A Swedish model has suffered an onslaught of abuse after she bared her unshaven legs in an Adidas advertising campaign.
Arvida Bystrom took to Instagram to reveal the shocking abuse she had been subjected to, just for showing a bit of a hairy calf:
Me being such an abled, white, cis body with its only nonconforming feature being a little leg hair,
Literally I’ve been getting rape threats in my DM inbox.
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.
She gratefully added:
Also thanks for all the love got a lot of that too
My photo from the @adidasoriginals superstar campaign got a lot of nasty comments last week. Me being such an abled, white, cis body with its only nonconforming feature being a lil leg hair. Literally I've been getting rape threats in my DM inbox. 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 ? Also thanks for all the love ?got a lot of that too ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Arvida appeared in promotional shots for the Adidas Superstars campaign, speaking in a short clip where she spoke about the idea of ‘femininity’ while wearing a corseted dress with pink socks and trainers.
According to Adidas, the Adidas Superstars campaign features ‘icons of tomorrow’ who are ‘using their creativity to motivate a better tomorrow’.
In the video, Arvida says:
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.
You can watch the advertisement which has caused so much internet rage below:
Arvida could not have predicted the anger the seemingly harmless video stirred up in the YouTube comments section.
One person woefully lamented, ‘is this what some women have become?’ while another remarked, ‘it’s not a girl, it’s a monkey’.
26-year-old Arvida, who is also a photographer and a musician, often uses her Instagram account to post pictures where her body hair is clearly visible.
Adidas have described her as a person who ‘questions femininity and gender standards using so-called ‘girly’ aesthetics’.
Her posts often spark heated debate among fans. Some admire her empowering body conference, whereas some view her exposed armpit and leg hair as ‘unhygienic’.
Many of her supporters have taken to Twitter to show support for Arvida after she spoke out about the threats she’s received.
One fan tweeted, ‘Sorry you have to put up with the haters. For what it’s worth my opinion is be what you want to be, do what you want to do’.
Another said, ‘do what you want. Be who you want to be… don’t let the morons win … full & total support !’
Sorry you have to put up with the haters. For what it’s worth my opinion is be what you want to be, do what you want to do.
— GrumpyByName (@LessGrumpy) October 6, 2017
Just want to express my support to you for challenging norms. Sorry to hear about the abuse you got from losers. Keep it up!
— Eric D (@Emd279) October 6, 2017
Just goes to show how shallow people really are, so it’s alright for men to have hairy legs but not women? grow up! Love the trainers ?
— KIRSA KABOOM (@Pasky2k11) October 6, 2017
@arvidabystrom do what you want. Be who you want to be… don't let the morons win … full & total support !
— Gary Noble (@GaryNoble19) October 6, 2017
2) @arvidabystrom is beautiful. Not "beautiful except" or "beautiful despite". Beautiful. Full stop.
— Chris Simpson (@Thinkofthmayhem) October 6, 2017
However, some of this comments she has continued to receive about her hairy legs have been quite over-the-top to say the least.
Some even seem genuinely surprised at the idea of a fully grown woman having body hair in the first place.
One person dramatically insisted, ‘I want to vomit’ while another said ‘why ya’ll put a blonde wig on that yeti man?’
why ya’ll put a blonde wig on that yeti man?
— the boston massacre (@victoriousduruy) September 20, 2017
im tired of these vegan bitches who doesnt shave their leggs to be "different"
— lupu (@candyboiiayg) September 20, 2017
I want to vomit ?
— Klub Polo (@klub_polo) September 22, 2017
With nasty comments like these being directed towards a confident and very photogenic model, it’s no wonder so many impressionable teenage girls are suffering with poor body image.
Hopefully this negative experience won’t deter Arvida from staying true to her own style.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.