Female swimsuit model crotch convex, chest hair… Adidas pictorial ‘Balkak’

Global sports brand Adidas is facing a backlash after appointing a man as a female swimsuit model.

According to foreign media such as the Daily Mail and the New York Post on the 18th (local time), Adidas is presumed to be male in the ‘Pride 2023’ collection, which was newly introduced on the 15th ahead of June, ‘LGBT Rights Month (Pride Month)’. A pictorial of this woman wearing a swimsuit was released.

The swimsuit pictorial in question appeared in the ‘Pride Swimsuit’ model cut, priced at $70 (approximately 93,000 won), classified as a women’s 스포츠토토product category. The model wearing the product had a bulging crotch. Also, hair was visible on the enlarged chest area.

The media said that it was not known whether the model was male or transgender, but the model also appeared in men’s sportswear in the men’s clothing category.

Adidas described the collection as a collaboration with South African designer Richie Mnissi and described it as “a celebration of the unwavering belief that self-expression, imagination and love unite.”

In the video of a model wearing a female swimsuit, a zoomed-in shot of her bare chest also appeared. (Adidas official website)

The pictorial spread on social media such as Twitter and was criticized by netizens around the world as ‘wokeism’ ( pretending to be awake). One netizen pointed out, “Don’t market it as a female swimsuit, but rather create and sell it in an LGBTQ category.” In addition, some netizens launched a boycott campaign with the hashtag ‘# BoycottAdidas ‘.

Riley Gaines, a former swimmer and women’s rights activist, also protested, saying, “Women’s swimsuits don’t have convex decorations. I don’t understand why companies would voluntarily do this. They could have just said ‘unisex’.”

Politicians have also expressed their open disapproval. “I remember when women, not men, modeled swimsuits,” said Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mays. “What’s clear here is that trans women are not women.” Are we telling them to marginalize women, who are half of the population, and market to transgender people, who are less than 1%?”

Meanwhile, Adidas and designer Rich Manish did not respond to media requests for interviews about the controversy.

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