A 'Frida Mom' Commercial Aimed at Postpartum Women Just Got Banned From the Oscars for Being 'Too Graphic'
The "fourth trimester" struggle is real—apparently too real to show on TV.
The postpartum recovery period, also referred to as the “fourth trimester” by many experts, can be an incredibly challenging time for mothers. Not only has a woman’s body gone through many changes and is recovering from the toll childbirth often takes on the body, but she also has a newborn baby to care for.
Frida Mom, a brand dedicated to postpartum recovery, set out to air a commercial to raise awareness of what women go through during this often overlooked (but extremely significant) period during the 92nd Academy Awards, airing Sunday—but their commercial was apparently rejected by ABC for being "too graphic with partial nudity and product demonstration," according to a recent press release via email.
The commercial, which Frida Mom shared on YouTube, but is unlisted, features a new mom in her bathroom dealing with the aftermath of childbirth. The YouTube video begins with a few words from the company: "The ad you're about to watch was rejected by ABC & the Oscars from airing during this year's awards show," the text reads. It goes on to say all the things the spot doesn't include, like religious references, lewdness, or mention of guns or ammunition. "It's just a new mom, home with her baby and her new body for the first time. Yet it was rejected" it says. "And we wonder why new moms feel unprepared."
The commercial itself—a 60-second spot—begins with a new mom getting out of bed, after being woken up by the cries of her baby. Her postpartum belly protrudes a little from her hospital mesh panties, as she hobbles to the bathroom. As she sits down on the toilet, the woman is clearly in pain, yet she begins to treat her postpartum issues (presumably hemorrhoids and vaginal tears) with tools like a plastic squirt bottle filled with water and panty liners. There's no nudity, though you can clearly see her removing her underwear.
At the end of the shot, a sentence flashes across the screen: "Postpartum recovery doesn’t have to be this hard," followed by the products in the Frida Mom collection, aimed at simplifying the complicated self-care process for postpartum women.
According to the company's release, The AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) guidelines say that during the broadcast of the annual awards show, “advertisement of the following is not permitted: Political candidates/positions, religious or faith-based message/position, guns, gun shows, ammunition, feminine hygiene products, adult diapers, condoms or hemorrhoid remedies.” That's the biggest issue here, says Frida Mom—that the company "has been put into the same category as guns and ammunition."
Of course, this isn’t the first time Frida Mom has experienced rejection while trying to raise awareness to women’s postpartum needs. In 2018, their billboards, which included the tagline “Your V*gina Will Thank you” to promote its MomWasher product, were banned across the country, everywhere except in New York.
Overall, Frida Mom just wants to bring awareness—both to the fact that their commercial was banned and to postpartum recovery for moms in general. According to a PR representative for the company in an email to Health, "Frida Mom’s mission is to ensure women know what’s going to happen to their bodies postpartum and prepare them," noting that if Frida Mom is unable to air a commercial when they know women are watching, like during the Oscars, then postpartum recovery will remain a taboo subject—which is exactly the opposite of Frida Mom's mission.
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