A photo collage of twenty-five pairs of bare women’s breasts was bannered in a tweet of sportswear brand Adidas recently. While segments of the internet rejoiced with its empowering and inclusive message, not everyone was happy about the campaign.
Women’s breasts—providers of nourishment and pleasure—come in different types and shapes.
This is what Adidas showed the world with its campaign for the launch of its more inclusive, re-engineered sports bra line by an all-women team.
“We believe women’s breasts in all shapes and sizes deserve support and comfort,” the brand tweeted, saying its new line of sports bras contains 43 styles to choose from. (On its website, Adidas says these bras are available in 72 sizes, catering to more body types and workouts.)
We believe women’s breasts in all shapes and sizes deserve support and comfort. Which is why our new sports bra range contains 43 styles, so everyone can find the right fit for them.— adidas (@adidas) February 9, 2022
? Explore the new adidas sports bra collection at https://t.co/fJZUEjvopQ#SupportIsEverything pic.twitter.com/CESqmsXOwI
Instead of product photos, the tweet includes a photo gallery of 25 bare women’s breasts of different shapes and sizes—round, asymmetrical, teardrop, bell shape, narrow, and more. Those are just a few but many women may look at the photo and see their breasts represented out in the open, “those are similar to mine!”
WELL DONE @adidas! What I want to know now is, will @Facebook @Instagram allow you to run this, when we #sextech and #femtech female founders are banned from any kind of open, healthy, educational advertising or content, let alone pics of nipples? #FreeTheNipple @makelovenotporn— cindygallop.eth (@cindygallop) February 9, 2022
But not all are pleased to see women’s breasts exposed on the social media platform, with some accusing the brand of using feminism to just grab attention. Others thought Adidas crossed the line with the campaign, promoting NSFW materials or “soft porn” that are not appropriate for the younger set using Twitter.
I don't think it's particularly feminist or not feminist, it's just a brand trying to get attention— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) February 9, 2022
Are we … going to do this for men’s underwear?— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) February 9, 2022
As online reactions grew, Adidas responded directly to those who are against the campaign.
“Maybe show the bras actually supporting the tits? This is not Page 3 hun,” commented a Twitter user, to which the brand responded, “We want to celebrate bodies in all their glory and proudly showcase how different we all are.”
Another echoed the sentiment of the Twitter user about showing the sports bra instead. “I get that but this is borderline soft porn smh.”
In response, Adidas said, “Breasts are natural part of the anatomy. It’s time to remove the stigma to allow future generations to flourish.”
It’s perfectly natural to have breasts. We are happy to celebrate that and won’t be taking this down so we can keep doing so.— adidas (@adidas) February 9, 2022
It’s important to normalize the human body and help inspire future generations to feel confident and unashamed.— adidas (@adidas) February 9, 2022
There are also others who are concerned that children who are on the social media platform may be exposed to the photo.
“Why did you have to do that? Kids go to your site. Also, that’s why there are age restrictions for games, TV series and movies. Honestly this is a bad reputation for your company. Disgraceful,” one tweeted.
“We want the future generations to feel body confident, which is why this gallery is so important to share,” the brand responded.
In a statement to CNN Business, Adidas said, “A sports bra is the single most important piece of workout apparel for those with breasts.”
It continued, “The confidence and support it gives can have a significant impact on someone’s performance and ability to stick with sport. That is why we have re-engineered our entire portfolio, catering to more bodies and workouts that ever before.”
According to the brand, the images posted on Twitter were “designed to show just how diverse breasts are, featuring different shapes and sizes that highlight why tailored support is paramount,” the statement read.