frida mom ad pulled for being to graphic

ABC and The Oscars Banned This Ad About Postpartum Pain Because Motherhood Is Obscene I Guess?

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ABC and the Motion Picture Academy chose not to air an ad for Frida Mom, a company that makes products for postpartum moms, due to its content being “too graphic.” The ad features a new mother struggling to get out of bed as her infant cries in the background. We see all the hallmarks of new motherhood: a swollen belly, hospital mesh underwear, and those ginormous pads new moms get. The exhausted mom sits on the toilet, using a peri-bottle to relieve her pain.

In an Instagram post, Frida Mom writes:

“The ad you’re about to watch was rejected by ABC & the Oscars from airing during this year’s award show. It’s not ‘violent, political’ or sexual in nature. 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.”

It’s the “ugly” side of motherhood you never see in advertising or popular culture. The weeks following birth are a haze filled with blood, ooze, sleeplessness, pain, and exhaustion. And yet, as soon as you’ve given birth you’re expected to be able to fully take care of a newborn baby. It’s like getting hit by a truck and then being asked to do long division.

Yet we NEVER talk about or address these issues in modern mommy discourse. Advice and commiseration is offered in online forums, IRL mom groups, and conversations with our own family members, but there is zero cultural awareness of the physical toll that birth takes on a body. Having given birth 5 months ago, I am acutely aware of this weird cone of silence around women’s bodies. It’s puzzling, considering the flip side of our existence, where our bodies are exploited, harassed, and controlled by the government via a pro-birth movement that cares nothing for those people actually giving birth.

And while most other industrialized nations help moms through this difficult time via home visits, postpartum medical care and rehab, and generous maternity leave policies, America offers little in the way of supporting and helping new families.

Many folks called out the ban on social media, like actor and mom Busy Philipps:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

This is an ad for new post partum products for women-this ad was rejected from ABC(see the repost below from the brand) I legit teared up when I just watched it. Partially because this is clearly an ad made by women who have been there and get it and partially because I DO believe so strongly that the more we can NORMALIZE A WOMAN’S BODILY EXPERIENCE IN MEDIA, the better off our culture and society will be. AND YES THAT MEANS ADS TOO. You probably don’t even flinch when an Erectile Disfunction ad comes on but THIS AD IS REJECTED?! I think this is an incredible piece of advertising that accurately represents something millions of women know intimately. And I’m so fucking sick of living in a society where the act of simply BEING A WOMAN is rejected by the gatekeepers of media. Well. Shame on them and NOT on us for simply being human women. Cc: #seeher @seeher2020 #Repost ・・・ This is important. “The ad you’re about to watch was rejected by ABC & the Oscars from airing during this year’s award show. It’s not “violent, political” or sexual in nature. 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. And we wonder why new moms feel so unprepared.” —ad and words via @fridamom @abcnetwork

A post shared by Busy Philipps (@busyphilipps) on

Birth is quite literally the reason we are all here on this planet today. So why are we still shrouding the messy details of the most essential biological process from the world and each other? It’s 2020, and it’s LONG past due for postpartum pain and healing to be a topic everyone can discuss.

It certainly something that shouldn’t be banned or ignored.

(via Deadline)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.