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Adidas chooses a model with hairy armpits to normalize female hair

Leila Davis, a model from Stella McCartney’s collection for Adidas Women, poses for the campaign showing off her hairy armpits. An intentional provocation?

Leila Davis in the image of the Adidas Women campaign

A woman’s decision to wax or leave her body hair remains flammable material. Everyone believes they have the right to have an opinion. And this time it was no different. The last fire has been lit by British designer Stella McCartney, daughter of Sir Paul, in the publicity campaign for her collection of ecological clothing for Adidas Women.

In the image, the dancer and choreographer of ‘pole dance’ Leila Davis (@cutiewhippingham) appears in the photo of the controversy with a sports bra and blue leggings from the True Purpose collection, in a pose intended to leave her armpits with hair in sight. It is something that the brand and the English creative director defend: normalize female hair. The protagonist of the photo has declared on Twitter, responding to the controversy that has arisen, that it is wrong to criticize a woman for not waxing. Are you wrong? She also denounces the racist comments received: “This they would not do to a man and the levels of contempt they have towards me are definitely due to the fact that I am black. It makes them sick that a big brand gives me and my hairy armpits a platform.”

There are many messages from Internet users who congratulate the sports brand for the message of freedom it transmits. “Thanks Adidas for supporting women in their decision to do with their body what they want. Men can have hair on their bodies, so why is it not fully accepted by society that it is the same for women?”, Comments one follower. Others, however, praise the clothes and criticize the hair.

Confidence in oneself, inclusiveness of all types of women, authenticity, those are the messages that they have valued from the Adidas Women’s advertising campaign who have left positive comments on the brand’s IG account, in addition to a lot of emoticons of calls. They praise the rebelliousness of going against traditional beauty standards, which no longer represent many girls. Even some who confess that they do use wax to depilate, but they bet on freedom of choice. For others, “the look is perfect, but the hair … is a matter of hygiene.”

Adidas’s intention with this campaign is clear: to advance the normalization of the image of the female body outside of the old canons with which many women do not identify. A spokesperson for the firm has stated that they want to use the transformative power of sport positively and, through their products and images, represent the needs of all female athletes.

This is not the first time that a brand has presented models with underarms without waxing. Calvin Klein already did it a couple of years ago with his underwear with the same intention: to normalize female hair. Also models, actresses and singers, from Julia Roberts to Gigi Hadid or Amaya have appeared in public showing their hair and have always been rained with fierce criticism. Shouldn’t everyone be free to show themselves however they want?

According to the criteria of

The Trust Project

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