Arvida Bystrom a Swedish model receives is trolled online after appearing in an Adidas campaign with hairy legs. Pushing the boundaries of femininity and cultural identity.
In a posting on Instagram, the model/photographer said she’d received a torrent of abuse after the campaign was released in which she reveals her hairy calves underneath a pair of pink ankle socks.
‘Me being such an abled, white, cis body with its only nonconforming feature being a little leg hair,’ posted Bystrom. ‘Literally I’ve been getting rape threats in my DM inbox.
Adding, ‘I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to not posses all these privileges and try to exist in the world. Sending love and try to remember that not everybody has the same experiences being a person.’
In a video posted to YouTube Arvida tells viewers: ‘Femininity is usually created from our culture, I think everyone can do feminine things, can be feminine and I think in today’s society we’re very scared of that.’
That said, the model continued to receive a slew of derogatory comments, including being called a ‘disgusting monkey’.
Another commenter said the woman would never get a boyfriend.
Arvida Bystrom lending her name to Adidas’ aspiration to be a cultural provocateur:
That said, Arvida confesses to being no stranger to online abuse, regularly receiving negative comments on Instagram where she often posts photos that reveal her armpit hair and is told she should shave.
‘That’s the most disgusting lady I’ve ever seen in my whole life,’ one commenter wrote.
However, Arvida is not short of support from followers who have praised her for challenging the impossible standards women are supposed to uphold and showing that body hair is natural.
Wrote one individual, ‘I love it!! Why should women have to change how they look genetically if they don’t want to, just to please others.’
Wrote another supporter, ‘It is something absurd to say in 2017 but she is so brave to show natural legs, you go girl!’
While another commenter wrote: ‘Thank you Adidas for showing a woman how she really is and what femininity really implies.’
Adidas who one suspects are riding the torrent of critique to the bank (aka publicity stunt) have since said Byström is ‘an artist, photographer, model and cyber sensation, known for her photography, which questions femininity and gender standards using so-called ‘girly’ aesthetics’. Indeed.