When Reality Gets Rejected

If you missed the Frida Mom ad during the Oscars, well, that’s because everyone did. Prior to hitting the air, ABC and the Oscars deemed the commercial as too graphic. The spot, which highlights the realities of women undergoing postpartum recovery, was considered against the media guidelines for the use of “feminine hygiene products.” Frida, shocked by this decision, responded “It’s just a new mom home with her baby and her new body for the first time. Yet, it was rejected”.

A quick glance through the comments thread on YouTube suggests Frida Mom’s response is the popular opinion by a long shot. This decision by ABC and the Oscars sparked a great deal of outrage regarding what we do and do not allow the media to show as well as a great deal of support for Frida Mom’s display of the real struggles mothers endure. Thousands of concerned individuals, (1,484 and counting) left comments such as “This is real! This should be shown! They’ll show explicit sex and violence on tv but they want to ban what women go through after birth. We are so backwards”. One father wrote “How many of us men know of this struggle that their wives, the mother of their children, go through? For that reason alone this video should be a must watch.” 

Equally concerned is Sonia Moghe, a producer for CNN, who highlights the lack of transparency between the assumptions and realities of mothers after child-birth. In her statement she says the ad “is a far cry from many of the images we see of women who have just given birth. The struggling mom in the ad is what’s typical. The perfectly groomed mothers smiling for Instagram photos or other ads for maternity products in the days after giving birth are not a fair representation of the pain and struggle so very many women experience.” 

It has also brought into question the overall portrayal of women and women's bodies in the media. Actress and writer Bussy Phillips spoke out on Instagram saying “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. I think this is an incredible piece of advertising that accurately represents something millions of women know intimately. And I'm so...sick of living in a society where the act of simply BEING A WOMAN is rejected by the gatekeepers of media.”

ABC’s attempt to shield the media clearly had the opposite effect and brought about concerns far greater than the ad itself. Which brings us at TXADPR to our question(s): Do you believe the Frida Mom’s spot should have been rejected based on ABC’s guidelines? Do you believe there is a proper medium when showing the harsh realities of life? Lastly, do you believe ABC banning this spot has had a more powerful impact than if it had aired?

Jack Eltife