If you’ve been scrolling through social media, you might have seen something slightly unusual pop up on Adidas’ Twitter feed. Amongst the motivational posts and tweets selling trainers, the brand’s latest advert shows a grid of various different types of breasts.
“We believe women’s breasts in all shapes and sizes deserve support and comfort,” writes the caption. “Which is why our new sports bra range contains 43 styles, so everyone can find the right fit for them.”
It’s not only on social media – Adidas has also put billboards up for the whole world to see. It’s a bold move, particularly considering how boobs still remain relatively taboo in society.
Just think – Adidas wouldn’t have been able to post the ad on its Instagram page, where female-presenting nipples are banned (but, inexplicably, male nipples seem to be OK).
And the Twitter comments show just how controversial bare breasts are still for some people. One commenter claimed an image like this “can corrupt someone”, someone else called it “unprofessional”, and another wrote: “I will never buy another product after this.”
The question is: why? It’s by no means an overtly sexual post – it’s just showing boobs as they are, and openly celebrating their differences. Women’s breasts have this strange taboo around them – when not only are the life-giving (thanks, breastfeeding), but most women will tell you how remarkably mundane they are. After all, boobs are just bits of tissue on your chest – hardly anything to stir up so much fuss.
You could see it as yet another way for the patriarchal society to police women’s bodies – the message is that our breasts are something almost to be ashamed of, so we should cover them up at all times. But when men can freely go to the beach topless – what really is the difference, anyway?
We’re not saying you should take your top off next time you’re walking around a shopping center – society isn’t quite ready for that, plus it would probably get quite chilly. We just think there should be less fuss around women’s boobs either way. One look at ancient art and sculptures will show you bare breasts were once the norm – you could say Adidas is basically just producing the modern version of that.
While Adidas has received a lot of flack for their choice of imagery, there are also plenty of voices of approval. One tweet calls it “amazing”, saying: “It’s a good reminder that those beauty standards set those days are just trash and every body is perfectly imperfect!”
Because boobs are so hidden, they’re not often celebrated in all their different shapes and sizes. Breasts aren’t all perfectly symmetrical, matching and perky – and Adidas has showcased unique, wonky and completely different boobs in a brilliant way.
Sure, some people might say it’s a strange way to advertise sports bras – with not a bra in sight – but one thing Adidas has certainly done is caught our attention, and hopefully made some people reconsider how they think about boobs. Because what really is the fuss all about?