A commercial for Frida Mom, a company that sells products for mothers and their babies, meant to air during the 2020 Oscars ceremony, was rejected by the network and the Academy after they supposedly found it too graphic for the public.
The one-minute ad shows a woman getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Her baby is crying in the cot next to the bed, and she seems to be in pain, visibly struggling to get up from bed and walk to the bathroom. The camera then focuses on her midsection, showing the woman’s swollen belly and the mesh underwear that new mothers wear as they recover from giving birth. She cleans herself with various products and changes her sanitary towel; going to the bathroom when your body is still healing from something as massive as pushing out another human being is no easy task. Finally, when she is done, a text appears in the foreground: “Postpartum recovery doesn’t have to be this hard.”
With this simple and almost educational ad, Frida Mom is advertising a new line of products belonging to their “postpartum recovery kit”: everything from bath tablets and comfort cushions, to a “perineal healing foam.” But they are also raising awareness and fostering some much-needed visibility to the reality of postpartum recovery, which usually takes anything from a few weeks to a couple of months, and can also take an emotional toll on women if they are alone or don’t know exactly what they are facing.
The brand wants new mothers to feel less lost and alone during this difficult time in their life, and yet, the ad was rejected. Frida Mom responded to this action with an Instagram post that reads:
“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. So spray it forward and share this video with every new mom. She deserves to be prepared.”
You would think that in 2020 any network would jump at the chance to support women and bring visibility to this incredibly neglected issue. Sadly, it seems that we are not there yet, and anything that has to do with women’s bodies (birth and menstruation, for instance) is found to be inappropriate for a mainstream audience.
Cover picture via: @fridamom
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