When a lingerie company announced a gender fluid model would be the face of its new campaign, the haters rolled in with disapproval. But the company quickly shut down criticism.
London-based company Playful Promises announced Nov. 15 that Violet Chachki—a gender fluid model, burlesque performer, and the season 7 winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race—would model its Bettie Page collection.
While plenty of the comments were supportive, some criticized the choice of the model and even misgendered Chachki.
But Playful Promises was quick to defend its choice and drop some woke knowledge on the masses.
“Violet is gender fluid. We did not choose ‘a man’,” the company clarified in a tweet.
Things you need to know about why we chose Violet Chachki to model our new range of Bettie Page Lingerie:— Playful Promises (@PlayfulPromises) November 20, 2017
1. Violet is gender fluid. We did not choose "a man". We chose a gender fluid person that is not represented in the media, and certainly not in the lingerie industry.
It went on to address gender issues in the pinup community.
3. We also chose to use a non-binary model because the vintage/pinup community has certain issues with gender (also racism, but that's another thread). We've seen comments comparing "modern" women to their "classier" counterparts of the past.— Playful Promises (@PlayfulPromises) November 20, 2017
Often, there's an implication that women who had less agency and freedom are "better" than women now. A non-binary model raises questions about how we view pin-ups of the past, and how we talk about images of women today.— Playful Promises (@PlayfulPromises) November 20, 2017
Also, you can't claim to be a fan of Bettie Page without acknowledging that what she was doing at the time was severely frowned upon. If you expect a brand named after her to do things by the book, you're missing the point of what she stood for.— Playful Promises (@PlayfulPromises) November 20, 2017
The company also explained why choosing Chachki, a drag queen, as the face of a lingerie campaign totally aligns with the femininity of drag.
4. Drag is about looking at hyper-femininity (or the opposite for Drag Kings). Lingerie is one of the most traditionally "feminine" products one can buy (or at least how this is presented in advertising). Which leads me on to…— Playful Promises (@PlayfulPromises) November 20, 2017
And finally, it’s a big F-you to the traditional “male gaze.”
5. So many lingerie campaigns are created with the male gaze in mind. Less so than 20-30 years ago, but it's still there. What does using a non-binary model who is not a cis woman, shot by a woman, wearing lingerie created by women, say to you about the male gaze?— Playful Promises (@PlayfulPromises) November 20, 2017
Can I get an amen?