...By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.
Adidas, the popular sportswear brand, is facing a wave of criticism over its decision to use a biological male model to advertise its women’s swimwear range in their Pride 2023 collection.
The choice has sparked debate and negative reaction, with some claiming that it is a form of ‘erasing women’ and an example of misplaced ‘woke marketing’.
The controversy surrounds a swimsuit from Adidas’s ‘Pride 2023’ collection, marketed under the tagline ‘Let Love Be Your Legacy.’
The item, priced at $70, is featured in the women’s section of the company’s website.
The model in the campaign appears to be a biological male, sporting a hairy chest and visible bulge, although their transgender status is unclear.
The suit’s design is the work of South African designer Rich Mnisi, and Adidas describes it as ‘a celebration of self-expression, imagination, and the unwavering belief that love unites.’
Social Media Backlash
However, the selection of the model sparked an uproar on social media platforms, prompting a ‘Boycott Adidas’ hashtag to trend.
High-profile personalities like US swim star Riley Gaines and Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene have spoken out against the campaign.
Gaines suggested that Adidas could have described the swimsuit as “unisex” instead of pushing what she views as an agenda that erases women.
Meanwhile, Greene questioned the business wisdom of potentially alienating women, who make up a significant portion of the consumer population, to cater to the transgender community, which constitutes less than 1% of the population.
A Challenging Landscape
This backlash against Adidas follows a recent incident where Bud Light witnessed a significant drop in sales following their collaboration with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Similarly, Adidas’ competitor Nike also faced criticism for choosing Mulvaney as a brand ambassador for their women’s activewear line.
Critics argue that Adidas and Nike seem to be vying over who can be the most ‘woke,’ even if it could potentially hurt their business.
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