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This data, from one of the most widely used photo agencies in the world, demonstrates a demand for real, raw imagery; for an accurate representation of womanhood and motherhood at a time when much of our perception is shaped by social media.
And it’s this desire to create authentic connections with consumers that prompted a partnership between leakproof underwear brand Modibodi and the visual communications company.
The two have come together to launch the ‘Postpartum Unfiltered’ image gallery – a collection of over 1500 images that accurately portray women in the 12 month post-birth period.
The gallery includes 33 families with parents and children of different ages, ethnicities and religions that have been crowd sourced by Getty Images’ custom content photographers from around the world.
The move was spurred on by Modibodi’s recent launch into the baby category, through which the brand discovered a noticeable lack of authentic images of motherhood for its campaign.
“Most postpartum images were simplistic post-birth representations of baby ‘bliss’ or ‘blues’. At the other end of the spectrum were beautifully curated celeb mum and bub snaps. We knew this had to change,” Modibodi founder and CEO, Kristy Chong, told Inside Retail.
Chong, a mother of four, said postpartum life is rarely as it’s portrayed in media and advertising, and the brand wants to use representative imagery that helps women to feel “prepared, seen, understood and proud” of their postpartum journey.
“By showing unfiltered images which acknowledge the tough times and the triumphs of this significant stage of motherhood, we hope mums feel prepared and confident,” she said.
However, not everyone is onboard with Modibodi’s realistic approach. In the early days, when Chong first began marketing Modibodi, she was repeatedly told that she would need “super glamorous models to make supposedly unmentionable topics like menstruation and incontinence tolerable to Australian women and the media”.
“I refused to believe this was the only way we could have a presence in the market and from day one, we’ve sourced customers and everyday women from diverse backgrounds to help model and sell our products. This is also our approach to choosing our influencer partners.”
Sparking a conversation
Postpartum Unfiltered is just the latest in raw, honest communications from the brand, which has previously faced complaints over its realistic approach and had its advertisement “The New Way to Period” banned from Facebook.
Chong said that it will take time for these topics to become normalised.
“Driving social change for postpartum mums is a challenge but is incredibly important. Breastfeeding and postpartum bodies are natural and normal. Why should this amazing time in a mum’s life be hidden or shrouded in stigma?”
Modibodi is also collaborating with influencers that share similar values and beliefs on womanhood.
“Their honesty, authenticity and energy is changing the way the world sees and discusses periods, pee, perspiration and now, life postpartum.”
As part of the latest campaign, the brand is also calling on parents to share their own, real postpartum images on social media with the hashtag #PostpartumUnfiltered in an effort to open up conversations around women’s bodies and health.
“Modibodi users aren’t just customers, they’re a community,” Chong said.
In 2020 the brand established a Facebook group to support that community to connect with each other and share their personal insights and experiences. In turn, Modibodi provides the group with exclusive content, product updates, promotions and early access to discount codes.
“We quickly realised through our own platforms like Facebook and Instagram that Australians wanted a place to discuss and share their own experiences with menstruation, bladder leaks, pregnancy and beyond.”
The group now has around 3600 members who also play a role in new product development and testing.