Bay Area native Rod Bastanmehr thought the days of idolizing skinny models were over- until he walked through the Underground train station in London.
Several months ago, Protein World launched its “Are you beach body ready?” advertisement in the UK. The backlash began soon after. The “body-shaming” ad instigated protests to converge on London streets to demand the removal of the ad from Underground stations.
When Bastanmehr was visiting London several months ago he was surprised to see these ads had been vandalized. He remembers how clean the Underground stations were and realized that this ad must have triggered something within the people of London. What he didn’t know however, was that this ad, although taken down weeks later, would make its way to the United States.
Bastanmehr was riding the subway in New York months later and saw the bright yellow ads all over the trains. Every one of his friends he spoke to knew exactly what ad he was talking about. It was hard not to notice the very “in your face” poster that undoubtedly makes most women question their body.
Bastanmehr, his fellow Bay Area native Rula Al-Nasrawi and English friend Steph Singer were all disgusted by this body-shaming advertisement that had been plastered all over New York’s most crowded areas.
“Our generation is trying to get past that, we’re trying to have conversations about what it means to be a woman in the world,” he adds, “These ad’s just feel so old to us.”
Together, in response to the ad, the three of them launched their Instagram campaign, All Shapes. The Instagram consists of women in their bathing suits holding up a sign that says “YES” to show that they are beach body ready, regardless of their size or shape. The goal of the campaign is to make women feel empowered and to show that they don’t need to conform to a single body type.
Bastanmehr, Al-Nasrawi and Singer introduced the hashtag #NoOneBody to help spread the message and to let people know that ‘no one’ can tell you what looks good and what doesn’t. They hope for it to become a trending topic.
“We wanted something simple and not too focused on the beach body bit,” Bastanmehr said. And although the beach body issue comes more into play in the summer, Bastanmehr added that he believes the campaign’s message about loving your body is relevant year-round.
The three campaign starters live in New York, but they want to get submissions from all over the world. Anyone interested in participating in the campaign simply has to Instagram a picture with a sign that says “YES”, caption #NoOneBody and tag @all.shapes.