Article by Pedestrian /
October 07, 2015 /
Click here to view original /
That shop that your Dad can’t stand because “it smells like hippie soap”, Lush Australia, recently decided to take the crown of ‘Queens/Kings of Total Badassery’. They now specialise in cosmetics, skin care, and GIVING ZERO FUCKS.
Earlier this year, the ethics-focussed company decided to bring attention to use of excess plastics/packaging, with a campaign titled ‘Go Naked’. The campaign featured four Australian employees of Lush, and their diverse, bare, totally un-Photoshopped posteriors. The ~gorge~ posters for the campaign were featured in the windows of every Lush store across the country:
One of the women featured, Courtney Fry (who is a Lush member from the Queen Victoria Building store in Sydney) spoke to P.TV, and said this about why she chose to ‘Go Naked’ for her employer:
“Before I worked for Lush, I worked for a big supermarket company who realistically treated their staff like numbers.
It’s just so refreshing to be a part of a family that spans so many countries, yet is still so grassroots in its initiatives, ethics, and actions.
I align a lot with Lush’s ethics – we consider ourselves a safe space where people can be themselves. Our staff is diverse in gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, etc and we truly are like a big family.
All of the people in the Naked shoot are Lush staff that gave consent and had the guts to apply to our head office team to get our clothes off to promote a good cause, and get people talking not only about what makes us feel our best when we’re naked, but also the importance of the issue of excess packaging and plastics and how much rubbish we put back into the earth.
I definitely feel like I am part of the change, not the cause of the damage.”
Unfortunately, many of us forget that there are still legitimately people like this in the world:
And so, the posters received some complaints. Not a huge amount, but enough to gain the attention of notorious fun-ruiners, the Aussie Advertising Standards Bureau. Someone referred to the posters as “pornographic” (I can’t see any sexual acts being performed, can you?), and another complained that her children had to look at it (*eyeroll*).
But despite having to remove the campaign from advertising spaces, Lush are standing firm on their support for the photos. Their whole jam seems to be along the lines of, ‘SORRY, NOT SORRY! Just because you’ve followed the institutionalised idea that non-sexual body parts are sexual, doesn’t mean they actually are! The problem is with your preconceived ideas of the human body, not with our poster, OKAY BYE!’. Because, just like the booties featured in their campaign, Lush Australia’s management is clearly made up of beautiful, illustrious bad-asses.
Lush’s director, Peta Granger, said to Smart Company that the Ad Standards Board’s ruling will “in no way” affect the company’s message and branding in the future:
“All of us who work for Lush were incredibly proud to stand by this campaign and we’ll continue to address excess packaging and promote body positivity with our staff, customers and the public in a similar way.”
“We received a handful of complaints internally, which is pretty tiny compared to the thousands of message of support, praise and ‘likes’ from parents, teachers and retailers – let alone the hundreds of thousands of people who walked past our 39 windows over the three-week campaign.”
Smart Company also spoke to Melbourne University gender and discrimination lecturer, Dr. Lauren Rosewarne, who, while supportive of the company’s message, did comment on the fact that, like it or not, there are tonnes of people out there who are not chill with nudity (sexual or otherwise) or unconditional body-acceptance:
“While personally I think the ad is great because it showcases diverse female bodies in a manner that resists sexualising them or making them passive, the very reason the image was selected is also the reason why the image is problematic with display in public space; it still manages to be a little shocking. We are not a culture in complete acceptance of nudity and thus advertisers need to err on the side of caution for fear of offending conservative audience members.”
“It is, however, worth wondering whether the same number of complaints would have been received had stereotypical ‘perfect’ bodies been used.”