This may be considered TMI, but I stopped shaving down there about a year ago. For all of my adolescence I forced upon myself itchy razor burns and bloody cuts simply because I felt that that is what I had to do. Had to in order to be beautiful, had to in order to look appropriate, had to do because society told me I had to. But one day, after cutting my sensitive skin in the shower yet again, I decided enough is enough. It dawned on me that while I enjoyed the silky smooth feeling of freshly shaven legs or armpits, I detested shaving my vagina. It was something I did only for the sake of my partner’s pleasure, but at the end of the day, if I was not comfortable in my own skin, I was sacrificing pleasure for myself.
This act of ditching razors for a more free an comfortable existence is something I’ve witnessed many other females around me begin to do, yet the ads directed at females for shaving and hair care removal products remain steadfast in their old ways. Each one looks almost like a replica of the last – perfectly tanned, thin and silky smooth legs dance across the screen urging us that shaving is the only answer…until Billie, that is. Billie is a relatively new razor brand that already made waves by pushing against the “pink tax” (the extra amount women are charged for certain products or services) when it released its razor subscription service that lowers the cost of hair and body care last year. Since then they have only moved on to even better things for females and feminists alike, by unleashing their newest campaign called Project Body Hair.
The campaign is centered around unleashing the taboo of female body hair. Despite the fact that they are a razor company, and this technically goes against the whole point of their brand, they want to give females the choice where, when and how they shave. The advertisements that accompanied the campaign displayed this loud and proud, by featuring a diverse group of women showing off their unique body hair to the camera. The video as well as the photos for the advertisements were all shot by photographer Ashley Armitage, which is actually how I found out about the ads in the first place. Ashley is a photographer I have been following for some time now, whom I’ve long admired for her dreamy and girly photos that often focus around empowering women and breaking female stereotypes.
Billie’s new campaign certainly proved that real is beautiful. Hopefully this will serve as an example for girls and women alike; that they no longer need to conform in order to feel and look that way. As for the other beauty and body care brands out there, hopefully they too will realize this, and the female image in the media as well as in advertisements will finally begin to shift to a more natural and honest picture.