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Luxury lingerie brand ‘by women, for women’ posts new ad with biological male in women’s bra and panties

A high-end lingerie brand that once prided itself on having premium products for women only, recently put out an ad featuring a biological male in a bra and panties.

In a post to its Instagram account Wednesday, luxury lingerie company Honey Birdette used a male model to show off its new “RUBY” 3-piece lingerie set. In the images, model Jake DuPree attempted seductive poses while wearing a red bra, panties, and red matching stockings. 

The caption for Honey Birdette’s post stated, “Red curtain moment! @jakedupree stars in the RUBY 3 piece set.”

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A lingerie company recently courted controversy for featuring a man in a its new 3-piece lingerie set

A lingerie company recently courted controversy for featuring a man in a its new 3-piece lingerie set (Thinkstock)

The caption also included a lengthy disclosure about the lingerie company’s inclusivity initiatives that made this subversive ad possible. 

It said, “UPDATE: Honey Birdette fosters an inclusive and diverse environment, and we will continue to use our voice to empower and support the LGBTQ+ community, women, and anyone who wants to feel fabulous in our lingerie.”

It also included a warning for those who don’t approve of the male wearing women’s underwear, stating, “While thoughtful and constructive discussions are important to push culture forward, hate speech and bullying will not be tolerated on our channels. Comments of this negative nature will be deleted.”

The group also added a message of support for the male model, saying, “@jakedupree, you are so talented and have our full support!” 

The account also shut off comments for the post.

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Heidi Klum was a staple on the Victoria's Secret lingerie show runway each year, as seen at the show in 2008. 

Heidi Klum was a staple on the Victoria’s Secret lingerie show runway each year, as seen at the show in 2008.  (Jon Parra)

The ad and accompanying message seemed to be a 180 degree from Honey Birdette’s old marketing slogan: “By women, for women.” 

A quick glance at DuPree’s own Instagram page revealed that model identities as non-binary and seeks to be identified with “they/them” pronouns. 

On his page, DuPree also posted an image of him modeling the same three piece set and captioned it with a message thanking his supporters. The message also alluded to him having had to deal with critics of his Honey Birdette gig. 

He wrote, “Days like this are tough, but I’m tougher. Thank you for so much love and support today! I heard from so many of you, and I genuinely appreciate all your kind words … and some funny comebacks that really made me laugh.”

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Honey Birdette’s decision to advertise female-oriented clothing with non-female models follows Nike’s recent decision to employ trans woman Dylan Mulvaney as a model for its latest sports bra and female athletic leggings line. 

Following backlash to Honey Birdette’s model choice, the company promoted a new slogan across its social media accounts, which said, “A luxury lingerie brand for all!”

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