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Bugaboo-boo? Stroller-maker's bikini-clad model gets moms chortling

Moms on Facebook are cracking up over Bugaboo's latest stroller promotion, which shows a bikini-clad model pushing the pricey stroller.
/ Source: TODAY Contributor

Moms on Facebook are cracking up over Bugaboo’s latest stroller promotion, likely not the reaction the brand was expecting.

The Amsterdam-based high-end stroller purveyor posted a photo to Facebook and Instagram of supermodel Ymre Stiekema pushing her 2-year-old in its new “Runner” jogging stroller while wearing what looks like a barely-there black and white bikini.

The caption read: “See how model and mum Ymre Stiekema stays fit and healthy with the Bugaboo Runner,” and suggested that everyone should, “Stay tuned for more running tips!”

The bikini, enviable physique and stroller that fetches upwards of $800 (without accessories!) struck more than a few as laughably unrealistic and out of touch from the average mom’s typical stroll.

“I often jog in my bikini,” wrote one of the first commenters on the post. That comment alone has racked up more than 600 of its own likes and dozens of funny comebacks like these:

“I do too!! But I also need a half roll of duck tape for jiggle maintenance ;) ”

“And with no changing bag, she hasn’t thought this through! Newbie.”

Another chimed in with “TOTALLY RELATABLE, GUYS,” and one mom wrote: “I just wonder how the heck they got that picture of me?”

Other women came to the defense of the brand and model, suggesting critics were jealous.

"I think she looks amazing. Go her! I didn't look like that in my best shape ever, so good on her. Now, back to the gym," one commenter posted to Bugaboo’s Facebook page.

Nissa Powell, a 28-year-old mom from Portsmouth, Va., was one of those who came to Bugaboo’s defense, admonishing others for being “jealous.”

“There were some really over the top and jealous comments,” says Powell, mom of kids ages 3 and 1. “[Bugaboo] wasn’t patronizing their consumers. They were just showing another facet of what their products can do for people.”

Margo Scott Dunn, a new mom to a 5-month-old in Washington, D.C., says that considering she is in the market for a jogging stroller, the ad wasn't very convincing for her. "Certainly I don’t identify terribly strongly with this model," says Dunn, 32. "I can’t say that I would choose that for my jogging attire."

Dunn, though, felt commenters shouldn't have been "throwing jabs at a fellow mom."

In a statement provided to TODAY, Bugaboo said, "We want to inspire moms and dads everywhere to explore the world with their families," and noted that Stiekema is "a mom who enjoys running and happens to be a model." (See below for the company's full statement.)

But most seem to find the image — which Bugaboo notes was shot for Netherlands Vogue — more funny than offensive. The company shared the photo on its own Facebook pages, where mom friends were tagged with sarcastic rejoinders like: “This is EXACTLY how we're going to look if we go for a run with our Bugaboos on Fridays!!”

Annie Cobb, a 35-year-old new mom to a 14-month-old in Brooklyn, laughed Bugaboo’s blunder off with this comment:

“Hm, I don't look like her, but obvs if I had the right stroller I would. Also, maybe she spent all her money on the stroller and then couldn't afford any clothes?”

Cobb told that she does jog with her toddler, but it’s usually in a pair of yoga pants or maybe her 10-year-old running shorts.

“As a marketing thing, it’s not tapping into anything I connect with,” she says. “I just think it’s so funny. She’s a model, so that’s her job, but as a way of selling strollers? I’m never going to be running around in my underwear.”

July 24 update: Bugaboo provided the following statement to TODAY. "We designed our Bugaboo Runner jogging extension with active parents in mind. We want to inspire moms and dads everywhere to explore the world with their families, while keeping up with an active and healthy lifestyle. In addition to Ymre Stiekema — a mom who enjoys running and happens to be a model — our marketing initiatives feature parents who love running, including our own staff at Bugaboo, providing their experiences with their children and the Bugaboo Runner. 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."