Patriarchal beauty standards have consistently and relentlessly been attempting to convince women that hairy legs, pits, etc are repellent and character destroying. Veet’s new hair removal adverts take these ideas to the extreme by declaring women ‘manly’ if they fail to maintain their body hair with the criticism “Don’t Risk Dudeness.”
While many past advertisements have focused on how waxing and shaving can give comfort and help women feel attractive, this new campaign literally depicts women as transforming into men due to – as the above advert reveals – the slightest touch of leg stubble or prickliness. Oh, and apparently, we have to shave everyday or risk manliness.
The taxi advert, similarly, reveals a woman – despite having shaved her underarms the day before – is transforming into a wolfman due to her forgetfulness… Not only does she berate herself for this, but even the taxi driver shows obvious disgust and seems to pull away from his potential fare as a result.
Each of the advertisements seem to imply that women must shave daily or “risk dudeness.” The failure to apply to these standards result in the women being openly judged and criticized by the public at large.
Even worse is the implication that women risk or even concede their femininity if their bodies are even slightly hairy; equating women’s sense of femininity with a beauty standard seems to be the norm in our contemporary culture but this new campaign, especially, takes the norm to a new low.