Male bikini model Jake Young wearing Karina Irby’s Australian brand Moana bikini sparks outrage

A popular Australian bikini brand has faced backlash after using a male model to show off one of their latest swimwear designs.

Moana Bikini, owned by body positive influencer Karina Irby, shared an eye-catching video of successful male model Jake Young donning a glam one-piece white swimsuit worth $130 to their Instagram page.

“Obsessed with this look,” the brand captioned the clip, which was quickly flooded with a barrage of negative comments from shocked customers who expressed their apparent outrage at seeing a man model a swimsuit.

Many said they would no longer be supporting the brand and were unfollowing the page after the video was posted.

“Is that a man? I thought you were about empowering women?” one female customer questioned, who said she was now “done” with the company.

“Men seem to be trying to take over everything women hold sacred. Our safe spaces, our identity and now our fashion.

“I’m sorry you support whatever you like but I don’t agree with men in women’s swimsuits and trying to market it towards women.

“I’ve been a loyal customer for ten years but I’m done.”

“Why can’t men be men? I’m so over this narrative” another said.

“Horrible marketing. Why is everyone trying so hard to be ‘woke’?”

“No thanks and goodbye!” one wrote.

“No one is afraid of trans/gay people but we are tired of them taking our spaces as women.”

Despite the negativity, others called out the “homophobic” and “hate-filled” comments that were flooding the post.

“Imagine being pissed at what someone wears! Do ya’ll not have hobbies or jobs?” one wrote.

“Moana is all about empowerment and celebrating everybody.”

“These comments are weird, bathing suits are for anyone who wants to wear them,” another said.

“Why does someone in a bathing suit bother you so much? The trans and homophobia in this comment section is not passing the vibe check.”

In response to the influx of criticism, Moana Bikini’s founder Karina Irby defended the brand’s advert.

“Moana Bikini has been empowering all bodies since 2011,” she wrote.

“This video really shouldn’t shock you at all. If you have to announce your ‘anger’ I strongly urge you to listen to ‘you need to calm down’ by Taylor Swift, as I believe it was written for you.”

Model Jake also commented on the clip.

“There are so many different types of women, women with different anatomy to what you consider ‘normal’” he wrote.

“I am not a woman nor have I ever claimed to be. This post is simply empowering a minority and I’m forever grateful for that.

“Your hate is a reflection of your own insecurities, not mine.”

Another Australia swimwear brand Seafolly copped similar backlash after working with non-binary influencer Deni Todorović.

Deni, who uses they/them pronouns and identifies as non-binary, shared a selfie of themselves posing in lime green bikini bottoms and a matching cover near Bondi Beach.

“This marks the first time iconic Aussie swim giants @seafollyaustralia have worked with a trans ambassador/brand partner,’ Deni wrote.

They later edited their caption to say “Today we made history. This marks the first time iconic Aussie swim giants @seafollyaustralia have worked with a Trans person.”

The snap sparks outrage, with many calling to boycott the iconic brand.

Seafolly later denied Todorovič was an ambassador for the brand, and said they were a “special guest” to the brand’s World Pride event in Sydney.

A spokesperson for Moana Bikini proudly said in a statement that they have and always will celebrate all bodies and continue to support Jake.

“We find it quite absurd that people would cherry-pick this one, individual post from our 12 years of business to make a wild statement about us not being empowering to women,” a spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.

“Moana Bikini are – and have always been – one of the most inclusive and empowering brands in existence.

“This 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.

“Many commenters are using the excuse that they believe it is ‘insulting to women,’ when in reality, it’s quite clear they are homophobic and have an issue with someone expressing their sexuality proudly and confidently.

“We’re happy to receive and hear people’s feedback – both negative and positive. But we’re not here to please everyone. That’s an impossible task. If people aren’t happy with this individual post of a proud, gay man wearing a piece of clothing he feels confident in, they can just keep scrolling or unfollow, can’t they?

“Imagine living a life where you choose to be offended by something and stick around, comment and engage, only to make yourself more and more angry. This sounds like a them problem, not an us problem, to be honest.”

Leave a Comment