A promotional ad for a footwear brand in Pakistan has been criticized by social media users for “promoting violence” towards women.

The ad photographed by Alee’ Hassan and styled by Yasser Abdul Aziz Dar gained attention after a Pakistani comedian Ali Gul Pir posted it on social media. The image shows a model named Anam Malik, whose face is stepped by another model, Sadaf Kanwal.

Pir captioned the image, “This is a Pakistani photoshoot which is marketing shoes and the photographers suppressed fetish of being dominated by feet. Now English Boot House needs to up their game. Let’s see what they do. Chappal in mouth?” “Chappal” means “sandals” in English.

Social media users saw the image and were displeased with the shoot. “This is unacceptable; this is the promotion of violence against women,” one Facebook user said. Another Facebook user wrote, “How dumb is the woman who accepted to be a part of this? A woman is promoting this. Can someone see that too?”

One Facebook user commented, “The whole idea is flawed. The photographer, the person behind this idea and the models need to grow up.” Stylist Yasser Abdul Aziz however defended the marketing campaign that received tons of criticism.

In his Instagram Stories, he said, “Thanks for all the hatred I got, I really appreciate it. But I’m not going to justify and delete this picture. If you don’t like it, then just don’t like it. Don’t double tap. It is as simple as it sounds. Thanks.”

He continued saying, “I’m not providing some public service here that you can come to my profile and boss me. My work is my art and I respect it. Thanks for your irrelevant concern.”

[via The Express Tribune, opening image via Yasser Abdul Aziz]

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