Gillette Sparks Outrage With Image of Plus-Sized Model in Bikini

Razor company Gillette sparked backlash this month after publishing an image of plus-size lifestyle blogger Anna O'Brien wearing a bikini on its @GilletteVenus Twitter account.

The photo sees O'Brien standing ankle-deep in the ocean as waves crash around her, wearing a bikini and throwing her hands into two peace signs.

"Go out there and slay the day," the account captioned the snap.

The tweet immediately received criticism, with many accusing Gillette of glamorizing an unhealthy lifestyle and a debate over O'Brien's health brewing in the comments section.

"I have several loved ones that are obese," one Twitter user responded. "I'm all for making [people] feel comfortable in their skin, but let's not glamorize obesity, please. It is NOT healthy. Supportive is fine. Encouragement is cruel."

"I just think it's irresponsible to show obesity in this context," wrote another. "This woman will die of heart disease before [POTUS] completes his second term. I hope she's just as happy and carefree for her last 6 years if life. Everybody should live themselves, but lets not call it healthy."

"There's no reason to be rude or unkind to someone who is obese and there is no reason @GilletteVenus should be encouraging life threatening obesity," a third message read. "This would also be true if they used an anorexic model. I wish the model they used well but Gillette should know better."

The image also caused people to defend O'Brien, with one commenter tweeting, "Crazy how so many of you in this thread are her doctor! She has a right to exist in her body at any goddamn stage and she shouldn't have to hide it until you're comfortable with it. Unbelievable the level of cruelty in this thread."

Gillette defended the image in a tweet shared on April 4.

"Venus is committed to representing beautiful women of all shapes, sizes, and skin types because ALL types of beautiful skin deserve to be shown," the tweet read. "We love Anna because she lives out loud and loves her skin no matter how the "rules" say she should display it."

The brand further clarified its intentions in sharing the photo of O'Brien in a statement to the Today show explaining that they simply wanted to highlight all types of women.


"Anna O'Brien is a body positive advocate and influencer and has an inspiring platform of self-love," said My Anh Nghiem, a spokesperson for Gillette's parent company, Procter & Gamble. "She is not a paid partner of Venus nor was the image created at the brand's request. We simply asked to share this photo of her as part of our efforts to represent more women and their stories on our platform."

Photo Credit: Twitter / @GilletteVenus