A few days ago I was on instagram scrolling my feed like I do every time I’m bored (ok – I’m addicted) when several pictures posted by innovative underwear company Dear Kate caught my attention.
Dear Kate is a feminist company famous for it’s anti-leak patent technology. In the stream of DK selfies on my feed I noticed a pattern; the women were all posed in their underwear with the hashtag #NotControversial.
It had me curious- what was (or wasn’t?) controversial about the underwear?
It turns out this article posted on TIME’s website considered the advertising for the new line of underwear ‘controversial’. How so? The new line – aptly called Ada, after Ada Lovelace – is modelled by women leaders in the field of technology. Critics of the campaign claimed it was ‘degrading’ to women in the technology industry who already have a hard time battling sexism in the workplace.
Actually, I really like this paragraph from the TIME article and funnily enough, it sums up exactly how I feel:
“But employers, investors and even coworkers who can now Google these women and see them in their underwear may not agree that the campaign is empowering. When I asked [Adda] Birnir (Founder of Skillcrush and model in the campaign) if she thought that posing in underwear would undermine a woman’s chances to get funding or get hired, she said:
“I don’t understand why that would have any impact on the decision-making process.”
“I don’t know,” she added. “If this makes a sexist investor that much more sexist, I don’t care.”
Let me just type that out again
“If this makes a sexist investor that much more sexist, I don’t care.”
♀Can women not be gorgeous and empowered underneath their clothes?
♀Are we still at that stage where women cannot be confident, intelligent and pose in underwear?
♀Why would you want to work for someone who thinks less of you because you modelled amazing new technology in an empowering advert?
And while Dear Kate underwear is certainly cute, it’s not Victoria’s Secret. We’re not talking lacy g-strings and other forms of underwear designed for a male’s view: the aesthetics comes second to the clever anti-leak technology. Dear Kate is definitely ‘form follows function’. And it’s definitely done well.
I had to share this fabulous comment from Divyaa Veerama, who commented on this Huffington Post article:
This ad doesn’t do anything to objectify the women, I mean, they’re in their underwear, so what? The female body isn’t a sexual object by default, only if it is viewed as sexual. The women aren’t posing in a particularly erotic manner, they’re just doing regular things so why should it be sexual at all?
If you’re in a STEM industry and can’t appreciate new, innovative technology helping females adapt and have more control over their biological cycles and natural functions then you’ve missed the point. And if you have a problem with leaders in the field promoting the underwear then you’ve missed the whole point. And if you wouldn’t hire someone – even though they’ve got the required skills and experience – because they’ve modeled underwear in an empowering campaign then you’re simply a sexist a-hole.
Would love to know your thoughts- what do you think about the campaign?