The Oscars rejected a postpartum ad for being too graphic & here's why they're wrong

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There are a lot of things that first-time moms are not prepared for, but perhaps one of the more jarring surprises is what the first three postpartum months are like. They involve discomfort, ugly mesh underwear, lots of bleeding, ginormous pads, and a cleaning regimen for your lady bits with a squirty bottle. Well, a commercial honestly depicting that postpartum reality was rejected from airing during the Oscars for being too graphic because according to the academy, it features "partial nudity and product demonstration."

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Frida Mom, the company behind the ad, sells postpartum products for both mothers and babies. The ad in question features a postpartum mom going through what postpartum moms deal with when they use the bathroom. That it and was rejected by the Oscars for "partial nudity and product demonstration" is rather confounding since the "partial nudity" the academy is referring to is not sexual in any way and features no more skin than any ad you've ever seen featuring a woman in a bathing suit. And you know, you've seen plenty of ads featuring women in bathing suits.

Perhaps what makes the ad too graphic for the Oscars gatekeepers is that the woman in this ad is in mesh underwear instead of a bathing suit and she's not trying to look good or pretty for anyone. She is simply tending to her needs as a new mother and that is not always pretty, but it is real.

A little more about why the ad was rejected for the Oscars.

A little more about why the ad was rejected for the Oscars.

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According Today Parents, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences does not allow ads to air during the show that feature "political candidates/positions, religious or faith-based messages/positions, guns, gun shows, ammunition, feminine hygiene products, adult diapers, condoms, or hemorrhoid remedies." OK, we get why some of those subjects would be taboo, but what's so taboo about feminine hygiene products or even adult diapers and hemorrhoid remedies for that matter?

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Frida Mom decided to go public with the rejection.

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Disappointed but not deterred. #oscars #fridamom

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The company decided to post the 60-second commercial on social media with an intro that reads, "The ad you're about to watch was rejected by ABC & the Oscars from airing during this year's award show." It went on to post in the included description, "Our ad is not 'religious or lewd' and does not portray 'guns or ammunition.' 'Feminine hygiene & hemorrhoid relief' are also banned subjects. It’s just a new mom, home with her baby and her new body for the first time. Yet it was rejected. And we wonder why new moms feel unprepared."

 
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The ad actually does a lot of good when it comes to normalizing the postpartum experience.

This postpartum experience is so par for the course that many experts refer to the three months after delivering a child as the "fourth trimester." It's normal and yet it's not normalized, which leaves so many new moms unprepared for the realities of what their first three months of motherhood will be like. The Oscars would have been a great opportunity to air a commercial that honestly depicts what new mothers go through.

Take a moment to watch the full commercial.

Note that at no time do you actually see any more nudity in the commercial than you would see in say a commercial featuring women in bikinis, the Super Bowl Halftime Show, or even your average beach selfie on Instagram. What you do see is an unglorified portrayal of a mother who recently had a baby and has to go to the bathroom.

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Is the commercial graphic or offensive?

Is the commercial graphic or offensive?

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If by graphic one means real, then yes, the commercial is graphic because it's not trying to put a rosy filter on what it's like to recover from giving birth. As for being offensive, how can reality be offensive?

Seriously, if you find yourself disturbed or upset by this commercial, we invite you to ask yourself why. Why is an experience that happens to women who birth babies offensive to you when depicted accurately? Would you be offended by any woman, including yourself, for going through this?

Topics: postpartum  pregnancy advice  pregnancy care