Gillette Ad Of Plus-Sized Bikini Model Ignites Controversy

By Alexi Iafrato
Boston Herald

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The controversy over highlighting a plus size model comes just a few months after Gillette released a commercial targeting toxic masculinity — which also drew intense backlash.


Gillette has ignited a Twitter tsunami after posting a picture of a plus-sized bikini model to promote its razors.

Critics accuse the Massachusetts company of intentionally wading into cynical territory to make a marketing splash while others are embracing the message.

The razor maker said it’s committed to embracing women of all shapes and sizes.

Gillette Venus posted a picture of plus-sized blogger Anna O’Brien last week — captioning it, “Go out there and slay the day.”

Tweets immediately began whiplashing between promoting self-love to body shaming.

“The fact is they’re not promoting being obese or underweight or being pale or tanned. They’re promoting self love,” one Twitter user wrote, reflecting the thousands of likes on the tweet.

“Unfortunately I see a young woman who is unhealthily overweight and it is not good to promote something like that,” another said, with many posting similar digs.

Others said the ad glorifies and promotes obesity for profit.

“Has Gillette marketing actually used social media? Twitter and Facebook are full of people waiting to destroy an ad like this. They used this poor girl for promotion, they didn’t care it was bad promotion.
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It’s not fair to this young woman to be torn apart to fill their pockets,” another Twitter user posted.

Gillette was also knocked for not looking at the health effects of obesity, with statistics showing more than one-third of American adults are considered obese.

“This Gillette ad celebrates a medical condition called toxic obesity, which is extremely dangerous … Cherishing diverse body types is a good thing, but this is no more productive than making smoking look ‘cool,'” @RealJamesWoods wrote.

Gillette wrote in a tweet: “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.”

O’Brien, the plus-sized model at the center of the controversy, spoke out on Instagram earlier this week assuring the world she is OK.

This controversy comes just a few months after Gillette released a commercial targeting toxic masculinity — which also drew intense backlash.

Some groups began boycotting the brand, saying the ad talked down to men. The company’s efforts to connect with the #MeToo movement severely backfired, with many users vowing to no longer buy from Gillette.

Gillette responded to that ad saying it doesn’t mind sparking discussion. It seems they’ve done it again.

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