People are outraged that Adidas featured a model with unshaved legs, and everyone needs to calm down
We are fully supportive of people doing whatever they want with their body hair, whether that includes shaving, waxing, or letting it grow out to any length they desire. Which is why we’re totally disheartened to see this Swedish model get criticized for her unshaven legs in a new Adidas campaign. Because hair is natural, people.
Arvida Byström is a 26-year-old model, photographer, and artist from Sweden who was recently featured in Adidas’ new badass (and totally feminist) Superstar campaign. In one of the gorgeous Millennial pink-inspired shots, Byström can be seen kneeling to show off a pair of classic Adidas three-stripe shoes. Her legs happened to be unshaved, a fact that has seemingly stirred up minor chaos.
In the days since the iconic sportswear brand launched the campaign, the model herself responded, revealing that she has received backlash — and even rape threats — in her private inbox.
In her caption, Byström writes: "Me being such an abled, white, cis body with its only nonconforming feature being a lil leg hair. Literally I've been getting rape threats in my DM inbox. I can't even begin to imagine what it's like to not posses [sic] all these privileges and try to exist in the world. Sending love and try to remember that not everybody has the same experiences being a person."
And let’s all take a step back and remember that this outrage is all over a woman’s body hair, which is maddening on so many levels.
Aside from the fact that the ad is drop-dead gorgeous, we are cheering for the body-positive message that both Adidas and Byström are sending through her photograph. It’s helping to chip away at the narrow standards of beauty that have been perpetuated for too long.
A friendly reminder that we should always be kind to each other — behind a keyboard or not.