Out of stepOut of step

Is that you, Bar Refaeli?

Supermodel strikes a sour pose in new ad that critics say demeans plus-sized women

A new TV commercial for designer glasses featuring Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli has raised hackles over what critics say is its depiction of full-figured women as less than desirable.

The clip, released last week with the heading “Bar does it on a pole,” shows a bemused gentleman eyeing Bar Refaeli on a train, then imagining her dancing sexily around a pole, showing off her abs and slim figure in black skinny jeans, while wearing trendy, clunky glasses (because all pole dancers do that).

The gentleman eventually pulls out his own specs, and lo and behold! With the augmented vision provided by his special Carolina Lemke Berlins — Ms. Refaeli is a co-owner of the company — he suddenly sees the real woman before him. But instead of the svelte Bar of his dreams, she turns out to be a pudgy blonde who winks suggestively at him.

The clip was greeted with derision by commentators on Hebrew media sites, including music and culture site Music24 and Channel 2’s website. On Channel 2, one viewer deemed it “totally offensive,” another said it just “shows what Bar will do for money” and a third said it showed “a lack of shame and self-respect.”

The advertising company responsible for the ad, Reuveni Pridan IPG, was also receiving complaints on their Facebook page, with one commentator calling it “disgusting” and others saying that the company should be “ashamed.” A company representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

The ad was broadcast on television channels overseen by Israel’s Second Authority for Television and Radio, which received “a flood” of complaints over it, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Monday. The issue has also been taken up by various women’s organizations, which have called for a boycott of Carolina Lemke Berlin glasses.

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