In the bad old days, a company would put up a dumb or otherwise insulting ad and the public would simply put up with it. As the fitness and sports nutrition store Protein World just discovered, those days are long gone.
The weight loss ad featuring a bikini-clad woman and the heading "Are you Beach Body Ready?" prompted London Underground passengers to go all Mad Men on the company's ass, defacing and otherwise modifying the sexist posters.
To be clear, I don't condone vandalism and other acts of civil disobedience, yet I must admit ads like this one beg to be removed and/or edited:
“If my body is on a beach, then it is ready. Thank you very much.”
“Don’t worry about it. You look gorgeous just the way you are.”
“Stop encouraging women to starve themselves.”
The affirmative backlash included a rebranded Twitter hashtag -- #EachBodysReady -- and a Change.org petition with more than 40,000 backers.
"In my mind, getting beach body ready would involve slathering myself in suncreen," wrote blogger Fiona Longmuir. "I am so tired of the message that women have to make some kind of effort in order to be socially acceptable. Is this kind of guilt tripping and body shaming really the best way to shift your products?"
Far from being contrite at the criticism, Protein World dug its heels in deeper, posting anti-feminist tweets and accusing anyone who didn't support the ad of harbouring “insecurities.”
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Unfortunately, all the buzz has so far resulted in boosted awareness for Protein World - proof that even negative publicity is still publicity. In other cases, though, public opinion has proved strong enough to tap the nail in a company's coffin.
Obviously it's a free market and businesses can, and will continue to, sell and promote products in ways we won't necessarily agree with. But we are no longer a passive audience. Social media allows us to voice our disapproval loud and clear.
Do ads like Beach Body offend you as a consumer, or is that simply our "insecurities" talking?
Image Source: Twitter
How do you prepare to become a parent? All over the world parents are busting a gut, LOLing at this question.
Truth is, you can't. Nothing can truly prepare you for the title of Mom or Dad. But the parents in the latest must-see video by Extra Space Storage have some pretty sweet and sound advice to get you on the right track.
Most tips are tried and tested kernels, like taking time for yourself (#8) and getting your baby on a schedule (#9) as soon as humanly possible. Being grateful for your kids (#3) and discovering who they are (#7) in their own right.
Once you have a baby, one mom points out, everything you will do will inevitably be viewed as the best and the worst thing in someone else's opinion, so avoid the Internet (except YMC, of course) and Dr. Google at all costs. Even though it sounds like a contradiction in terms, the best parenting advice is to ignore 90 percent of parenting advice (#10).
"Just relax," says the kid in the video, "you're going to be great... hopefully."
Every time I pose for a passport or drivers licence photo, my back gets up. I have to take my glasses off. The glasses I wear 24/7. The person in the picture isn't me any more. Well, it is, but not the real everyday me. No wonder a Missouri mom was affronted when her three year-old daughter was photographed without the specs she needs to see.
Abby Lubiewski has a rare genetic condition that means she was born with cataracts. For her, glasses are an integral part of her identity. Without them, she can't see—end of story.
“The picture without her glasses is not a natural smile for her and you can tell by the way her neck muscles look strained," said mom, Amanda Lukiewski. "She’s just doing what the photographer likely told her to do by saying ‘cheese.’”
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Not least of which the fact that Abby doesn't even look like Abby in the photo. And afterwards she herself even asked, “What happened to my glasses?”
As for other spectacle-wearing classmates? They got to keep their glasses on, presumably because the glare they gave off wasn't quite so strong.
In any case, when Lubiewski confronted photographers Lifetouch on Facebook, they were repentant:
"We strive to take photos that celebrate the uniqueness of each child, and we hope to do a better job of that with your daughter’s retake. Each of our photographers go through a formal training process, and we are always working to improve this process. We appreciate your feedback and we want you to know that we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind on our team.”
The company has offered a free retake. As for Abby... She now knows how to politely decline should anyone ever ask her to pose without her glasses again.
Sadly it's not the first time school photographers have exercised their own questionable judgment as to what's appropriate or not. An eighth grader's "feminist" T-shirt was recently deemed too offensive for school pictures, while a boy in a wheelchair was unthinkingly sidelined in a class photo.
Offering retakes is the right thing to do, yet as others have pointed out, the implicit message has already reached the kids: you aren't acceptable as you are.
“These glasses are part of who Abby is, much like the clothes she wears,” wrote Lukiewski. “Now, she may be wondering, ‘What’s wrong with my glasses? What’s wrong with me?’ She may be questioning her appearance for the very [first] time…at 3 years-old.”
A school photographer's job is to capture an authentic snapshot of the child as they are at the moment of the shutter-click. It's to provide a memento of a child over the years for the family and friends who know and love them. So what if that memento comes with a bit of glare.
You tell me: How would you feel if this was your child?
Image Source: Screengrab Yahoo!