26-year-old Swedish model and photographer, Arvida Byström, was named the new face for Adidas’ incoming collection. She recently fell victim to the internet trolls who insulted her for not shaving her legs.
On September 20, the company uploaded a photo of Byström in their gear with the caption, “Arvida Byström (@arvidabystrom) is an artist, photographer, model and cyber sensation. Known for her photography, which questions femininity and gender standards using so-called “girly” aesthetics. The #SUPERSTAR Bold Women’s is in stores now.”
The photo featured Byström posing with one foot front and center to show off the shoes. Clad in a lacy white dress, her leg was also visible, which showed natural hair. The photo, which has garnered over 200,000 likes to date, was quick to attract trolls who insulted Byström for her unshaven legs.
Of the hundreds of comments that poured in, dozens of them insulted her appearance, saying she wouldn’t be able to attract any men, calling her gross, and others saying that men who like women with hairy legs are “high key gay.”
Byström posted the same photo on September 25, letting people know of the controversy of her photo and how the comments soon turned into threats. She wrote: My photo from the @adidasoriginals superstar campaign got a lot of nasty comments last week. Me being such an abled, white, cis body with its only nonconforming feature being a lil leg hair. Literally, I’ve been getting rape threats in my DM inbox. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to not possess all these privileges and try to exist in the world. Sending love and try to remember that not everybody has the same experiences being a person.” She also thanked people for the love she got, saying she received “a lot of that too.”
In spite of the internet trolls, Byström received plenty of love from those who supported her decision to sport natural body hair. Many called her beautiful, said she was an inspiration, and thanked her for “teaching girls to love their own natural body hair.”
Byström has never minded showing off her body and going against the norm. Photos on her Instagram include photos of her with unshaven legs and underarms, which also tend to come under fire.
On August 23, Byström posted a photo of herself with unshaven underarms, which attracted a lot of negative attention from those who told her to “shave,” called her “disgusting,” and wrote, “you’ll get your 5 mins of fame with these photos but nothing more, please stop hurting yourself.”
Regardless of any negative feedback she receives, Byström continues to be herself without letting the trolls get to her.
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