WHAT THE THUNDERING FUCK IS THIS SHIT?

It’s rare I see something which makes me shut down completely because there’s so many layers of awfulness going on. But here, I present to you, an advertising promo for razors.

You are taken into a bathroom. It’s, presumably, your bathroom, so as a woman it’s all pastel coloured with a big luxurious bath and fucking razors everywhere. It couldn’t look less like my bathroom if it tried. Then you can take tests by opening your bathroom cupboard to find out how close you are to your man and what sort of goddess you are. Because women dig tests.

If you do the test to check how close to your man you are, you have to “use your intuition” to select pictures that respond to the question. My favourite of these questions is “My smooth legs make me feel…” There was no picture which in any way represented “indifference” or “I like my pins fluffy”. It doesn’t really matter. Whatever answer you give, you’ll be told that you’re already close to your man and that to feel closer you should shave your legs with their product.

You can also pick your goddess. Disappointingly, they don’t include Kali as an option, presumably because Kali has too many armpits to bother with shaving, and is too busy destroying everything anyway. Instead, you can be “zen” or “adventurous” or “romantic”, vague shit like that. Anyway, no matter how you’re feeling, the answer is to shave your legs. After shaving your legs, you may then do something really fucking daft, like apply stickers, spray tan, and then take off the stickers for little blobs in the shape of hearts that probably won’t look like a skin infection at all. Or, if you’re feeling natural, why not put blusher on your feet so you’ll look like you came back from the beach? It says that. Also, your man will love it. Don’t forget, YOUR MAN WILL LOVE IT.

So it’s fucking heterosexnormative as hell. It’s got that grim faux-empowerment message which I like to call “good body cop” (as opposed to the more hostile form of body policing). Everyone is thin and white in the pictures, like really thin and really white, and a lot of the “goddess” advice about having spray tans is literally only for white people.

So who the hell is this shit actually for? Who the hell did they think would like this? It must have been made by a bunch of men who have never actually met a woman and can only guess what they’re like from having watched a few rom-coms. It alienates vast swathes of women who would buy this shit–gay women, fat women, women of colour. And that’s presuming some people aren’t put off by the MASSIVE CLANKING SEXISM THAT PERVADES THE WHOLE THING.

Seriously. What the fuck is this shit?

ETA: Read the comments for a few more problems, including VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN BEING SEEN AS A NORMAL PART OF THIS SORT OF TERRIBLE RELATIONSHIP THE RAZOR MERCHANTS ARE ADVOCATING. WHAT? WHAT? AAAAARGH. NORMALISING THIS IS NOT OK IT’S NOT COOL EVER AND I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY SLIPPED IT IN WHERE I DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE IT BECAUSE OF THE SCREAM OF EVERYTHING ELSE TERRIBLE.

ETA 2: The razor merchants are now suggesting the site shouldn’t be live, but it’s still accessible through the direct click. What happened? Did someone hack their site and start advertising their product? Do they not understand what “live” means? At any rate, I’m fully expecting that when it “goes live” it’ll be EXACTLY THE FUCKING SAME except without the violence against women.

ETA 3: It’s gone now. Disappeared some time in the late afternoon, apparently. Good riddance, I say. I hope it doesn’t reappear with the same shit but with the domestic violence removed.

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15 responses to “WHAT THE THUNDERING FUCK IS THIS SHIT?

  • tristan

    No joke: In that “How close to your man are you?” quiz, when asked to pick the image that best describes your closest moment, one of the options is a picture of a man with a clenched fist, apparently on the verge of throwing a punch into the face of the woman across from him. Seriously.

  • Amy

    Every word of this is brilliant, I couldn’t agree more and can only repeat what you’ve said really. Every woman must remove all body hair, everything all women do must be to please “her man”, every woman is white, hetereosexual, and in every way conforming to what advertisers decree is appropriate appearance for women.

    What a load of sexist nonsense.

  • jemima101

    Snap :D I like the idea we were ranting and channeling our inner goddesses at the same moment https://itsjustahobby.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/my-inner-goddess-is-screaming-fuck-off-gillette/

  • Louise

    I may have sent them a short email:

    Hi there,

    My attention was recently drawn to your promotion “embrace sister” – sending messages to “my man” about how smooth my legs currently are. Though the title itself was very confusing. I don’t even have a sister!

    The only problem is – I don’t have a man! I have a woman. And she appreciates smooth silky legs as much as the next bloke – though the next bloke is my housemate Alex, and he wouldn’t appreciate how smooth my legs are if they kicked him in the groin. Which they rarely do. So she probably appreciates them more.

    But how on Earth can I communicate with her, if all the pronouns you use are male! I’ve taken all your other advice – I was feeling adventurous today. With a lack of heart shaped stickers (blasphemous I know) I instead used wee little seahorses! I spray tanned as you said – but my “skin confetti” looked a little like an unfortunate skin condition. It’s ok though: there’s a fancy dress party upcoming, and I can just go as a giraffe!

    I got ready, I did my make up, I wore a short skirt – never mind the fact it’s about 4 degrees outside! I’ve been playing rainforest sounds all day – nothing gets me in the mood for a trip to an undiscovered beach than horny birds and territorial monkeys. But when I went to contact my girlfriend, I found I couldn’t! For some reason, telling Jennifer all about my day and enticing her home from work with my carefully moisturized legs and new luminous necklaces is just impossible if I can’t contact her through her.

    Whatever shall I do?

  • verasteine

    I’ve tweeted at Gillette Venus UK about this campaign and they’ve just claimed that this promotion wasn’t supposed to be live on their website.

    That’s all well and good, if I were to believe that, but I can’t help wonder that someone spent money to put it all together…

  • Gitty

    When I click on the link you provided, I simply get redirected to their home page. Have they removed the video?

  • Peter Thornton

    I have always found the inherent fascism in the alleged preference for a smooth’n’hairless body quite humiliating. Cancer and age has rendered me indifferent nowadays, but as a younger man I was made to feel freakishly separate for having body hair.
    F**k Gillette. They’re boring anyway.
    Keep up the good work, Stavvers.

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