Gillette's new razor ad sparks fat phobia debate

The latest Gillette Venus ad featuring Anna O’Brien has sparked a debate about fat phobia [Photo: Gillette Venus]

Gillette Venus’ latest social media posts have ignited a debate about fat phobia.

The razor brand recently took to social media to share a photo of plus-size model Anna O’Brien AKA Glitter and Lazers, splashing around in the sea with the caption “Go out there and slay the day.”

No doubt the post was an attempt to celebrate diversity and O’Brien, herself a body positive activist, seemed an ideal candidate to do that.

But the fact that the influencer isn’t your standard-size model has both angered and delighted people in equal measures. 

Predictably some just couldn’t cope with O’Brien’s body size and almost immediately after sharing, the razor brand came under fire for “promoting” and “glorifying obesity,” and being accused of “normalising” an unhealthy life.

A quick scroll through the comments on Instagram and Twitter will see everything from debates about whether her shape is causing diabetes and heart disease, to requests for the company to delete the post.

Many also offered their own opinions on Anna’s health and lifestyle.

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But someone’s size shouldn’t stop them from wearing a bikini nor should it stop them removing their body hair (you know if they want to, because if not that’s a whole other debate).

It’s also not possible to glean from just looking at someone exactly how healthy they are.

Thankfully, many people could see this and also hit up the comments in support of Gillette’s decision to use O’Brien, praising her confidence and pointing out that none of us actually know her health history.

READ MORE: Swim England criticised for telling women how to disguise their ‘flabby stomachs’


A quick scroll of Anna’s blog and Instagram reveals she herself exercises, practices yoga and goes running which kind of throws off many of the ‘unhealthy life’ promotion accusations.

But even if she were unhealthy, that doesn’t really have much to do with hair removal promotion does it?

In response to the negative vibes Venus stepped in to comment:

“Venus is committed to representing beautiful women of all shapes, sizes, and skin types because ALL types of beautiful skin deserve to be shown.

“We love Anna because she lives out loud and loves her skin no matter how the ‘rules’ say she should display it.”

Besides, as a body positive advocate, Anna is quite used to turning a blind eye to body-shaming and has previously revealed that she doesn’t pay much attention to what people say or write about her online.

“Fun fact: I literally do not care what most people think of me,” she wrote in an Insta caption. “There are a few people close to my heart who’s opinions matter, but for the most part my self-perception, is self-generated.”


It isn’t the first time a row has been sparked about fat phobia. Last year, Cosmopolitan featured plus size model Tess Holliday on their cover and it proved a pretty divisive move. 

Piers Morgan was just one of the critics of the cover describing it as “dangerous & misguided,” but Holliday hit back calling Morgan and other body-shaming trolls “horrible people” who shouldn’t “worry about my fat ass.”