The last time I shaved my legs was about three days ago. An insignificant fact, yes, but according to Veet’s latest commercial for waxing strips, I’m on the brink of risking “dudeness.” Whatever that’s supposed to mean.
In case you didn’t see the ad, watch it here. Not only is the ad homophobic (wow, two guys in bed, what a hilarious concept!), it’s borderline transphobic. Poking fun at a guy in women’s clothing is an old and tired shtick. I expect the majority of advertisements to target people’s insecurities, but is it too much to ask that ads don’t promote antiquated gender and sexuality roles?
Obviously not a lot of people were happy with Veet’s advertisement (myself included). Shortly after releasing the video, backlash caused them to drop the campaign. In response to the feedback, Veet released this statement on their Facebook page:
“Hi…this is the Veet marketing team in the US. We just wanted to let everyone know, we get it – we’re women too. This idea came from women who told us that at the first hint of stubble, they felt like “dudes.” It was really simple and funny, we thought. To be honest, the 3 of us could really relate to these real-life moments and they made us laugh. Not everyone appreciated our sense of humor. We know that women define femininity in different ways. Veet helps those who choose to stay smooth. Our intention was never, ever, to offend anyone, so we decided to rethink our campaign and remove those clips. Thank you for letting us know how you feel.”
Although Veet realizes their mistake, it doesn’t change the fact that many people associate being hairless with femininity. It’s gross and unattractive for women to have hair under their arms, on their legs, and around their pubic area. But for guys it’s considered normal and expected. This double standard is best embodied by “No Shave November.” Many men use the month to let their facial hair go wild in a statement of manliness. But people over the internet make it clear that “No Shave November” is for men only. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the phrases “no shave November = no lay November” or the even more eloquent “no shave November = no dick December ladies.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love freshly shaven legs and underarms. After slathering on some body butter, I could occupy myself for hours stroking my smooth shins. But I understand some women would rather not take the extra time to shave or wax. Likewise, some men prefer to remove their body hair. And that’s totally fine. There are no biological reasons that make hair removal necessary. Both sexes grow body hair, yet only women are expected to remove it. You don’t have an obligation to keep or remove your body hair, regardless of your gender.
If a partner ever gives you flack for your body hair, don’t apologize – kick them out. You don’t have time for that kind of judgment.
Megan is a freshman Writing, Literature & Publishing major from sunny Scottsdale, Arizona. She enjoys red lipstick, kombucha, cats, and driving her Volkswagen Beetle named Sasha. She also pretends she's Marina & the Diamonds in her spare time. You can contact Megan on her Twitter or Facebook.
Image from: Beauty.allwomenstalk.com