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Sri Lankan gym compares women to a BARREL; social media outrage follows

A bizarre billboard put up by a gym in Colombo featured a picture of a barrel with the text, "This is no shape for a woman." The ad created a huge outrage online and was later taken down.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 27, 2018 9:04:05 pm
The controversial hoarding made an attempt to describe the “shape” of a woman, and stirred a huge storm online. (Source: Dawn Martenstyne/ Facebook)

It’s not just lewd remarks, offensive gestures or even sexual violence that haunts women around the world. Sexist remarks mostly go unnoticed and are an equally persistent problem that women face on a daily basis. Recently, a Sri Lankan ad put up by a gym triggered it notches higher with their offensive ad. The bizarre billboard put up by a gym in Colombo featured a picture of a barrel with the text, “This is no shape for a woman.”

The controversial hoarding from OSMO Fitness made an attempt to describe the “shape” of a woman and stirred up a huge storm online. Photos of the billboard started flooding social media platforms with Netizens slamming the gym for its distasteful publicity. Both men and women shared pictures of the ad and lambasted them for body-shaming women.

With the hashtag #BoycottOsmo, some even started social media campaigns and asked the fitness brand to take it down and apologise.

Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs, Harsha de Silva intervened and asserted on Twitter, “I asked the Colombo MC Commissioner to remove this unapproved offensive hoarding. I would not tolerate this in Kotte. #SriLanka.” The banner was subsequently concealed with a black layer overnight.

Subsequently, the Colombo Municipal Council allowed the women rights activists to use the space to display a message against sexism for two days. “No more space for sexism,” in Sri Lanka’s three major languages – Sinhala, Tamil and English.

In their official statement, Osmo later clarified that the advertisement was not intended to “degrade, offend, insult or undermine any one person or women in general”. The ad has now been withdrawn, the Daily Star reported.

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