A California lingerie company is taking the daring step of using a common and crude expression to sell bras to moms.
“Be a MILF (Mom I’d Love to Fit) and get the natural lift you and your girls deserve,” True&Co’s website for the promotion says.
MILF was originally an acronym for a vulgar expression.
The revamped MILF campaign, just in time for Mother’s Day, is an attempt to get moms to try their bra fitting and purchase a new bra. Photos from the campaign depict prominent bloggers and moms with their children and the acronym MILF.
Michelle Lam, founder of True&Co., told ABCNews.com that the campaign was inspired by customer’s stories about having a baby and the body changes that come with it.
“We wanted to grab people’s attention and to express our sense of humor,” Lam said. “We also wanted to take a frat boy acronym that is derogatory and instead give it a new positive meaning.”
“We think there’s nothing objectifying about a woman owning her sexuality,” Lam said. “We’d be proud to be considered a MILF (Mom I’d Love to Fit).”
Despite the company’s justification for using the acronym that can have a negative connotation, several women have taken to the Internet to express their disapproval. Caroline Fraser wrote on the retailer’s Facebook page, “Your ‘MILF’ campaign is disgusting, misogynistic and humiliates.”
Joanna Mazewski, 33, a mother of two and blogger with the parenting website Babble.com from Coconut Creek, Fla., said it’s impossible to repurpose the acronym.
“Everyone understands what MILF means,” Mazewski told ABCNews.com. “When I hear MILF, I don’t think of getting my bra fitted. I do think it’s a bit on the crass side.” Babble.com and ABC News are both owned by the Walt Disney Corporation.
To Lauren Hartmann, 28, a freelance wardrobe stylist and Babble blogger from Portland, Ore., the campaign doesn’t make sense.
“I think that it seems like a really classy ad… and then all of a sudden there’s a stamp that says MILF,” Hartmann told ABCNews.com. ”I don’t think the term MILF is empowering.”
The company’s campaign has some applauding the use of a crude term to generate appeal for its products, in a move similar to the “Ship My Pants” video advertisement by Kmart.
Shana Draugelis, 37, mother and blogger for Ain’t No Mom Jeans, who is one of the mothers pictured in the campaign, said she thought True&Co.’s twist on the MILF acronym was light-hearted and fun.
“The campaign was very tastefully done,” Draugelis said in an email to ABCNews.com. “If moms are starting to finally be recognized for being more than the schlubby, overly-competitive, internet-sniping, Christmas-sweater wearing, desexualized women that the media loves to depict, I’m totally OK with that.”
“I think it’s funny,” Meredith Carroll, 40, a writer, Babble blogger, and mother of two from Aspen, Colo., told ABCNews.com. “I could get offended, but something like this I just don’t see the point.”
When asked what the company’s reaction was to those offended by their new definition of MILF, Lam said, “Not everyone gets our sense of humor.”