in size compared to me and plenty who were slimmer than me…all of whom were wearing swim suits and even bikinis. But I was aware of my thighs and my sugar belly and was determined to try and shift it when I got home.
What has since been highlighted by the beautiful Renee Somerfield who features in the controversial advert is: aren’t all these angry and disgruntled people body shaming her in response? Protein World asking ‘are you beach body ready?’ is supposedly a poke in the eye to every woman who isn’t the same size as Renee, and saying if you don’t look like her you can’t go on the beach unless you are covered head to toe in kaftans and sarongs. I couldn’t agree less! Asking people ‘are you beach body ready?’ is asking do you feel comfortable in your own skin? If not, do something about it with Protein World’s products. If you feel fine as you are…great. This advert is speaking to the people who want to change and improve their bodies, whether it is shifting a few pounds or building themselves up.
I think social media is rife with individuals who find it easy to kick up a storm over nothing. It is so easy to hashtag everything and label things for effect…
As a woman, I do not find this advert sexist or anti feminist. I find it liberating that a healthy and strong woman can advertise a company’s products, and inspire thousands of people to feel great about themselves. I am a massive advocate for strong and healthy women who work and strive to be the best they can be, and hopefully in a few weeks I will be ‘beach body ready’…confident in my own skin.