Gillette's New Commercial Is Making Men Mad

We talk a lot about body hair around here, whether it's ways to help you remove it (laser hair removal, anyone?), celebrities who prefer to show it off, and this month's #Januhairy pro-stubble movement. And we haven't forgotten about the razor brands themselves, which have made strides to present a more inclusive attitude toward body hair, including showing it in their advertising instead of the unrealistically hairless bodies historically depicted. Women have applauded the changes, seen as both overdue and refreshing, which makes it even more of a head-scratcher that men have picked up their pitchforks and logged on to Twitter in order to voice their disdain over a new Gillette commercial.

The new commercial poses Gillette's tagline, "The Best a Man Can Get," as more of a question, forcing viewers to come to terms with the bullying, sexual aggression, and toxic masculinity that often accompanies "manliness." (It's worth noting that the American Psychological Association recently released a paper that tied toxic masculinity to depression and other adverse health effects.)

While sometimes epitomized by the mustached, woodworking Ron Swanson, masculinity can often take an insidious turn instead. The commercial depicts physical fighting, a quick but perfect demonstration of mansplaining, and catcalling—along with the usual excuses of "boys will be boys"—followed by human decency prevailing, whether it's men breaking up said fights or intervening in sexual harassment. The ultimate lesson: Teach the next generation of boys to be a little more decent.

Doesn't that sound nice—and sort of how you'd want to raise your kids, anyway? Not really, according to certain men of the Internet. (If you're wondering whether noted misogynist Piers Morgan, recently owned by both Sophie Turner and Ariana Grande in recent days, has weighed in, you're right!)

But plenty of others have jumped in to defend the brand, including our best friend Chrissy Teigen:

Gillette isn't just relying on the advertisement to incite change, though. The brand will also donate $1 million every year for the next three years to organizations that help men become good role models, starting with The Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The multipronged effort will help keep them true to their goal.

“The heart of this effort is a desire to see men at their best and highlight the positive examples they set for the next generation," says the brand via a spokesperson. "We believe in the best in men—and we want to show that. We believe in men as positive role models. We believe in men who lead with respect and inclusion. We believe in men who are doing everything they can to raise the next generation in the best way they can."

We can't argue with that. And despite the backlash and inevitable boycott, it's nice to see a men's shaving brand taking a stance.

Published at Wed, 16 Jan 2019 18:30:00 +0000