If you've ever walked into a LUSH
store, you know that they're all about what's natural. Fragrant soaps, glittery bath bombs and soothing face masks are all handmade without chemical additives. But when the brand decided that its new "Go Naked" campaign would feature employees of every size au naturale
, it caused quite the stir and was eventually banned in Australia. Now many are wondering if it was the nude images of women that caused the uproar or the fact that those women were not stick-thin or retouched.
A LUSH representative told Buzzfeed News
the ads aren't there to "titillate" but instead, are meant to show off the beauty of all women, no matter their shape: "The image is completely untouched, as we feel that we should not be ashamed of our bodies in their natural state, and that every single one of us is beautiful in our diversity, regardless of color, shape, size or life choices."
The LUSH rep added that a body positive message was one of two aims: The second was meant to draw attention to wasteful packaging other brands use for its cosmetics. LUSH has always been a leader in the environmental movement - if you go to the store with five empty black pots, you will get a free face mask for recycling - but some believed the natural, stripped down message should have stopped there.
After receiving three complaints from shoppers at a mall in Queensland, Australia, the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau
(ASB) took notice, banning the "pornographic" ads from being shown in stores. One woman who visited the mall said, "It was placed at a child's eye level in a shopping center. It shows naked women touching other named women and it is shown in a public place...I'm sorry but I never consented for myself or my children to be exposed to nudity on our weekly shopping trip."
Despite the backlash, many women are speaking out in support of LUSH's campaign. We are exposed to advertisements featuring nearly nude women almost on a daily basis, but when those images are of women with different body types and are meant to empower the female form, it's suddenly not OK.
Was LUSH really being distasteful, or are they giving us more of a reason to support the body positive movement? Sound off below!