Training Bugaboo Ignites a Major Hullabaloo Among Moms

Bugaboo Ignites a Major Hullabaloo Among Moms


A new ad featuring a bikini clad supermodel, Ymre Stiekema, running while pushing her two year old in a jogging stroller has recharged the social media conversation among women (moms or not) about body image.

When luxury Dutch stroller company Bugaboo posted a promotional photo on the company’s Facebook page last month, the caption read in part: “See how model and mum Ymre Stiekema stays fit and healthy with the Bugaboo Runner.” Needless to say, it wasn’t long before Facebook and Twitter erupted with a wide-range of reactions against the company and the model Stiekema herself. From mothers, especially new moms, outraged at the seemingly unobtainable standards for women to supporters claiming the company’s ad provides inspiration and promotes an active lifestyle.

Online social media debates have turned ugly with women bashing other women based on their lifestyle choices, body type and parenting techniques. As Bugaboo explained, the brand’s intention is to inspire, and encourage parents to explore the world and stay active and healthy. According to the company statement released to NBC’s Today, “We believe that all parents should run free no matter where they are on their fitness journeys and what they choose to wear on their runs.”

Social media debates between mothers aren’t new. However, criticizing a company for featuring a young mother leading an active lifestyle poses a unique challenge. While women face innumerable pressures to conform to societal standards of beauty, a glaring hole in this debate is the lack attention paid to who the target audience of this stroller is. Bugaboo’s stroller is manufactured to cater specifically to runners. 23-year old model Stiekema reflects a specific demographic: a young mother, leading an extremely active lifestyle whose career is dependent on her physical appearance. People need to be able to separate the different body image debates. The fitness industry market is notorious for using similarly bikini-clad models in their promotional materials, with many finding these images to be aspirational. Why should a stroller brand aimed at consumers who lead an active lifestyle be any different?

Are you a parent who uses (or has used) a running stroller? Tell us what you think of Bugaboo’s ad campaign.




  1. Just because she is a professional runner with the body to match does not mean she has to hide out in a closet in fear of offending someone.
    She has the body she has because of her sport (work) and she wears what she feels she needs to to meet her goals in a healthy way. Some “feminists” might wish that she wore a turtleneck sweater to hide herself but that is not what it is all about.
    LADIES! Be happy with the body you have. Do you think you can be healthier? Then do it. Otherwise let other people live their lives as they want.

  2. Ricardo, where did you find she was a professional runner?? She’s just a professional model, not a professional runner. Please get your facts straight before you posts facts. Professinal atheletes such as runners lead a more healthier lifestyle than professinal models. You come off with a condescending atitude to any female audiences readers which is pretty insulting.

  3. If they had just put her in shorts or a skort with a tight tech shirt, I don’t think there would be all this uproar . . . every fitness option ever advertised contains people who have (generally) unrealistic bodies, be it the ab machines, Bowflex, whatever . . . I’m a huge advocate for running, but guess what? I know I won’t have the body of Meb! I’m okay with that . . .

  4. Great body – being active – child is safe and comfortable – why be judgemental?

    Message here is ignore the clothes – look and see a body in motion doing something healthy

  5. Quote from article…”The twenty-three year old Stiekema, actually reflects the stroller company’s target demographic: a young mother, leading an extremely active lifestyle whose career is dependent on her physical appearance.” This is very narrow demographic for bugaboo to market to. I am no marketing genius but perhaps expanding their demographic to active “average” parents who enjoy running would be more successful? Really how many women out there have a career that is dependent on her physical appearance?

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