A couple of weeks ago, BuzzFeed reported on an advertisement from a meal replacement and protein product company featuring a bikini-clad model asking, “Are you beach body ready?” If you haven’t seen the coverage spreading across the web, here’s a brief rundown of what’s been happening, along with a look at how one of our favorite illustrators, Gemma Correll, has responded to the controversy.
Not surprisingly, the company’s “Are you beach body ready” ads, which were splashed all over London’s Underground, have received a massive backlash from consumers and activists who felt they were “aiming to make individuals feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product.”
It didn’t take long for folks to take action, with many voicing their outrage on social media using the hashtag #eachbodysready, as well as defacing and rewriting the ads to promote their own messages about positive body image. The responses have been pretty awesome…
Unfortunately, the battle got fairly ugly when the founder and CEO of the company Arjun Seth took to Twitter to respond to critics by telling them to “grow up,” and that anyone offended by the ads have “insecurities.” According to a recent interview, Mr. Seth, who has referred to the activists as “terrorists,” is relishing in the PR and has no plans to change the campaign. In fact, he attributes the publicity to recent increased company sales.
But it doesn’t end there. A Change.org petition was initiated, urging the company and transit authority to take down the ads. After garnering almost 60,000 signatures the transit authority has decided to remove them earlier than scheduled. According to petition organizer Charlotte Baring, a specific reason for the removal of the ads has not been given by the transit authority, but she believes pressure from the petition did play a role.
Additionally, there’s a demonstration planned this weekend, called Taking Back The Beach, where organizers aim to show that “beach ready means different things for everyone, and we want to see all of them.”
So, what does it really mean to be “beach body ready?” Illustrator and cartoonist Gemma Correll showed us how it’s really done…