As an individual who goes to the gym a lot, eats relatively healthily, has actually bought products from Protein World, and certainly doesn’t feel beach ready unless I look like the model in that ad campaign, this is a fairly easy topic for me to discuss.
The reality is this: Protein World put out an advert with a stunning model on the front, with the caption “Are you beach body ready?” How that advert is interpreted is entirely up to the individual viewing it.
This is simply another advert, like thousands of others before it, depicting an image of a model with a phenomenal body trying to sell a fitness product. However, this has nothing to do with the sex of that model. In this case, the model is a beautiful female (the brand is actually targeted at females and made waves being the first protein brand to have a mostly female audience). If we are to look at any fitness products targeting men, we are faced with exactly the same issue: A beautiful model (male) with an almost unattainable figure, promoting the product to help achieve his physique.
I believe this advert is merely the product of our time and is not meant to be in any way offensive. Beauty sells and the model is absolutely gorgeous. Girls will look at that advert, desire her body and buy the product. Simple.
What other people however are saying is that by placing such a beautiful woman next to the slogan “Are you beach body ready?” It is suggesting that anybody without that perfect figure should cover him or herself up and feel very bad for not being “beach ready”. Now, I think that is a little over the top. As mentioned above, it’s just a bit of advertising, they are a business after all, and this is the world we live in, and to go into that is to open up a fresh can of worms. I was totally on the side of Protein World; just another business, trying to sell their product, and to absolutely nobodies surprised, using a beautiful model, just like so many other companies.
And then they hired a bunch of morons to do their digital marketing.
I cannot make this clear enough: I do not understand where gender plays into this. It is a company that sells products aimed at females. It makes sense to have a female on the cover. Men also face these same pitfalls of having to live up to something seemingly unattainable, yet Protein World’s IDIOT digital marketing team have successfully created an anti-feminist rhetoric by retweeting ignorant opinions of the uneducated masses.
Here’s a few examples:
My personal favourite: The company itself calling those who do not support the advert “irrational extremists.” Seems legit..?
As we can all see, rather than behaving professionally, accepting there has been a backlash and simply explaining that the advert was not meant to offend but to motivate, they’ve managed to hire a team of keyboard warriors to gather together and actively insult those who do not share their view, referring to them as ‘extremists’ and constantly hastagging ‘get a grip.’ It’s like they’ve employed the main characters of Mean Girls back when they were fifteen or sixteen to run their PR department. Oh, and the best bit is that they retweeted Katie Hopkins. The same Katie Hopkins who recently came under fire for her disgraceful article on immigration she wrote for The Sun. Probably not the best person to be retweeting right now, Protein World, although I highly doubt you’ve read the papers or paid attention to the news.
The issue this has created is that feminism is once again being dragged through the dirt. Thanks to the moron PR folk retweeting the idiots who quite clearly have no idea what these mysterious ‘feminists’ are, a simple browse through Protein World’s twitter feed will leave the sour taste of ‘extremist feminism’ in the mouth of the reader. It begs the question: Why is Protein World, a company who mainly targets women, assassinating feminism? It seems paradoxical to me in itself as this is a company that has taken protein supplements, which are typically favoured by men, and created a brand women can love, thus providing women an equally affective alternative. It seems to me the only reason this can possibly be happening is because the digital marketing/PR team of angry loonies have literally no idea what the hell feminism is, or stands for.
As a person who identifies as a feminist, I am immediately filled with revulsion. Lumping the words ‘extremist’ and ‘feminist’ in one sentence is like lumping ‘Muslim’ and ‘terrorist’ together. It is both categorically wrong and frankly, dangerous. Feminism is an inherent force for good. It is simply the belief that both women and men should be politically, economically and socially equal. Which part of that statement is extreme? Surely, that is nothing if not common sense? Feminism is not a concept that is limited only to women, but extends itself to men, too. It is not a movement that values women above men, but one that sees us as equal.
Feminism is something has gets a bad reaction all too often thanks to the misconception that it is all about hating men. The last thing feminism needs is a popular company spreading the message that feminism and extremism go hand in hand. To me, what was an inoffensive ad campaign that did not need to be linked with feminism in any way has transcended into a general distaste for the company. In my humble opinion, they should sack every single member of the PR and digital marketing team that were responsible for this monumental cock-up and maybe employ people that have some kind of idea of the basic issues our generation faces.