Gillette is the latest company to support the body positive movement, and they're doing so in a big way. On April 3, the shaving brand shared a photo to their Twitter feed of model and blogger Anna O’Brien in a bikini. The tweet was captioned, “Go out there and slay the day,” and showed the model standing on the beach with a smile on her face.
But in typical internet fashion, there were plenty of negative comments in response. Online trolls criticized Gillette’s choice to feature O’Brien, writing comments about how they believed the company was promoting an “unhealthy” body type.
“Please stop. Promoting this is dangerous. Being unhealthy is not a good thing,” one user wrote.
A handful of other critical comments followed the tweet—but there were plenty of tweets in support of the company’s post.
“Crazy how so many of you in this thread are her doctor! She has a right to exist in her body at any goddamn stage and she shouldn’t have to hide it until you’re comfortable with it. Unbelievable the level of cruelty in this thread,” a Twitter user wrote. Another wrote supported the post, noting that health and worth don't go hand in hand.
Eventually, Gillette stepped in and responded to the comments on the site. “Venus is committed to representing beautiful women of all shapes, sizes, and skin types because ALL types of beautiful skin deserve to be shown,” the razor brand said in a tweet. “We love Anna because she lives out loud and loves her skin no matter how the ‘rules’ say she should display it.”
Their inclusive response racked up over 8,000 likes and 500 retweets. In a statement given to TODAY Style, Gillette further responded to the controversy, noting that the post was created to help represent women of all shapes and sizes.
"Anna O'Brien is a body positive advocate and influencer and has an inspiring platform of self-love," said My Anh Nghiem, a spokesperson for Gillette's parent company, Procter & Gamble. "She is not a paid partner of Venus nor was the image created at the brand’s request. We simply asked to share this photo of her as part of our efforts to represent more women and their stories on our platform."
O'Brien has not yet commented on the controversy, but she did share a cryptic Instagram photo a few days after the original photo was posted. "So much has happened in the last 5 days,” she in her caption. “The only thing I have to say is, I’m ok.”