Adidas is in hot water after using what appears to be a biologically male model to advertise a women’s one-piece swimsuit for its Pride Month collection.
It’s unclear how the model chooses to identify their gender. But social media and conservative commentators have been reacting to the athletic brand’s marketing choice since May 17. On Twitter, a Fox News clip of NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines’ thoughts on the controversy and Adidas boycott discussions have swirled.
In the comments of Hollywood Unlocked‘s post on May 18 via Instagram, online users argued that there was no reason for the women’s swimsuit to be on a male-presenting body. Many asserted that the move added to a larger “agenda” of erasure regarding cis women and womanhood.
“Absolutely not. If you want to do a pride collection, then do a pride collection,” one commenter expressed.
“People don’t really have a problem with the fact that the community exists; it’s the fact that THEY are trying to change it to become the new ‘normal,'” the online user added. “Being inclusive means INCLUDING, not replacing, what already IS. This has become very annoying now, and people will argue to death that there is no agenda 🙄.”
Other commenters left similar sentiments that were disproving of Adidas’ ad.
“I hope you all see that there is a blatant attack on women and women rights happening right now. We fought so hard for the little we have and it’s being taken away one day at a time,” one person wrote.
“The target market must be the gworls because it’s definitely not the ladies💅🏾”
“These brands are losing hold of reality. Who asked for this??”
Another person’s point of view highlighted that regardless of personal feelings about the model, Adidas’ ad got people talking.
“We have to understand how the world is set up. Controversies are #1 when it comes to advertising something. If it doesn’t stir the pot, it wouldn’t be looked at. This makes you go to their site to see this ad and once you go to the site, you’ll see something else and buy it. 🤷🏾♂️”
The colorful “Pride Swimsuit” is listed on the retailer’s site for $70.
The model at the center of the controversy sports a one-piece available in women’s sizes 0 to 18. A female-presenting model rocked the same pride swimsuit for the garment’s plus size listing, which caters to women who wear a 1X to 4X.
In addition to having the brand’s signature three-stripe logo, the one-piece has a black and white pattern with a variety of boldly colored splotches on it.
Adidas brought its 2023 Pride Collection to life with queer South African fashion designer Rich Mnisi. The brand described the partnership as “a celebration of self-expression, imagination and the unwavering belief that love unites” by exploring “fluidity, color and patterns.”
Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall Riots at the end of June 1969.
The Manhattan uprising went down after police raided The Stonewall Inn in the early morning of June 28, 1969. Law enforcement arrested several gay men at the iconic gay bar. Trans-Black woman Marsha P. Johnson is celebrated as one of the patrons whose quick activism on the frontlines solidified the moment in time and following riots as the catalyst of the Gay Right Movement.
Now, Pride Month recognizes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer identities, as well as their contributions to society and impact on history. The term LGBTQ continues to expand and be inclusive for those who fall elsewhere on the spectrum of gender and sexual orientation. Other iterations include LGBTQIA and LGBTQIA+. The last letters represent those who identify as intersex, queer/questioning and asexual.
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