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Gillette's Choice Of Model In Bikini Shoot Sparks Heated Debate

I am 1000% on board with the push for companies to highlight more diverse models in their advertising. Whether that means a variety of sizes, body types, skin tones, disabilities, or however else they want to branch out, I'm all for it.

As a woman who has often struggled with my weight, I'm especially happy when any brand showcases a plus-sized model.

And I'm not talking about a Size 4 "plus size" model.

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I'm talking about women who haven't had a pants size in the single digits since they were a toddler. Real women, with real curves and lumps and chubby thighs and back fat.

We seem to have hit a tipping point where more and more brands advertised to women are changing their ways.

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From Dove's attempts to focus on real beauty, to stores like CVS and American Eagle pledging to remove airbrushing from advertisements, lots of progress has been made.

In late 2018, Gillette announced their new "My Skin, My Way" campaign for their Venus razor line.

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In the announcement, North America Gillette Venus Brand Manager, Hillary Mone, said:

"Starting with the ‘My Skin, My Way’ campaign, we’re doing things in a new way. We’ll show more types of women on screen and enlist more women behind the camera. No more retouching, no more restrictions, and no more rules."

The campaign has touched on topics that have typically been taboo in the female advertising sphere.

In this case, having hair on more than just your legs is openly addressed and accepted as a normal and okay thing for women to experience.

In another post, stomach hair, or the "happy trail" as some call it, is addressed.

Truth be told, most women have hair all over their bodies, and that isn't something that is typically shown in any ads. Usually, it is purposefully hidden.

So far, the campaign has been a success, but their most recent model has sparked some debate.

The image shows a plus-sized woman in a bikini just enjoying the heck out of a day at the beach.

The model is Anna O’Brien, who blogs over at Glitter + Lazers

Most commenters loved seeing a real, confident woman getting featured.

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Some women even shared their weight troubles and how inspiring they found Anna's confidence.

As someone who feels self-conscious in sleeveless tops, I love seeing her feeling so free in her skin.

But another group on commenters took issue with what they saw as a promotion of unhealthy behaviors.

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Some wondered if Gillette was guilty of a double-standard, since "skinny" models are being phased out due to setting unhealthy standards.

Personally, I think that the haters are taking things more than a bit too far.

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Especially those who resorted to personal attacks at Anna, even without knowing anything about her.

Like, Gillette is selling razors and the haters might not realize this but fat people need to shave too.

Anna hasn't spoken out much since then, and can you really blame her?

A recent comment she made comes alongside an outtake from the same shoot, in which she says that she's okay.

Which is good to hear. I'd probably want some time to myself, too.

In an earlier post, O'Brien addressed those who have something to say about her body in a lengthy instagram caption.

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In it, she began:

"So this weekend I went viral yet again because some random people didn’t like my body and had nothing better to do than to make sure everyone knew it."

This time around, though, it wasn't like her past experiences.

Instagram | @glitterandlazers

She shared with her fans that she's experiencing new and exciting things, and wasn't focused on the haters:

"However this weekend was different. Ironically, for most of this mess I had no clue it was actually going on. I was too busy meeting awesome people, learning about the future, filming shenanigans, and flipping people over my back. LA wasn’t just an amazing experience- it provided a unexpected shield of protection and safety from the chaos. Here’s to my TikTok fam, for doing more for me this weekend then you’ll ever know."

As a plus-sized model, she has experienced the judgmental way of the world before, and opened up about it.

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She continued her statement, explaining how this typically makes her feel:

"Normally, this would have stressed me out to no end, and I’d find myself refreshing all the things as the drama unfolded while simultaneously being distraught by the uncomfortable uncertainty these situations can create."

Gillette has since responded to the controversy and criticism bombarding O'Brien and their campaign, on Twitter.

They remain supportive of the message behind their work, and explain how they "love Anna because she lives out loud and loves her skin no matter how the “rules” say she should display it."