Posted on 16 October 2015 by Rachel


16 October 2015

The latest campaign 'Go Naked' from the natural cosmetic company LUSH has stirred up some controversy in the Australian news recently. The body positive advertising campaign has been reported for being "pornographic."

If this was on your local high street, what would your thoughts be? Get in touch! 

The 'Go Naked' campaign shows female naked employees - of a variety of body shapes and sizes - with a banner that reads "We prefer to go naked. Like over 100 of our products." 

There has been a number of offical complaints about this campaign to the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB), however, the ABS has ruled that the images were in fact not sexual in nature. 

According to the Huffington Post, LUSH Spokeswoman Kanya Nanayakkara said that the aim of the 'Go Naked' campaign was to provide a "broad image of beauty" that reflects the company's staff and customers. 

She goes on to state "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." 

The image has been taken down from the Australian stores but is still accessible on the LUSH website and their channels of social media. I wonder how our society would react to this advertisement? 

This campaign provokes many questions around a whole heap of topics, such as
- Pornography
- Self-esteem
- Values
- Body image
- Fashion and much more! 

We love a good debate at Romance Academy and already there has been so many discussons and questions being bounced around the office with our own reactions to this campaign, let alone how we promote positive body image to young people. 

Leyah Shanks, a body image campaigner, states "How sad it is that we are so not used to seeing real, un-retouched bodies in advertising that we actually find them offensive?" 

At Romance Academy we want to make it crystal clear that we do not advocate for people getting naked and having their photos taken, even if it is for a natural cosmetic company. However, we do advocate strongly for positive body image and self-esteem. Hoorah! 

We want to help young people recognise that our bodies are functional and not mere ornaments to be looked upon. As LUSH has already pointed out, so much of advertising does not reflect the average body size. Media is normalising an unhealthy perception of what our functional bodies should look like and this is simply not the message we want young people (children and adults) to hear and believe is 'normal'. 

We already know that the media are being challenged by this concept of 'normal' size. For example the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. However, this is still an issue we need to challenge and face up too. 

We want to emphasize the importance of character, and not simply the physical elements of what we look like in the mirror. We believe we should place more value in skill and character than we do in looks. 

"So where's the middle ground?" we hear you ask. . . 

Romance Academy believes it is right to affirm when our child or young person takes pride in how they look as this can be a sign of healthy self-esteem. Being hygenic, regularly exercising and eating a balanced diet are all apart of a healthy lifestyle which we want young people to hear is positive. 

Our culture puts the way we look at such a high price; so many assumptions are made simply based on our outward apperance. For example, turning up to an interview in dirty clothes - that says something to the future employers that may not work in our favor. We make assumptions all the time but as parents and people who want to have a positive impact on teens, we don't want to give value to others purely on how they look. 

This month - Ask your young people:

What is their reaction to the 'Go Naked' campaign?

How do they feel about seeing a nonphotoshopped women?

What do they think about placing values on others based on their physical apperance? 

Tags: body image, pornography, self-esteem,

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