#GirlPower: MODEL ARVIDA BYSTROM FEATURED IN ADIDAS AD || Arvida Bystrom, is a model and photographer from Sweden. And why, you may ask, am I talking about her? Her work in a gallery? Maybe a book launch? Her Instagram pics? No, it´s Feminism hour again, so I am going to talk about her leg hair. You are reading right. Leg Hair!
You see, Arvida, was the model featured in the latest Adidas campaign. She is talking about femininity and how it is created by our own notions, and not what culturally society thinks it is the right path. She is in a very pink and fluffy looking dress, doing her model poses, and also rocking a natural looking leg hair.
The message, is beautiful. Be whatever you want to be, wear what you want to wear, and break the concept of femininity attached to ancient notions that need a bit (a lot!) of an update.
Oh, but the internet trolling is strong with this one. And Adidas, Arvida, the feminist movement, and women, felt it, directly or indirectly.
Immediately, comments appeared, with people giving their opinion about the add. Some of the comments were powerful and encouraging, others revealed a dark side that still exists in the minds of some. The general opinion was, Arvida, as a woman, should not be able to let her leg hair grow and dare to show it to the World in a fashion campaign. It got to such and extreme point that the model started to receive rape threats. That is appalling!
This way of thinking originates from the notion that women still have to be a certain way to be attractive. The inputs made demonstrate that, as a society, we still think we can shape and mold women to our own desires and wishes.
We see it all the time, with the simple: “You should smile more. It makes you prettier.” To cases like the sexual predator and Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, when Dona Karan says simply: “You look at everything all over the world today and how women are dressing and what they are asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.” The Daily Mail. Demonstrating that women can be responsible for a physical or mental attack, if they dress or present themselves a certain way.
This notion of ownership of someone else´s body and mind, is something that fashion and beauty brands, magazines, designers, etc, should oppose against. We have the responsibility as trend setters, creators, to speak against the movement that does not accept femininity as an individual value that should be explored by the self, but that criticizes and threatens campaigns and women that show, in this case, leg hair.
It is important to mention, that the feminist movement is being used by some brands to create more marketing buzz and more sales. The focus is still on profit only and not on directing attention to the problems expressed by minorities. For example, still using cis, white, “standard beauty”, straight, not disabled, models, not amplifying the diversity.
But still, it creates awareness even if sometimes, all things are not perfect. Creates awareness of a notion that to be different and to challenge the status quo, really opens the doors to a path of acceptance and freedom. So let that leg hair go, if that is what you wish, because what you are and who you are is just perfect…