In the ad by Frida Mom — which sells products for babies and moms, including postpartum feminine hygiene products — a new mom is woken up by her baby crying. She gets up — visibly in pain — to go to the bathroom. She’s seen wearing the sheer mesh underwear women are often given after they give birth, along with changing a postpartum sanitary pad.
Frida Mom shared the full ad on YouTube, which includes an intro that calls out both ABC and the Oscars for rejecting the commercial, stating that it’s not “violent,” “political” or sexual in nature. While Frida Mom notes that “feminine hygiene and hemorrhoid relief” ads are banned during the Oscars, it also notes that “it’s just a new mom, home with her baby and her new body for the first time.”
ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle's request for comment.
Chelsea Hirschhorn, chief executive officer of Frida, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the ad was deemed “too graphic with partial nudity and product demonstration.”
“More specifically, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences guidelines say that the ‘advertisement of the following is not permitted: political candidates/positions, religious or faith-based message/position, guns, gun shows, ammunition, feminine hygiene products, adult diapers, condoms or hemorrhoid remedies’ during the broadcast,’” Hirschhorn says.
Several people took to Twitter — including one user who tweeted at ABC and asked: “this [too] real for you??” — to share their frustration and disappointment that the ad was banned:
This makes me so angry. This is why there are so many unexpected surprises in postpartum recovery. And FYI: some of these products immensely helped me grind through the pain, so tell your new momma friends. https://t.co/trVLmFAbPA— Meagen Fekos (@MeagenFekos) February 7, 2020
Others commended Frida Mom for the candid portrayal of a postpartum mom:
This is the most honest, relief-inducing portrayal of those first few postpartum weeks. The painful shuffle, the pads the size of mattresses, the sodding pee bottle, all while the baby wails https://t.co/UpKIJIopDn— Lauren Dobson-Hughes (@ldobsonhughes) February 7, 2020
This might be one of the most realistic depictions of the postpartum experience. We need more of this, not less. https://t.co/aeqFBZ0zvC— Mothers with 4th Degree Tears (@MothersWith4DTs) February 7, 2020
But not everyone was unhappy about the ad being rejected:
I’m glad it was rejected. It is unnecessary to show that much to get a message across. Whether it’s IBS, condoms, Summers Eve, Prep H—plenty of ads relay info w/o graphic visuals.— AroundTown (@Bikerboots) February 7, 2020
Hirschhorn tells Yahoo Lifestyle that Frida Mom was launched to help “prepare women for the physical transformation that coincides with a delicate transition into motherhood,” adding, “In service of that mission, we created a raw and honest portrayal of what women can expect to experience. We had hoped to share it with as broad of an audience as possible because knowledge is confidence, and a confident mother is a better, happier mother.”
But Hirschhorn acknowledges that society still struggles with showing the reality of what happens to a woman's body after having a baby. “When we launched Frida Mom last summer, we were incredibly successful in progressing the dialogue around postpartum recovery forward,” Hirschhorn says. “While it feels like a small step back to be rejected from a channel that has the audience and reach to meaningfully further this progress, we remain undeterred, and will use whatever channels remain available to us.”
She adds: “This is a welcome reminder that we still have a long way to go, and the way the brand and our community has been further evangelized by this rejection is powerful.”
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