AN ADVERTISING WOKE CAMPAIGN of the Spanish Ministry of Equality has sparked a controversy due to the use of images of several models without their consent. The details of what happened are so unusual and embarrassing that the scandal has even reached the international press and has called into question the competence of a ministry with a budget of 20.319 million euros.
On July 27, the Women’s Institute (an autonomous public body tied to the Ministry of Equality) launched with great fanfare on its social networks a propaganda campaign on the diversity of women’s bodies, under the slogan “Summer is also ours”.
The campaign consisted of a poster showing five women in a celebratory attitude digitally superimposed on a beach. Three of them were obese women, another one showed her hairy armpits and the fifth one appeared topless showing only one breast as a result of the removal of the other one.
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This initiative of the Ministry of Equality, in itself, was quite questioned, since, evidently, in Spain, there is no legal impediment for obese, hairy, or breastless women to access the beaches, and culturally there is no discrimination against the presence of this type of bodies on the beaches.
However, the Ministry of Equality — led by Irene Montero, former partner of the former VP Pablo Iglesias (both radical leftists) — once again justified part of its spending of taxpayers’ money by relying on the victimhood inseparable from its woke ideology, denouncing a non-existent problem.
Beyond the questionable nature of the campaign itself, the scandal erupted when, in the days following its launching, there was a succession of complaints from several women who alleged that their images had been used for the poster without their consent.
It should be remembered that the greatest political victory of the recently created Ministry of Equality has been the approval of a law known as the “only yes means yes” law, which regulates the need for express and explicit consent in sexual relations between men and women.
If this first contradiction is already ironic, the details that have become known about the case reach a level of absurdity that borders on paroxysm.
The first to denounce the use of her image without her consent was the British “curvy model” Nyome Nicholas-Williams. Shortly after, it was discovered that two of the women in the poster featured the unauthorized Photoshop of Brazilian “plus-size model” Raissa Galvão.
The last two cases are surreal, especially in a campaign that was supposedly intended to “give visibility to diverse bodies”. The photo of the woman with armpit hair was also stolen from British woman Siângreen-Lord, who not only had hair digitally added to her shaved armpit, but also had her prosthetic limb replaced by a leg.
Le han quitado una prótesis y le han puesto pelo en el sobaco pic.twitter.com/yEtFGqQrDm
— Íñigo Zulet (@inigozulet) July 29, 2022
The latest woman to denounce the campaign has been the photographer Ami Barwell, author of a series of images on mastectomies. The Ministry of Equality would have used two of her photographs, mixing the body of a woman with only one breast with the face of Juliet FitzPatrick, who has had both breasts removed and who now, because of the digital magic of the Spanish Ministry of Equality, has to see her face on a body with an added breast.
@BBCWomansHour I’ve just listened to Fridays piece on the Spanish beach ad.things have moved on. I believe that my face has been superimposed onto the mastectomy woman’s body.I have no breasts,she has one.@Amibarweell believes that 2 of her images from her mastectomy project/cont
— Juliet FitzPatrick (@Julietfitzy) August 1, 2022
The reaction of the Ministry of Equality to the poster controversy
As a result of the scandal, the Women’s Institute and the Ministry of Equality have limited themselves to withdrawing the campaign and placing the blame on the freelance artist hired for its design, Arte Mapache. Far from assuming their responsibility, both public bodies consider themselves “injured parties”, assuring that “at no time were we aware that they were real models”. Not content with this lazy excuse, they doubled down on their woke discourse in a bizarre video they uploaded to Instagram, but which has since been deleted.
Nos echaríamos unas risas si no nos costara el pastizal que nos cuestapic.twitter.com/YW7jXaZSuq
— Sonia Sierra 🇺🇦 (@SoniaSierra02) July 31, 2022
In the video, the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, and the Secretary of State for Equality, Ángela Rodríguez, could be seen defending the advertising campaign despite its irregularities and inconsistencies.
The Secretary of State for Equality declared that “people who have different bodies: fat, very thin, with hair where they are not supposed to be, those of us who have always been afraid to show our bodies as they are because we have been told that there was a way to have a correct body and that ours was not that kind of body: it is necessary to tell us that we can occupy public spaces”.
She continued her string of woke concepts by saying that “it is an issue that is intimately related to stereotypes and gender roles and that ultimately reproduces the inequalities that we women and men suffer.”
“That’s why we wanted to do this campaign, to remember that all bodies are valid, that beauty is expressed in multiple ways and that we all deserve to be able to be on the beach, in the pool, etc.,” Ángela Rodríguez finished off.
For her part, Irene Montero added: “So for everyone, for todes [sic], but especially for all of you, whatever body you have, know that here you have a ministry that will fight until the beach and life are for everyone, and that they are happy for everyone”.
As can be seen in her social media posts, at least the women affected by the theft and manipulation of their images are not too happy. And neither should be the designer on whom they have unloaded all the responsibility.
¿Qué piensas tú? 😣 Así reaccionó la modelo Sian Green-Lord cuando vio que usaron su imagen sin permiso y que modificaron su prótesis en el cartel del Ministerio de Igualdad.
— Tododisca (@tododisca) August 1, 2022
As in Orwell’s Animal Farm, even for the Spanish Ministry of Equality all women are equal, but some are more equal than others.
Editor’s Note: All quotes are originally in Spanish and were translated to English for publication purposes.
Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.
Social Networks: @ignaciomgm