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The Oscars banned this ad about postpartum motherhood for being "too graphic"

Frida Mom specializes in postpartum products for both moms and babies. The Oscars rejected their ad for depicting postpartum realistically.

The Oscars banned this ad about postpartum motherhood for being "too graphic"
Image Source: (L) alliecz / Instagram (R) Frida Mom / YouTube

Over the weekend, most of America tuned in to watch the 92nd Academy Awards. As one of the most-watched events of the year, it's no wonder that numerous companies compete for airtime during the commercials. In order to gain a spot, firms must submit their commercials to the Academy and the television network for review. Once it's been approved, it will be aired. As you would imagine, this is a competitive process and not all companies gain approval. This year, one such firm was Frida Mom, a company that specializes in postpartum products for both moms and babies. Their advert depicting motherhood post-pregnancy was rejected on the basis of it being "too graphic," reports.


The commercial in question featured a mother being awoken by her newborn. Then, we see her (wearing mesh hospital underwear and bulky pads) make her way to the bathroom, where she uses various tools to clean up "down there." It is very evidently a painful and tedious process, which takes place while her baby continues to cry in the background. The commercial ends with the tagline, "Postpartum recovery doesn't have to be this hard." Frida Mom then showcases their various products. After the ad was rejected, the firm shared it on YouTube, along with a message about why it was denied from airing in the first place.


As per the company, the commercial was barred because of "partial nudity and product demonstration." However, the mother is clothed throughout the entire ad and no nudity is actually depicted. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences guidelines state that commercials must not include "political candidates/positions, religious or faith-based messages/positions, guns, gun shows, ammunition, feminine hygiene products, adult diapers, condoms or hemorrhoid remedies." But clearly, all products are not born equal. As Frida CEO Chelsea Hirschhorn explained, "We were really surprised to hear that feminine hygiene was put in the same category as guns, ammunition, sexually suggestive nudity, religion, and politics. I was surprised, in this day and age, to see that whomever at whatever organizational level at the Academy and at ABC put in writing that they would analogize feminine hygiene to some of those other, more offensive categories of advertising."


"We created this campaign and wanted to share a raw and honest portrayal of what a woman navigating this physical transformation for the first time goes through," she continued. "We thought there would be no better outlet or channel than on a night that awards storytelling at the highest level. We wonder, after experiences like these, why women remain so completely unprepared to navigate this very fragile time period. It's because there are very narrowly defined ways in which we can share information." Traditionally, we've been taught to think of pregnancy and giving birth as this beautiful, magical experience. Heck, some people still do. However, as you grow older—and hopefully meet and talk to people who have actually given birth—you kind of begin to realize that pregnancy isn't everything it's cut out to be. The way it changes your body is uncomfortable, awkward, and even painful. Healing from pregnancy is especially difficult. So why is it that the movies and television still try to falsely portray giving birth as something graceful or beautiful? While we may not know the answer to that just yet, we can see how tightly we're clinging on to the idea anyway.


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