Have you ever noticed that, despite promoting a product designed to remove hair, women’s shaving ads don’t actually show any hair being removed?
Even when a woman is shown using a razor, she always has perfectly smooth legs or underarms to start with, because heaven forbid we should actually see a bit of lady-stubble on our tellies or in magazines, right?
But that’s set to change today when the world’s first TV ad showing a woman shaving real leg and underarm hair airs in the UK.
The 30-second commercial comes from British razor subscription service Friction Free Shaving and will appear on Sky TV channels over the next six weeks.
“Women shave stubbly not smooth legs and yet until now, it’s been taboo to showcase this fact in a TV ad – instead we’re used to seeing women pretending to shave already smooth skin,” says Briar Keen, co-founder of Friction Free Shaving.
“We wanted to call time on this old-fashioned approach and to portray women’s shaving in a more honest and modern way, while having a bit of fun at the same time.”
Last month, US company Billie unveiled Project Body Hair, becoming the first razor brand to show female body hair online – and garnering a positive reaction from women – but the Friction Free Shaving ad is the first example on TV screens.
To me it never made sense when these ads showed women shaving an already shaved leg. Absolutely nonsense. I like this Billie ad 'cause it is honest about how we all know women are.— Daniela (@DoNotLikeMyMind) July 5, 2018
It’s part of a wider movement to normalise previously taboo topics and represent a wider range of women than traditionally seen in the media.
Last year, Bodyform became the first company in the UK to show red ‘blood’ on sanitary towels rather than a blue liquid as part of its #bloodnormal campaign, while in the beauty industry brands like ASOS, Dove and L’Oreal are making an effort to feature models that are more diverse in terms of age, size, race and gender.
These changes may seem small, but in the past women have not always been depicted realistically in advertising, so it’s encouraging to see another step in the right direction with a TV spot that acknowledges the existence of body hair – and it will be interesting to see whether bigger razor brands follow suit and ditch the smooth-legged ladies.
Watch the full Friction Free Shaving advert below.
- Press Association