Lush's Body Positive, Un-Retouched Advert Featuring 'Real' Women Reported For Being 'Pornographic'

Is This Body Positive Advert By Lush 'Pornographic'?

A new body positive advertising campaign from Lush Australia and New Zealand has been reported for being "pornographic".

Lush's 'Naked' campaign represents the company's use of as little packaging as possible, while promoting body positivity to its customers.

The campaign features an advert showing naked women - all of varying body shapes and sizes - facing away from the camera with their arms around one another. Some of the women featured are Lush staff.

The aim is to showcase "real, beautiful, un-photo shopped, unaltered women".

The advert in question

Some people have complained to the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) in Australia because they believe the campaign is sexualised.

The ASB has received complaints saying that the image is "pornographic in nature" and that it "shows naked woman touching other naked women and it is shown in a public place".

There were also concerns because the adverts were "placed at a child's eye level in a shopping centre".

Lush spokeswoman Kanya Nanayakkara said that the aim of the campaign was to provide a "broad image of beauty" that reflected the company's staff and customers.

"Some of our customers told us that after years of hating 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, idealised version of beauty they may not meet," added Nanayakkara.

In the wake of the complaints, the ASB has ruled that the images were not sexual in nature.

They did however add: "The full body images and the fact that there are four women rather than an individual meant that the overall impact was increased and was confronting."

The posters have since been removed from stores, but the images remain on the Lush website and across their social media channels.

Body image campaigner Leyah Shanks believes that if the images had featured models who had been photoshopped "beyond recognition" - like in some fashion advertising campaigns - there wouldn't have been complaints.

"Had this been an advert for a fashion house comprising of models with stereotypically beautiful bodies, which have been Photoshopped beyond all recognition, this would probably not have been deemed 'pornographic'," says Shanks.

"How sad is it that we are so not used to seeing real, un-retouched bodies in advertising that we actually find them offensive?

"This is definitely not an idea that I want continued in the minds of the next generation."