‘Empowering women?’ Moana Bikini called out over male model selling women’s swimwear

Brand backlash struck a body-positive swimsuit company after its latest “empowering” model selection sent consumers packing: “…you support whatever you like but I don’t agree…”

The one-way street of leftism has routinely seen entertainers take heat for portraying characters that don’t match their demographic background. Meanwhile, Australian swimsuit brand Moana Bikini’s recent use of a male model to sell its merchandise was considered “not an us problem” by the woke retailer.

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Thursday, the company featured Jake Young modeling a white one-piece swimsuit with an overall look reminiscent to some folks of the final scene in 1984’s “Ghostbusters” with the caption “OBSESSED WITH THIS LOOK…Moana Babe @jakeytho in our SUGAR SLINKY ONE-PIECE!”

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Owned by influencer Karina Irby, the brand has made a name for itself pushing the idea of body positivity and, as a result, the marketing decision smacked of hypocrisy to loyal customers who challenged the “inclusive” move to feature a guy.

“Sorry but moana this is not how u empower women. This is once again giving men the power over us and saying they do it better,” wrote one upset user in the Instagram post’s comments as another asked, “Why can’t men be men? I’m over this narrative.”

“Is that a man? I thought you were about empowering women? Men seem to be trying to take over everything women hold sacred. Our safe spaces, our identity and now our fashion,” challenged another. “I’m sorry you support whatever you like but I don’t agree with men in women’s swim suits and trying to market it towards women. Ive been a loyal customer for ten years but I’m done.”

Others pushed for a boycott over the move, a decision the Daily Mail indicated had previously impacted the Seafolly brand which had featured non-binary influencer Deni Todorovič in one of their shoots.

never heard of them but no way I’m going near now. — JANE smith (@JANEsmi56182378) January 22, 2024

“Moana Bikini founder, body positive influencer Karina Irby”… body positive. Says it all. Normalising obesity. Now this ‍♀️‍♀️ — KJ on the Costa (@KJ_Slainte) January 22, 2024

Young danced around the issue with criticism of his own for those upset, arguing, “There are many different types of women. Women with different anatomy to what you consider ‘normal’. I am not a woman nor have I ever claimed to be. This post is simply empowering a minority & I’m forever grateful for that. Your hate is a reflection of your own insecurities, not mine.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Moana Bikini took a similar tact in telling Daily Mail, “We find it quite absurd that people would cherry-pick this one, individual post from our 12 years of business to make a wild statement about us not being empowering to women.”

“Moana Bikini are — and have always been — one of the most inclusive and empowering brands in existence. This is not only in terms of our size and style range for women but — most importantly — in our love and acceptance of all races, ethnicities, body shapes and sizes, genders and sexual orientations. This hasn’t changed and never will change,” they continued.

“Many commenters are using the excuse that they believe it is ‘insulting to women,’ when in reality, it’s quite clear they are homophobic and have an issue with someone expressing their sexuality proudly and confidently,” the company accused. “…If people aren’t happy with this individual post of a proud, gay man wearing a piece of clothing he feels confident in, they can just keep scrolling or unfollow, can’t they?”

“Imagine living a life where you choose to be offended by something and stick around, comment and engage, only to make yourself more and more angry. This sounds like a them problem, not an us problem, to be honest,” the statement concluded.

It remains to be seen whether or not the move is only “a them problem” as Sports Illustrated’s foray into woke marketing resulted in the staff of the “SI brand” getting laid off last week after their license had been revoked, prompting many to point out that their problem came from putting “a DUDE in a swimsuit on the cover of their 2023 annual swimsuit edition.”

‘Go woke, go broke’: X has little sympathy as Sports Illustrated lays off entire staff https://t.co/IDZ8r5aLDc via @BIZPACReview — BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) January 20, 2024