It may seem like we’ve come a long way in having honest discussions about postpartum life (such as my personal — and candid! — experience here), but we still have quite a ways to go when it comes to showing the down-and-dirty of it, apparently. Which is really disheartening.
ABC and the Academy summarily rejected this ad from Frida Mom depicting EXACTLY what it’s like for new moms in those first weeks after childbirth (especially if you gave birth vaginally).
“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,’” the company said in its statement. “‘Feminine hygiene & hemorrhoid relief’ are also banned subjects.”
The ad features a new mom waking up to the cries of her newborn baby. She goes to the bathroom and changes her mesh hospital underwear and large pads, and relieves the discomfort with a peri bottle, all while the baby cries (and dad sleeps through it). Sounds pretty familiar to me.
“It’s just a new mom, home with her baby and her new body for the first time. Yet it was rejected,” the statement continued. “And we wonder why new moms feel unprepared. We make products that help women prepare for postpartum recovery.”
ABC’s rejection of the ad has already sparked some backlash. Actress Busy Phillips posted the ad to her Instagram and called out ABC for rejecting the ad while having no problem approving erectile dysfunction commercials.
“I legit teared up when I just watched it,” Busy wrote. “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,” Phillips wrote on Instagram. “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.”
On the bright side, big PR coup for Frida Mom!