If there’s one brand pioneering the body positive movement at the moment it’s undoubtedly Gillette.
Enter its latest campaign in the UK that features body-positive influencer and author Anna O’Brien (aka Glitter and Lazers) to promote the brand’s Venus range of razors for women.
The social media campaign features O’Brien in a bikini on the beach alongside the tag, “Go out there and slay the day.”
And, as these things tend to do, Gillette’s decision to use O’Brien has received as many bouquets as it has buckets and shows that fatphobia is still well and truly alive.
Some of the comments were so mean as to be unpublishable, while others questioned O’Brien’s physical and mental health.
One person tweeting: “99% sure the woman in the photo is on an anti-depressant and/or statins. I have several loved ones that are obese. I’m all for making ppl feel comfortable in their skin, but let’s not glamorize obesity, please. It is NOT healthy. Supportive is fine. Encouragement is cruel.”
Another added: “Promoting heart disease is so cool.”
“There is nothing empowering about the risks associated with obesity! Celebrating destructive behaviour is irresponsible,” penned another non-fan.
Interestingly, some of the biggest critics of the campaign came from overweight people themselves or people who had lost loved ones to obesity.
One man wrote: “It was hurtful when my obese mother died at 40 and couldn’t see me graduate high school. It was hurtful when I was 500lbs and could barely walk. I’ve lost 150lbs & have much more to go. I find this ad extremely offensive. This is unhealthy & helps no one.”
“There’s no reason to be rude or unkind to someone who is obese and there is no reason @GilletteVenus should be encouraging life threatening obesity. This would also be true if they used an anorexic model. I wish the model they used well but Gillette should know better,” penned another.
While another added: “I’m overweight but am trying to get to a healthy weight because I KNOW and I SEE how unhealthy it is. When I see obesity to me it means bad health and a shorter life. 30 lbs to go to healthy weight, halfway there.”
While there was also some positive messages too.
“Thank you for representing the diversity of beauty of women in this AMAZING, joyous, dynamic photo,” wrote one one woman on the Instagram post.
Another wrote: ‘ALL THE YES!’
In response to negativity Gillette Venus tweeted: “Venus is committed to representing beautiful women of all shapes, sizes, and skin types because ALL types of beautiful skin deserve to be shown.
“We love Anna because she lives out loud and loves her skin no matter how the ‘rules’ say she should display it.”