Byström is a model, artist, and activist who is known for choosing not to shave her body hair. Her Instagram is filled with whimsical pictures of herself and her friends posing, as well as fruit wearing tiny underwear, which sounds weird but trust me— it's adorable.
Recently, Byström posed for Adidas's new "Superstar" campaign, which, according to Vice, features the "icons of tomorrow." Others like skateboarder Rachelle Vinburg, activist Barbie Ferreira, and musician Madame Gandhi were also featured in the ads.
In Byström's short 15-second spot, she spoke about what femininity means to her:
To put it mildly, the comments were a total dumpster fire.
Several pathetic, fragile men had a total mental breakdown at the sight of—GASP!— hair on a woman's legs.
But it got even worse. In an Instagram post, Byström revealed that she received rape threats in her direct messages after the Adidas ad went live.
My photo from the @adidasoriginals superstar campaign got a lot of nasty comments last week. Me being such an abled, white, cis body with its only nonconforming feature being a lil leg hair. Literally I've been getting rape threats in my DM inbox. I can't even begin to imagine what it's like to not posses all these privileges and try to exist in the world. Sending love and try to remember that not everybody has the same experiences being a person ?
Also thanks for all the love ?got a lot of that too ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Rape threats. Because she dared to do what she wanted with her body.
Maddening, and yet not surprising given the cultural climate. As if we needed any more proof that toxic masculinity is a real issue.
But Byström is right, she also did receive a fair share of love, especially on her Instagram response.
"Saw your BBC article. Confidence is the ultimate sexy! More power to you!" wrote one person.
Another said, "You fucking rule! Thanks for making a difference in the world that my daughter is going to face one day. She is only 4 now but she will be better of growing up if there is more of you in the world!"