The US-based body care brand, Billie, has released the first ad for razors that depicts women shaving real body hair. By tackling the taboo topic head on, the ad fights against something women are often shamed for and brings a more rounded representation of women into advertising. We discover the insights behind women’s desire for brands to tackle stereotypes.
Billie is a female-first subscription-based service of reasonably-priced razors in the US that aims to put an end to the Pink Tax (when retailers place higher price tags on women's products like toiletries or haircare). The company’s ad, directed and shot by photographer Ashley Armitage, is attracting positive attention worldwide as it showcases a diverse cast of women, who shave everything to nothing, to get real about what female body hair actually looks like. “Only showing smooth, hairless legs seems like an archaic way of representing women," says Billie co-founder Georgina Gooley. "We’re excited to launch a campaign that will help normalise body hair and change the one-dimensional way in which women are portrayed.”
Billie normalising body hair for women
Billie | YouTube (2018) ©
As women’s standards for 'femvertising' continue to rise, so do expectations for real representations of women in adverts. "Our goal was to push against these stereotypes and not only show women with body hair but do it in a super beautiful and celebratory way," says Armitage. In the UK, 77% of women say that the women portrayed in advertising in general is stereotypical which is why people are rebelling against the regulation of women’s bodies - and in doing so, demanding brands to represent real bodies.
Body hair has always come with social pressure, and while gender and body-questioning innovations such Girlswillbeboys encourage young women to feel confident and beautiful in their skin, 72% of American Gen Y women “undergo hair removal, even though only 56% say that they should have to” – leaving space for brands like Billie to step in and empower women to take agency over their bodies – whether they decide to shave, or not.
Lucia Seoane-Pampin is a behavioural analyst at Canvas8, which specialises in behavioural insights and consumer research. Born and raised in Spain, she loves experiencing different cultures and emotional expressions. She studied psychology and communications in Boston and has a master’s in digital & visual media.
09 Jul 18
2 min read