ActivismFeminismMedia Skepticism

Not Cool, Libra

So Libra are were my brand of choice when it came to tampons and other sanitary products… that is until their latest incredibly transphobic ad campaign.

In case you aren’t able to watch, this is a 31 second long advertisement for Libra Tampons (which are sold in Australia and New Zealand). Two women are shown; the first is conventionally attractive and the second a heavily stereotyped transwoman. They look at each other as though competing while applying make-up, and both adjust their breasts in a similarly competitive manner. The first woman then pulls out a box of Libra tampons and the second gives a sour look and walks off. Finally, there is a shot of Libra tampons and the slogan ‘Libra gets girls. Love Libra.’

Sooo…a few things here. This ad is very transphobic. It confuses drag queens and transwomen, it mocks her for not having a uterus, and worst of all, the final slogan directly suggests that transgirls aren’t “real” girls. Totally not true, btw.

Also, menstruating is a pretty misguided criteria for determining what constitutes a woman (sorry, “girl”). Aside from transwomen, there are a variety of medical conditions that give rise to amenorrhea. Are those girls not really girls? Are women who have had hysterectomies or gone through menopause not really women?

The set up of the “femininity competition” is also super-problematic. It is really insulting to women that they are portrayed as bitchy, competitive and non-inclusive, and treating each other as a threat in terms of attractiveness. Because all women are totally that shallow, you know. I’m sure the marketers for Libra could have easily come up with a campaign that celebrated female empowerment, friendship, solidarity, and inclusiveness.

…but yea mostly it is just disgustingly transphobic and makes a minority that is already subject to much violence and discrimination the butt of a joke–all to sell tampons.

Want to do something? I’ve already contacted them to let them know how I feel via the contact page at their New Zealand website. You can do the same there, their Australian website, or if you’re not from that neck of the woods you can email them at libra [at] sca [dot]com or contact them via their facebook page.

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Lauren is a Maths and Physics student from somewhere in the southern hemisphere. She has an affinity for reality, and you can find her on twitter @lolrj, or Google+.

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