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‘Disgusting’: Swedish model gets rape threats for ad featuring unshaven legs

Arvida Byström, 26, wrote in an Instagram post on September 25 that she received “nasty comments” and rape threats after the Adidas ad.

world Updated: Oct 07, 2017 16:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Swedish model,Rape threats,Unshaved legs
Arvida Byström in the Adidas ad. (Video screengrab)

A Swedish model said she received rape threats on social media for an ad in which her legs were unshaven.

Arvida Byström, 26, wrote in an Instagram post on September 25 that she received “nasty comments” and rape threats after an Adidas ad featuring her was released.

“Literally I’ve been getting rape threats in my DM inbox. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to not posses all these privileges and try to exist in the world,” she wrote in a post liked by over 21,000 Instagram users.

Byström, who is also a photographer and an artist, says in the ad that has been viewed more than 5 lakh times on YouTube: “I think femininity is created by our culture. I feel like everyone can do feminine things, be feminine.”

Some users abused the Swedish model and said the ad was “disgusting”, calling Byström a “hairy woman” and “feminist scum”.

However, many users stepped up to defend the model’s choice and said it is a woman’s body and her right alone to decide how she wants to look. Others said it was natural for women to have body hair and they shouldn’t have to conform to societal standards of grooming.

“This is what a woman looks like in her natural state. Societal standards have warped what is conceived as normal for a while now,” said a user Andy D.

Adidas said in a statement it is “honoured to work with creators like Arvida for their creativity, diversity and unique ideas”, adding that it wants to provide “a platform for positivity, discussion and change”, the BBC reported.

Byström regularly posts photos challenging the accepted notions of body image. She and artist Molly Soda had collaborated on a book ‘Pics or It Didn’t Happen’ which featured bodies of 270 women. The book was taken down on Instagram for violating its community rules, The Guardian said. Byström was also a part of Vice series in 2012 -- called ‘There will be Blood’ -- that photographed women during their menstrual cycles.

First Published: Oct 07, 2017 13:26 IST