When an advert appeared on the London Underground in 2015 asking people whether they were “beach body ready,” it caused uproar. 

The ad, designed to promote a Protein World slimming product, showed a very slim model in a bright yellow bikini alongside the controversial question. 

It promoted allegations of “body-shaming” and “encouraging women to starve themselves” from activists, organisations working against eating disorders, and members of the public. 

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Protesters flocked to London’s Hyde Park; women wore their swimsuits on the Underground to show what a “real beach body” looks like; and a petition to ban the ad received over 70,000 signatures. 

The (entirely justified) outrage even prompted London Mayor Sadiq Khan, in 2016, to ban adverts that “demean people, particularly women”from London’s public transport networks. 

But now, three years on, a plus-size fashion brand has reclaimed the “beach body ready” slogan and aesthetic to launch its own campaign — encouraging women to embrace their bodies. 

Read more: London Mayor Bans Body-Shaming Adverts on Public Transport

The body positivity campaign from retailer Navabi now features three plus-size models — Bethany Rutter, Lauren Tallulah Smeets, and Stephanie Yeboah — wearing their swimsuits, alongside the slogan: “We’re beach body ready.” 

It adds: “Three years on: a little reminder.” 

“We felt like not enough has changed since the original Protein World ad in 2015,” Bethany Rutter, social editor at Navabi, told the Independent

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“It’s been three years and things should have changed more than they have, so we wanted to take an opportunity to change them,” she added. “We wanted to say, without hesitation that there shouldn’t be a black cloud hanging over your summer because you think you don’t have the right kind of body.” 

“We wanted to show people bodies they don’t see every day,” she added.

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Demand Equity

'Beach Body Ready' Has Been Reclaimed By A Plus-Size Brand

By Imogen Calderwood