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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Why is this new lingerie campaign so controversial?

Why is this new lingerie campaign so controversial?

Last updated on: August 28, 2014 21:22 IST

The new collection of a little-known lingerie company is making waves!

It may not exactly be a household name even in the US (yet) but here's something you need to know about Dear Kate:

The company was founded by Julie Sygiel, a chemical engineering student while at the Brown University, an Ivy League institution.

What sets Dear Kate apart from the rest is its revolutionary fabric that is (and you may have to sit down for this) absorbs liquids, resists leakage and just incidentally is also stain-repelling!

And just why are we talking about this today?

Turns out Dear Kate just shook up:

1. The Silicon Valley
2. The media
3. The feminists

And it's no so much because of its revolutionary patent-pending fabric.

Because, come on, who's interested in that, right?

(L-R) Arikia Millikan, Sarah Conley, Patty Delgado, Rebecca Garcia, Quiessence Phillips and Adda Birnir for Dear Kate

Dear Kate's new ad campaign for the Ada collection featured CEOs and founders of tech companies in their... erm... undies balancing laptops on their knees.

The photograph above features Arikia Millikan, founder of LadyBits, Sarah Conley, a plus-sized fashion blogger, Patty Delgado of Refinery29, Rebecca Garcia, founder of Geek Girl Web, Adda Birnir, CEO and co-founder of Skillcrush and Quiessence Phillips of Black Girls Code.

As you can see, this isn't exactly a Victoria's Secret advertisement.

The women pictured here aren't professional models.

They are, for the lack of a better phrase, real women.

And they are all well-known techies and women in power in a field dominated by men.

So mow male dominated is the Silicon Valley exactly?

Quiessence Phillips for Dear Kate

According to a research by the Harvard Business School, only 18 per cent computer science graduates are women.

Of the entire workforce in the tech industry, only 20 per cent are women!

56 per cent of these employees quit their career mid-way.

In this year itself executives at tech start-ups such as SnapChat and Tinder among others have been accused of sexual harassment.

So it isn't surprising when you are told that women in the business find it difficult to 'make it' in this all-boys club.

 

 

Adda Birnir (L) for Dear Kate

The pictures have, of course, raised several eyebrows.

Some feel that getting female CEOs to pose in their underwear does not necessarily help the feminist cause.

Others wonder if they would ever be taken seriously after presenting themselves in their basic essentials.

On the flipside though it brings to question just why a woman posing in her underwear should not be taken seriously.

Last we checked the Prime Minister of Great Britain was rather keen to hear what David Beckham had to say about tackling the threat of long term hunger that affects millions of children across the world (see the two here) despite his numerous appearances in underwear campaigns.

So should being seen in a campaign for an underwear, which by the way, just happens to be revolutionary make you be taken less seriously as a tech boss?

As Adda Birnir who appears in the campaign tells Time magazine: "I don't know. If this makes a sexist investor that much more sexist, I don't care."


Do you find this ad campaign sexist or revolutionary?

Would you take your boss seriously if she posed for a similar campaign? And why?

We would love to hear from you!

Post your comments in the Discussion Board below!