LIFESTYLE

Sanitary Towel Advert Manages To 'Fat-Shame' And 'Period-Shame' Women In One Fell Swoop

21/08/2015 12:34 BST | Updated 21/08/2015 12:59 BST

An advert for Sofy BeFresh sanitary towels has managed to offend plenty of women by simultaneously "period-shaming" and "fat-shaming" them. Nice work, guys.

The sanitary towel advert features a woman who comes face to face with her menstruating alter ego, who happens to be a larger and angrier version of herself.

The advert, named "Ugh Moments", essentially labels the larger, make-up free, pizza-devouring alter ego as undesirable, by negatively denoting that she is, well, "ugh".

It also manages to play off the common (and quite frankly, boring) stereotype that women on their periods are angry and irrational.

period advert

While some people found the advert hilarious...

Others have branded it "disgusting" and are even calling for the advertising agency behind the commercial to be fired.

Mags Sikora, co-founder of PeriodBox, tells HuffPost UK Lifestyle that she believes the advert is only helping to reinforce the idea of "fat stigma" in society.

"Showing a curvy woman as less attractive to her counterpart proves that so-called 'fat stigma' is very much present and widely spread across the globe.

"Yes, women gain weight and some of us experience mood swings two weeks before our period begins - which is thought to be connected to the rise and fall of hormones throughout the menstrual cycle - but this advert went in the wrong direction.

"It's not surprising people aren't happy about it!"

She adds: "We hear very often that obese individuals (especially women) are highly stigmatised and face multiple forms of prejudice and discrimination because of their weight. The most worrying thing is that this type of behaviour is already seen at schools - being 'fat' is one of the most common reason children are bullied.

"This type of advertising definitely doesn’t help to change that."

But she also notes that it's difficult to find the right balance when it comes to creating an advert for something that is still "unfortunately" a taboo subject.

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Sikora isn't the only one who disapproves of the ad. Rivkie Baum, editor of SLiNK magazine says it's "ridiculous" that it was ever signed off.

"It seems strange in 2015 that an advert like this is even put in motion. Once again we see some very clear and ridiculous stereotypes being driven and it's sad that these come from a company aimed at women.

"The fact they have chosen to body-shame their target consumer at, let's face it, a time of month when most of us don't feel awesome, suggests that they're massively out of touch."

In response to a complaint from a consumer, the sanitary towel company wrote: "The SOFY BeFresh television commercial was extensively researched with Australian females before launching and we certainly do review all feedback from the research to ensure that the key message and terminology are appropriate for the market."

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