This Body-Positive Ad Featuring Naked Women Was Called 'Pornographic'

by Taylor Ortega

People are getting worked up into an angry tornado over a couple of butts.

An advertisement for LUSH cosmetics was removed from a store in Queensland, Australia.

The ad, which apparently ran online and in 28 stores in August and September, featured four of the company's employees standing naked with their backs to the camera.

A slogan above them read, “We prefer to GO NAKED like over 100 of our products.”

According to Daily Mail, some consumers found the ad offensive, with at least one critic calling it “pornographic.”

LUSH maintained its aim was to draw attention to the extravagant packaging used by other products in the industry while being inclusive of a variety of different body types in choosing the models.

The company's choice to promote healthy body images struck positive chords with many supporters but did not prevent the Advertising Standards Bureau from responding to a complaint that cited the ad as “pornographic in nature.”

The complaint read,

I am offended as this is nudity for the sake of causing a stir and is offensive and unnecessary. I was unable to shield my children from exposure to this advert as it was on a poster in the centre aisle of the shopping center.

Though the bureau reportedly admitted most would not view the ad as sexually deviant, it acknowledged the complaint and said,

The Board considered that the advertisement does not treat the issue of sex, sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant broad audience which would include children and determined that the advertisement did breach Section 2.4 of the Code.

Despite the bureau's call, Courtney-Joy Fry, a LUSH employee featured in the ad campaign, told BuzzFeed News positive responses to the ad exceeded criticisms.

Posted by Courtney-Joy Fry on Friday, August 28, 2015

A spokesperson for LUSH told the Daily Mail,

Some of our customers told us that after years of struggling with their own bodies, they were inspired to begin the healing process and challenge the negative self talk they hear each time they see an image of a photoshopped, idealized version of beauty they may not meet.

In response to those who responded negatively to the ad due to its lack of family-friendly content, LUSH insisted the photo may be more appropriate for children to see than many initially considered.

The spokesperson explained,

The majority of critical feedback that we received was from people who were concerned about the effect on children. While we absolutely respect everybody's right to parent as they see fit, we do feel that this is a wholesome image – what could be better for young children's self-image than to see a body positive depiction of un-retouched and diverse bodies?

For adults and young ones alike, a shocking image could very well lead to sparks of self-acceptance.

Citations: 'We prefer to go naked': Cosmetics company LUSH defends posters featuring four of their employees completely nude - despite complaints it is 'pornographic' (Daily Mail), This Body-Positive Ad For Lush Cosmetics Was Reported As “Pornography” (BuzzFeed)