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‘I’m ok’: Plus-size model responds to body-shaming insults after appearing in Gillette post

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Gillette came to the defense of a plus-size model featured in a Twitter post last week after the company was met by harsh comments for sharing a picture of the woman wearing a bikini.

On April 3, Gillette, which is owned by Procter & Gamble, tweeted a picture that showed model and lifestyle blogger Anna O’Brien — she’s known as “Glitter and Lazers” online — getting splashed by waves on the beach. The post was from the account of the Boston-based company’s “Venus” line of razors, a brand geared toward women.

“Go out there and slay the day,” read the company’s tweet, which included both a muscle-flexing arm and camera emoji.


The post was immediately met by a stream of derogatory reactions and people who harassed and body-shamed the model.

Others accused the razor brand of promoting obesity, citing health complications that can stem from being overweight.

One user responded to the tweet by saying that Gillette and the people posting disparaging comments were in the wrong.

“There’s no reason to be rude or unkind to someone who is obese and there is no reason @GilletteVenus should be encouraging life threatening obesity,” the person wrote. “This would also be true if they used an anorexic model. I wish the model they used well but Gillette should know better.”

While many attacked Gillette and the social media post, others were quick to express their support for O’Brien and body positivity.

“Everybody deserves to feel good, wear clothes (pretty sure that’s a legal requirement in most countries yes?) and live without being bullied and harassed,” one person wrote.

A day after the initial tweet, the company issued a response to the online negativity and stood by O’Brien.

“Venus is committed to representing beautiful women of all shapes, sizes, and skin types because ALL types of beautiful skin deserve to be shown,” the company wrote. “We love Anna because she lives out loud and loves her skin no matter how the ‘rules’ say she should display it.”


In a statement to the Globe, a Procter & Gamble spokeswoman said O’Brien “is not a paid partner of Venus nor was the image created at the brand’s request.”

“We simply asked to share this photo of her as part of our efforts to represent more women and their stories on our platform,” the spokeswoman said.

On Monday, O’Brien took to her own social media page to address the comments to the tweet, posting a photo of herself on a trip to Disneyland with friends.

“So this weekend I went viral yet again because some random people didn’t like my body and had nothing better to do than to make sure everyone knew it,” O’Brien told her more than 300,000 Instagram followers.

“Normally, this would have stressed me out to no end . . . Ironically, for most of this mess I had no clue it was actually going on. I was too busy meeting awesome people, learning about the future, filming shenanigans, and flipping people over my back.”

O’Brien responded to what unfurled online again Tuesday, this time with a more brief status update.

“So much has happened in the last 5 days,” she said in her follow-up post, which also included a picture of her in a bikini on the beach. “The only thing I have to say is, I’m ok.”


The Venus post featuring O’Brien marked the second time this year that Gillette has faced scrutiny for something the company posted to social media.

In January, Gillette released a video urging men to set an example in the age of the #MeToo movement by holding each other accountable for their actions.

The advertisement leaned on the company’s decades-old slogan “The Best a Man Can Get” to make a statement against “toxic masculinity,” bullying, and sexual harassment.

Some critics said the advertisement painted men in a bad light by blaming all men for being inconsiderate of others, and they vowed to boycott the razor company.

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.