A recent commercial for the Always brand of women's pads features someone who appears to be a man, leaving viewers confused about the advertisement for the menstruation product.
A 15-second promotion for Always Infinity Pads with Flexfoam features either a man or a transgender man in its commercial in support of "all bodies."
"No two bodies are the same. Some pads never got that message," the commercial begins, before promoting that the product "fits all bodies."
But audiences are unable to pinpoint whether the actor in question is indeed a man or a biological woman posing as a man.
A Reddit thread titled "Always FlexFoam - do men use these?" asks, "[W]hy would a man ever be part of this demographic?
"This isn't an inclusivity thing, this is a 'you're a biological man and have no need for this product' thing," the caption adds.
"Are you referring to the person in the purple shirt? Is that just a tall, gangly female?" the top comment asks.
"It’s pretty clear that a biological woman who identifies as a man was cast in this commercial for the sake of inclusion," says Natasha Biase, a reporter and writer on women's issues.
"Interestingly, this casting choice admits that only women can get their period," she adds.
A Twitter user took a different perspective, however, criticizing the ad because the company hasn't "gotten the f***ing message that not everyone who menstruates is a woman."
"Maybe take the 'you go girl!' s**t off your pads & then get back to me," it continues.
The next day, a different viewer claimed that the actor was indeed a man, saying, "OMG, I just saw a tv ad for Always Flexfoam pads that had a man in it! Well let’s say a male cuz I wouldn’t call him a man!"
Several ad campaigns for Always appear to be inactive, with error pages and missing videos on their pages. This includes the brand's "Empowering girls through education" campaign, "Our epic battle like a girl" campaign, as well as its "#EndPeriodPoverty" campaign.
A different company called L, which specializes in organic tampons, is currently running an ad campaign featuring a male content creator named Jeffrey Marsh.
Procter & Gamble has not yet replied to a request for comment.
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