Anyone who has ever seen an ad for women’s shaving products has probably had the same reaction at one point or another: utter perplexion. How many of us have not, at one point or another, looked at a model gliding a razor across barren, silky-smooth legs? The fact of the matter is that if we were to observe most popular media, we’d realize that we barely ever see women with body hair.
It’s no wonder, then, that many people look upon female body hair with disdain and disgust. Even celebrities are expected to walk around virtually hairless; for example, Cardi B sparked a frenzy on Instagram back in January when people saw a minuscule amount of belly fuzz.
However, one shaving company is setting out to change the way we perceive body hair with a new ad. The brand, called Billie, launched back in November of 2017 as the female answer to the Dollar Shave Club. The company recently raised $6 million in investment. It is technically not the first attempt at a women-targeted shave club, but it doing something that no one has dared to do before.
The brand is now sparking conversation with its newest ad, which portrays women in their realistic pre-shave appearance. The overall ad is irreverent, with huge white pop-up text stating “Hair. Everyone has it. Even women,” practically spelling it out word for word. “Tomboy” by Princess Nokia plays in the background, giving an added punch. The viewer is presented with graphic images of women with hair on their armpits, knuckles, lower-navel area, legs etc. What’s more, we’re even given a glimpse of a hair-filled razor.
The brand’s co-founder, Georgina Gooley explained the company’s thought process behind the ad: “We went through a hundred years of women’s razor ads,” she explained.
“You’re in the business of hair removal and you’re not even allowed to show hair because body hair on women is so taboo! You can’t even show a product demonstration of how your razor works. That just seemed crazy, the fact that we had to pretend that we lived in this world where women just don’t have hair at all.”
Of course, there has always been a very prominent discussion within feminism and women’s representation as to the existence of body hair. There are some women who argue that they would rather keep their body hair, rather than conform to what they see as society’s beauty pressures. Others argue that the practice of shaving should be an individual preference, regardless of what society dictates. The ad seems to straddle that thin line, stating, “If and when you feel like shaving, we’re here.”
Regardless of one’s own personal feelings on body hair removal, it must be admitted that the ad is remarkable. The fact that we have never seen a trace of body hair in ads that promote products that deal with that very thing is frankly quite ridiculous. We have essentially been socialized to think that the reality of women’s bodies should be avoided within the public sphere. Billie is, in fact, making progress in at least presenting us with the truth about shaving.
Featured Image via Pixabay/Public Domain