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Bugaboo stroller ad sparks controversy

The stroller company, Bugaboo, recently released a new ad featuring model Ymre Steikema. The Dutch model, at age 23, has a two-year-old daughter and has achieved many modelling milestones already: walking for Prada, Calvin Klein and Louis Vuitton, among others.

Her appearance in the advertisement has produced backlash from the target audience of fit, new mothers.

PRO: The photo depicts Steikema running with her daughter, encouraging to new moms that it is possibly to hit the roads with a young one.

CON: The model is wearing what is essentially a bikini, an unrealistic outfit that you would not find your everyday runner hitting the streets in.

PRO: That stroller companies are trying to design running-specific models.


CON: That Bugaboo made the ad more about Steikema’s body than about the stroller itself.

  Love running with my @bugaboohq runner and my little cutie! #bugaboorunner #runfree #nike #nlvogue #bugaboo   A photo posted by Ymre Stiekema (@ymrevcs) on

PRO: Bugaboo went with a model who actually runs and who is pictured with a child that is actually her daughter.

CON: That people thin-shamed Steikema. Calling out the company for asking their model to appear in an unrealistic outfit and sending a twisted message about what post-baby bodies look like is one thing, but personally attacking a model for her own physique is not okay. Elite female runners also frequently fall victim to thin-shaming.

Happy KINGS day!! A photo posted by Ymre Stiekema (@ymrevcs) on

In the end:

Bugaboo missed the mark if they were hoping to speak to your everyday mom-on-the-go, the one who is looking for a stroller that they can strap Junior in while going out for a run. This is unfortunate, because all they probably needed to do was put shorts and a shirt on their model and that target audience would have been more receptive.

The conclusion is also that Steikema is a young mother who runs with her child. The fact that her career is as a model doesn’t take away from her deserving respect for hitting the roads while pushing her kid.