Another day, another bit of diversity squashing behaviour from society for you guys. Today, it comes from Facebook who have apparently banned an advert from lingerie company Curvy Kate's #TheNewSexy Campaign, which was designed to promote the firm's new "Scantilly" underwear range.
The idea behind the campaign was that they would celebrate diversity by dismissing professional models for eight unique and 'inspirational' women to showcase their line instead. Among them was a transgender woman, a recovered anorexic, an amputee and an alopecia sufferer.
A wonderful idea by anyone's standards.... anyone except Facebook anyway, who have issued the company with a notice telling them that this advert was violating their advertising policies. They said that "we don't allow ads that promote sexual acts, sexual videos and publications, strip clubs or adult shows. Ads like these are sensitive in nature and typically evoke a negative reaction from viewers."
Hmmm. I don't see any naked women there. Nor do I see smut. Or anything that a normal person would feel the need to react negatively to. But then again.... when was the last time you saw a collection of normal people on social media? You know, people who are nice for no other reason other than the fact they just feel like it? Facebook clearly don't remember, hence the ban, to quote the Kaiser Chiefs, they predict a riot.
Anyway, Curvy Kate aren't taking this lying down, thankfully, and their head of PR and Marketing Hannah Isischei raised some interesting points when talking about it to Yahoo. She said:
"Across Facebook you can see lingerie images, swimwear images and other smaller cupped 'sexy' lingerie brands seem to be able to advertise - but the Scantilly images did not pass Facebook's rules and regulations as they are thought to 'provoke negative comments' and advertise sexual activity. We were baffled by this, as were our fans. Everyone who is active on Facebook has seen pages taht should be banned, such as those featuring violence, racism or sexism but yet eight women spreading a powerful message has been deemed as 'negative.'
We need Facebook to support this drive for diversity, not create another barrier, stopping these images being filtered down to the public. As such a powerful resource of information, socialising and news - Facebook should be encouraging a message of positive body image so that their wide and diverse range of followers may start seeing someone they relate to."
Here here Hannah. Or is it 'hear hear'? I never know. Whatever, that's by the by. (or buy the buy? - joking, I know that one.)
I'm really disappointed to see this behaviour from Facebook, particularly as it comes on the back of them doing a similar thing earlier in the year with plus size model Tess Holliday, when they banned a photo of her in a swimsuit, for no good reason at all.
I don't want to go and alienate a whole load of you now by admitting that I am a huge supporter of Page 3 and I don't really want to get into it here and now, but the reason I think campaigns like this are so important, are for the same reason that I support Page 3 so much.
We ALL see nudity to some degree everywhere. Calvin Klein and Anne Summers have, as Hannah pointed out, both had adverts approved lately of women in underwear that I have seen on my Facebook page in the last couple of days and Kylie Jenner has been in the Daily Mail every day this week showing off her nipple rings (under the pretence of supporting the Free The Nipple Campaign I think).
So if we are going to see nudity, why does it exclusively have to be the type that society has chosen for us? What an editor thinks, or someone sitting at a desk somewhere in the deep dark corners of Facebook HQ adhering to guidelines that some dickhead came up with because they thought that was what the world wanted?
People come in all shapes and sizes, and to that end, so should adverts. It's simply not good enough to continually show us the ideal, we need to see the reality, and we need to see it now. Facebook, please AND THANK YOU, will you sort your shit out. Asap. Ta.