The luxury lingerie brand Honey Birdette, which uses the tagline “by women, for women,” defended its use of a biological male model to show off its merchandise.
The intimate brand is available internationally and has attracted a sizeable fan base. But many customers were turned off by a recent campaign featuring model Jake Dupree, who identifies as “non-binary.” The social media influencer’s bio includes the descriptors: “international burlesque performer, fitness host and instructor, and lingerie lover.”
Honey Birdette has the tagline “by women, for women” on its Twitter page, while its Instagram says, “a luxury lingerie brand for all.” The account quickly turned off commenting on the Instagram post featuring Dupree and told followers that “hate speech” would not be tolerated.
“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,” the company wrote in an update on the post.
“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. [Jake Dupree] you are so talented and have our full support!”
It’s worth noting that the Instagram post was initially shared Wednesday, more than two weeks after the controversy involving trans-identifying influencer Dylan Mulvaney becoming a brand partner with Bud Light.
Since that happened, the beer company has faced boycotts and reportedly lost billions of dollars in market share. Nike has also been experiencing backlash since partnering with Mulvaney, mainly because it used the TikTok star to model sports bras and women’s athletic wear.
Honey Birdette featured a transgender-identifying model in a past ad campaign. Carmen Carrera previously worked with the brand, and in June 2022 the company announced its intention to make a contribution to support the “LGBTQIA+ community.”
“Stand out. Stand Proud… In celebration of pride month, Honey Birdette is donating $10,000 to the non-profit National Center for Transgender Equality! Honey Birdette is proud to support the work they do that helps so many in the LGBTQIA+ community,” they wrote at the time.