To all who missed out on all the drama from this morning, get ready to hear all the gossip. I had a pretty normal start to my day, tweeting "Good morning feminist world!" and replying to messages and emails. Then one of Neon Moon's supporters (shoutout to @standbythebody) tweeted me to let me know that a facebook page called Project Harpoon had uploaded a picture of our feminist underwear model, and not only that, PHOTOSHOPPED her to make her thinner.
As you can imagine this shocked me and shocked everyone who has seen it since. Their whole Facebook page is devoted to photoshopping women thinner in a means to fat shame. This is literally everything Neon Moon is against. I do not tolerate any body-shaming, retouching, or online bullying. This was also so serious to me on a personal level, as it really could have tarnished Neon Moon as a start-up feminist underwear brand that promotes body positivity and self-love. So with the help of everyone via Twitter and Facebook rallying together, we reported their page to Facebook and spread the word for others to do the same!
Neon Moon is an unapologetic feminist underwear and British lingerie brand. We don’t believe in airbrushing out the stretchmarks, wrinkles, spots and the lumps and bumps that make women and LGBTQIA+ beautiful and more importantly, unique. Neon Moon has never believed in uniform perfection and never will.
Paulina making our tactac! bamboo soft-cup bra look FIERCE!
This is why it is so disappointing to see one of our beautiful feminist underwear models, in our comfortable underwear, airbrushed into the “acceptable” mainstream, airbrushed into a cardboard cut out, airbrushed into a visual cliché not of her natural form or own making but by someone who believes who she is, is simply not good enough. With a few clicks of a button, they transformed her into the very narrow standard of 'beauty' Neon Moon has always avoided. Someone who believes that if only she lost some weight, had the classic model cheekbones or whatever, she would “be hot” or "f*ckable" as the comments below the picture disgustingly stated. By Project Harpoon (what a disgusting, trash name), asking Facebook users to compare and contrast these two images they are reinforcing that women are objects to be judged, purely on their looks. They are reinforcing the notion that women’s bodies are pieces of meat to be carved up for sexual consumption and entertainment. One comment lets us know which version is way more attractive, while another helpfully lets the world all know ‘I'd savagely ravage these female mammals”. Lucky Paulina right?
Since initially putting the word out for everyone to report their Facebook page, Facebook directly removed our picture and photoshopped version from their page on the grounds of infringement of our intellectual property. It is great news that they deleted our picture, but it's a shame that they wouldn't do the same on the grounds of hate speech or body-shaming. Like, what's that about?! It's unnerving to think that the largest social media platform condones this kind of behaviour, and doesn't even remotely consider it as hate speech.
Thankfully, we know our model to be a strong, talented and confident woman. She is comfortable in her own skin and will not be losing any sleep over this attack on her being. Our comfortable bras and comfortable briefs also help to reaffirm that she is beautiful - she is good enough. However, there are teenage girls, women, transgender women and others out there who are still struggling with body image. Social media is extremely powerful amongst teens and young adults. What message does this give to them? Lose weight and more men will find you attractive? Lose weight and you will get social approval and Facebook likes? This is highly damaging and the exact opposite of what Neon Moon stands for. This is why I created Neon Moon to be so different as a feminist underwear brand that stands up against disgusting body-shaming actions just like this!
Neon Moon models don't need to be photoshopped, and neither do you.
That’s why we are asking everybody to share a picture of yourself on Twitter and Facebook with why you love your body JUST THE WAY IT IS using the hashtag #moonbodylove. The fashion industry as a whole, and lingerie brands in particular, need to stop peddling the same old images of “perfection” solely for the male gaze. Everyone is beautiful to someone, somewhere. There is no such thing as 'perfection' or the 'right way to look'. You are good enough. Neon Moon hopes to be at the forefront of the fight back and will be practicing aggressive self love for as long as there is breath in our bodies.
P.S. This blog post is dedicated to our feminist underwear model Paulina and all the people who have been body/fat shamed. We are proud of you, just as you are!
UPDATE: After the overwhelming support for Paulina and Neon Moon's response to how Project Harpoon had photoshopped her, I called her up to find out how she has reacted to the viral whirlwind! And she has this to say:
“My initial reaction was to laugh! The fact Project Harpoon had called me a "depressed chub" couldn't be further from the truth. My secondary reaction was then how horrible they really are. The fact they're photoshopping women with demeaning captions only spreads bad messages to both girls and women across the globe. It is really important that girls and women value themselves for what's inside, and not just focus on their outward appearance. Everyone's beautiful regardless of their shape and size.
The support I have personally received from all over the world has been truly moving and outstanding. I really want to thank Neon Moon for not only getting my picture removed from Project Harpoon’s Facebook page, but for Hayat’s support whilst this has gone viral. I really want people out there to understand that the notion of ‘perfection’ has been imposed by the media, and it is not real. I am healthy and happy, and very confident with the way I look. It is ridiculous to shame me on the grounds of poor health or unhappiness, as they are both lies. I am perfect the way I am and so is everyone else!” - Paulina
Let us know your thoughts below! Do you agree with Project Harpoon's actions towards our feminist underwear model?