Remember this ad?
Unfortunately, lots of people do.
The ad for Protein World — featuring a slim, bikini-clad model in a heavily edited photo — was plastered across billboards and entire subway cars in New York City and London in 2015. Its message was embarrassingly clear: If you’re body doesn’t look like this one, you don’t have a beach body — but buy our weight loss products and maybe you will! *rolls eyes forever*
The ad was blasted by commuters and advocacy groups alike.
It even ended up being banned in the U.K. for actual false advertising; as it turns out, Protein World’s weight loss products didn’t quite live up to the brand’s claims.
Three years later, the infamous ad haunts many of us who had to see it every day on our morning commutes. But a different brand is now taking advantage of the marketing blunder to promote a dramatically different message.
A plus-size fashion brand in Europe has given the ad a 2018 makeover.
“Me and two of my colleagues were just sitting around one day and were like, ‘Remember that ad?'” Bethany Rutter, who works in social media and marketing for the brand Navabi, told Today Style. “It’s something that really stayed with people. It was a really troubling example of something that happens all the time, but it’s the most explicit version of it that people had seen.”
Rutter’s team decided to flip the alarming example on its head.
The fashion line’s new ad, which was carted around on wheels throughout London on May 3, mimics Protein World’s bright yellow and black and white aesthetics. But it comes with a much more empowering message: “We’re beach body ready.”
The three women on Navabi’s ad weren’t professional models either. Rutter rocked the swimwear alongside Lauren Tallulah Smeets, a fashion brand manager, and blogger Stephanie Yeboah.
“Me, Lauren and [Rutter] did a thing recently,” Yeboah tweeted excitedly. “LOOK AT OUR FAT BAADIES ALL UP ANS THROUGH [LONDON].”
Lookin’ fab, ladies.
Unlike reactions to Protein World’s 2015 campaign, people are loving Navabi’s take on what constitutes a “beach body.”
“I love this,” one commenter wrote. “Makes me feel so much less anxious about my own ‘flaws.'”
“You all look incredible!” another person said. “I absolutely love this shot. The exuberance, the joy, the beauty.”
“I get so stressed about wearing a bikini but yes,” someone chimed in, “we are all beach body ready!”
Damn straight. Have a body? Heading to the beach? Then congratulations: Your body is ready for the beach.