Protein World’s “Are you beach body ready” advertisements in London’s underground have caused quite the uproar as of late, and Australian model Renee Somerfield, who stars in the campaign, has been caught in the middle of it.
Renee is incredibly toned, and when her figure was positioned aside the question, “Are you beach body ready?”, people started questioning the company, and themselves. What does “beach body ready” even mean? If I don’t look like her am I not “ready” for summer and all that goes with it? While people were feeling infuriated with Protein World for suggesting such ideas, Renee found herself in the crossfire.
Speaking to The Huffington Post UK, self-professed vegan Renee reminded everyone that she has feelings too. “I am a real person behind the image,” the 23-year-old explained. “I think nearly every ad campaign you have ever seen is open to interpretation. But saying the ad is body shaming by body shaming the image is very contradictory,” she added, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
The Sydney-born model also slams the idea that you need to look like her, abs and all, to be “beach body ready” as the Protein World ad suggests. “I agree that ALL bodies are ‘beach body ready’. Skinny, curvy, muscular, petite, tall, short, young and old. Confidence is beautiful no matter what size you are…. Your reflection doesn’t define your worth,” she explained to The Huffington Post UK.
Even though Protein World has responded to irritated commuters with careless questions like, “Why make your insecurities our problem?”, Renee has chosen to stand up for the brand she works with.
“Protein World’s intention is to motivate and inspire their consumers to be the best, healthiest and fittest version of themselves, not to advertise that you have to look a particular way to be ‘beach body ready’,” she said.
“I work very hard and live a healthy and active lifestyle which is why Protein World chose me for their campaign. I couldn’t work every day as a full time model by starving myself, dieting or not looking after my body. Nourish your body, be kind to it and it will love you right back, no matter your size,” she added. “The real goal should always be health, not body size.”
Despite falling victim to the backlash from this controversial ad, Renee is also receiving an overwhelming amount of support which she’s been retweeting to her Twitter account.
“Seeing @ReneeSomerfield being called anorexic is INFURIATING! you don’t win a body shaming argument by body shaming someone else,” wrote Twitter user Lydia Elise Millen. Another use Charli Cohen also acknowledged the reactions to the ad, writing, “Agreed. And @ReneeSomerfield has responded so elegantly to all of this – good on her!”
If only Protein World could take a page out of Renee’s book and start responding responsibly, rather than fuelling the fire.
[Via The Huffington Post UK]