Naja: Empowering Women One Bra at a Time

When you think of bra advertisements, you probably think of the commercials of wind blowing through the hair of skinny supermodels; something a little too unattainable. But what about a bra company that vows for women empowerment, hope, and eco-consciousness? That’s something new, and it’s what the company Naja is promising to strive for. Rather than focusing on marketing campaigns that depict normal standards of beauty and objectification, Naja is more interested in creating a company that is body-positive for every size, shape, and color of a woman.

This industry so often makes women feel bad about themselves rather than lifting them up. Naja hopes to change that. When you think of a nude bra, what comes to mind? Probably the stereotypical snow-white, beige shade. But who determined that light skin would be deemed nude? "Nude" and "light skin" are not synonymous. Nude should encompass all shades of skin, not just the one glorified in modern culture. That's why Naja created a line “Nude for All” for all the shades of nude that a woman can be.

This campaign was dedicated to getting shades for all skin types and also featuring real women. They searched for women who were "breaking the mold," and that's what they found. The line includes bras and underwear in seven different shades of nude. So now women can pick out their bras and not feel any short of shame of their skin color because their skin isn’t the shade that is sold. Nude is more than one color and Naja understands that.

The idea behind this campaign was created by co-founders Catalina Girald and actress, Gina Rodriguez. "We want all women to feel beautiful regardless of what the media tells us is beautiful," co-founder Gina Rodriguez told Refinery29. "We also want women to understand that outer beauty is not a measure of self-worth; power comes from within."

Rodriguez is known for her Golden Globe award-winning role on Jane the Virgin and her role in the new movie Deepwater Horizon. She recently joined the company as a co-founder with Catalina Girald. Girald became an entrepreneur not only to promote this body-positive lingerie, but also to help women in even more ways. It’s not just about who the products are sold to, but also who’s making them. This company is created by women, for women.

Naja doesn’t just help women become more body-positive, but it also helps single mothers and female heads of household. These women are given the opportunity to find employment that pays them above market wages with healthcare benefits. In a society that so often makes women choose between working and raising a family, Naja gives single mothers an opportunity to do both. In fact, the children of Naja garment workers each receive books, school supplies, uniforms, and school meals paid for by Naja. While many other big-name bra companies (cough-cough Victoria's Secret) have sweatshop-like conditions, it's refreshing to see that this company vows to help all women, not just the ones buying the products. If that’s not dedication to empowering women, I don’t know what is.

On top of all of this, Naja also has a program called Underwear for Hope which women in the slums of Columbia are employed through to make the bags that the purchased lingerie comes packaged in. Without people-oriented companies like this, these women would struggle to find a job otherwise.

In addition to helping these women, Underwear for Hope also donates 2% of their profits to charities that provide education to marginalized women. It truly seems that hope is the foundation of this company, and that is inspiring.

Scrolling up and down Naja’s Facebook page, it is clear what sets them apart even further. In your stereotypical big-name bra and lingerie company, the whole page is littered with advertisements in attempts to get women to buy and buy and buy. Yes, they too have advertisements but they're mixed with something that felt more authentic.

They post articles like “Why I Started Teaching my Babies How to Stop Rape Culture” and “What You Can Do Right Now to Preserve Reproductive Rights.” Their feed is decorated with articles to lift women up and start conversations about feminism and womanhood. It feels like more of a community than a company.

There’s just something genuine about Naja. It’s more than just selling you a bra. It’s focused on making you feel powerful, confident, and beautiful no matter what you look like. Other bra and lingerie companies are trying to market to your fears while Naja is marketing to your strengths. Those other companies could learn a lesson or two from Naja. 

Naja is more than just a bra company, it’s a web of women supporting women. And that is something that we should all get behind.


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