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‘This may be a you problem’: Bikini brand shuts down criticism over male model wearing women’s swimsuit

An Australian bikini brand has hit back at criticism over its decision to use a male model to advertise women’s swimwear.

Moana Bikini shared a video on Instagram of male model Jake Young showing off the white one-piece around a pool on Friday.

The brand, which was founded in 2011 by body-positive influencer Karina Irby, said it was “obsessed with this look” and urged customers to buy the £80 piece.

However, it was soon forced to defend itself from criticism as social media users said they were “done” with the brand because of its model choice.

The brand has stood behind their inclusive post and hit back at upset social media users (Moana Bikini)
The brand has stood behind their inclusive post and hit back at upset social media users (Moana Bikini)

One wrote online: “Is that a man? I thought you were about empowering women?”

Another commented on the post, which has over 500,000 views: “Horrible marketing. Why is it everyone is trying so hard to be ‘woke’ The model is gorgeous but this is not it.”

However, the company doubled down on the advert, replying: “If Jake in our bikini upsets you that much we feel as though this may be a you problem.”

The model himself also hit back at the negative comments, writing: “There are many different types of women. Women with different anatomy to what you consider ‘normal’.

“I am not a woman nor have I ever claimed to be. This post is simply empowering a minority & I’m forever grateful for that. Your hate is a reflection of your own insecurities, not mine. Thank you @moana_bikini”

The model wrote: “This post is simply empowering a minority & I’m forever grateful for that” (Moana Bikini)
The model wrote: “This post is simply empowering a minority & I’m forever grateful for that” (Moana Bikini)

Other customers also rushed to praise the advert, with one writing: “People are really hiding their true colours behind their ‘this is a women’s brand designed to empower women’ comments.

“We see plenty of women in Moana swimwear and showcasing an incredible man wearing a piece of literal CLOTHING does not take the empowerment away from women.

“Good on you, team - empowerment can be extended to everyone without taking from anyone.”

Another echoed this, saying: “These comments are weird. The bathing suits are for anyone who wants to wear them. Why does someone in a bathing suit bother you so much the bathing suits are for anyone who wants to wear them?”

The Independent has contacted Moana for comment but a spokesperson re-affirmed its position to Mail Online saying: “Moana Bikini are - and have always been - one of the most inclusive and empowering brands in existence.

“This is not only in terms of our size and style range for women but - most importantly - in our love and acceptance of all races, ethnicities, body shapes and sizes, genders and sexual orientations. This hasn’t changed and never will change.”