Walmart is facing an uproar after a series of Instagram photos featuring two female models with their young daughters in swimsuits were widely shared.
The two women, Jillian Lopez and Ashley Wylie, posted a series in which they were seen wearing full-body water sports gear while walking down the mall.
“This is my favorite,” the two Instagram users captioned the photo, which has since been removed.
Several of their followers called for Walmart to clean house.
Some commenters, however, questioned why the models were wearing the swimsuits in the first place.
They argued the images were a publicity stunt, and that they should be given the same treatment as other women who have had to remove their swimsuits to promote the brand.
But Walmart spokesperson Nicole Mancuso denied the swimwear was a publicity ploy.
In a statement, the retailer said the model wore her swimsuits “as part of her normal training routine.”
“There was no training session and she was not wearing any training equipment to make the swimsuit look like a workout,” the statement said.
It added that the swimsuits were intended for a family of four and were made for a “health and wellness program.”
Walmart has not commented on the Instagram controversy.
With files from The Canadian Press