Adidas model receives rape and death threats for showing off her hairy legs in advert
All women know the unique horror of having to shave their legs. I mean, despite being a nuisance, razors are expensive and frequently cut your legs, making your shower resemble that infamous scene from Psycho rather than a bathroom.
As such, many girls are choosing to forgo shaving their legs because, you know, it's 2017 and women's bodies shouldn't be policed by societal expectations. Certainly, female body hair continues to be censored in popular culture. One only needs to watch one of the many adverts made to sell razors, depilatory cream and wax strips to realise that society largely believes that female body hair is too explicit for mass consumption.
And this point has only been proven time and time again. Recently a Swedish model has spoken out about how she was subjected to death and rape threats after posing for an Adidas campaign with unshaven legs.
26-year-old, model and photographer, Arvida Bystrom took to Instagram to reveal the backlash that she had received following her Adidas campaign, which features her wearing some Adidas trainers, pink socks and the "offensive" calf hair:
"Me being such an abled, white, cis body with its only nonconforming feature being a little leg hair. Literally I've been getting rape threats in my DM inbox," she wrote. "I can't even begin to imagine what it's like to not posses all these privileges and try to exist in the world. Sending love and try to remember that not everybody has the same experiences being a person."
Arvida's commitment to body positivity has made her no stranger to online abuse. She often posts pictures featuring armpit and leg hair on her Instagram account, and they tend to receive comments such as, "That's the most disgusting lady I've ever seen in my whole life" and "Go girl (good luck getting a boyfriend though)".
However, she has also amassed a legion of followers who praise her for normalising female body hair. One fan commented saying, "I'm so genuinely happy that you're more successful then the people that hate on you" while another corroborated, "It's amusing how offended people are about some' body hair. Adults grow hair. Women are not just here for your visual and sexual use. They're people and can do what they want".
Adidas recently released a statement in which they professed their allegiance to artists like Arvida. Saying that they are "honoured to work with creators like Arvida for their creativity, diversity and unique ideas," they went on to describe the 26-year-old as an "artist, photographer, model and cyber sensation, known for her photography, which questions femininity and gender standards using so-called ‘girly’ aesthetics”.
They added that they want to provide their collaborators with "a platform for positivity, discussion and change".
Arvida recently released a book with fellow artist Molly Soda, entitled Pics or It Didn't Happen. The book features 270 photos of women in various poses that challenge and subvert societal and cultural norms. However, the images were quickly removed from Instagram for allegedly breaking their community rules.