Global sports brand Adidas is facing backlash for using men to model women’s swimwear안전놀이터.
According to the Daily Mail and the New York Post on June 18, Adidas released images of a male model wearing a women’s swimsuit in its new Pride 2023 collection on the 15th, ahead of Pride Month.
The swimsuit in question was a $70 (approximately $93,000) Pride Swimsuit modeled under the women’s category. The model in question appeared to have a bulge in her crotch, and hair was visible in her enlarged chest area.
It is not known if the model is male or transgender, but he was also seen wearing a men’s tracksuit in the menswear category, according to the outlet.
Adidas described the collection as a collaboration with South African designer Richie Mnisi and a “celebration of self-expression, imagination and the unwavering belief that love unites.”
The video features a model in a women’s swimsuit with a zoomed-in shot of her hairy chest. (Adidas official website)
The images went viral on social media, including Twitter, where they were criticized as “wokeism” by users around the world. “Don’t market it as a women’s swimsuit, create an LGBTQ category and sell it instead,” one commented. Some netizens also called for a boycott with the hashtag #BoycottAdidas.
Riley Gaines, a former swimmer and women’s rights activist, tweeted, “Women’s swimsuits don’t have bumps, and I don’t understand why companies would voluntarily do this. They could have just said ‘unisex,'” she said.
Politicians have also publicly expressed their disapproval. “I remember when women, not men, modeled swimsuits,” said Republican Representative Nancy Mays, “and what’s clear here is that trans women are not women,” while Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Green said, “Who is telling these companies to marginalize women, who are half the population, and to market to transgender people, who are less than 1% of the population,” adding, “Businesses should be about profit over politics.”
Meanwhile, Adidas and designer Richie Mnish have reportedly not responded to media requests for interviews about the controversy.