Company Faces MASSIVE Boycott After Using Non-Binary, Bearded Bikini Model

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Australians are expressing strong disapproval towards Bonds, the underwear company, following their recent marketing campaign featuring a bearded, non-binary individual modeling a bikini. The brand, renowned for its iconic Australian presence, stirred controversy by employing two non-binary models, who prefer the pronouns ‘they/them,’ to promote their $18.99 ‘Retro Rib™ Seamless Tonal Hi Bikini’ as part of their Pride 2024 collection.

This move, intended to align with a Pride campaign celebrating diversity, included transgender models, drag queens, and individuals identifying as gay, bisexual, and pansexual. However, the portrayal of ‘Mikey,’ one of the models, who stands at 1.99m tall, sporting a beard and a visible bulge beneath the bikini bottoms, sparked outrage among some customers, leading to calls for a boycott of the brand.

Social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram were flooded with critical comments, with users expressing their disappointment and vowing never to purchase from Bonds again. Negative reviews inundated the product listing, with customers citing discomfort and feeling alienated by the choice of model.

Some critics argued that featuring a man in women’s clothing was inappropriate and off-putting, further fueling the backlash against Bonds. The controversy escalated as customers likened the situation to previous incidents involving other brands like Rip Curl and Bud Light, which faced similar backlash for using male-bodied transgender individuals to model women’s clothing.

Rip Curl, in a recent incident, featured transgender woman Sasha Lowerson in a promotion for women’s surfing, which led to consumer backlash and the subsequent deletion of the post with an apology from the brand. Similarly, Bud Light faced criticism for their marketing choices involving transgender individuals.

Despite the backlash, there were voices of support for Bonds, commending the brand for embracing diversity and inclusivity. Supporters emphasized the importance of representation and acceptance in advertising campaigns, urging others to recognize the value of diversity.

However, the controversy surrounding Bonds is not entirely new. In the past, the company faced criticism for its marketing decisions, including the employment of controversial transgender activist Deni Todorovic to model its ‘Proud to Be Me’ collection for World Pride. Todorovic’s involvement with the brand ended amidst allegations of inappropriate behavior, including sending threatening emails to Bonds staff.

Bonds’ response to the recent controversy was to assert their commitment to inclusivity while also warning against inappropriate comments on their social media platforms. Despite the divisive reactions, the brand remains steadfast in its pursuit of diversity in advertising.

In conclusion, Bonds’ decision to feature a bearded, non-binary individual in their bikini campaign has sparked a significant backlash, with some customers calling for a boycott of the brand. While the move was intended to celebrate diversity and inclusion, it has highlighted the ongoing debate surrounding representation in advertising and the complexities of navigating social issues in marketing campaigns.


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