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Billie has launched a campaign encouraging women to grow out their facial hair for Movember. As women continue to challenge beauty norms – and the stigma around female body hair begins to dissolve – brands have an opportunity to showcase broader depictions of real female beauty. We explore the insights behind this and how brands can display authentic representations of women in their advertising.

Every November, brands engage with Movember to raise awareness of men’s health issues including testicular cancer and male suicide. But razor brand Billie is the first female brand to encourage women to grow out their moustaches for the cause. And it’s not just a marketing ploy – during the campaign, Billie will match all donations made to the cause, up to $50,000. “Newsflash: women have mustaches. We've been trained to hide them – wax them, bleach them, shave them – but that doesn't make them any less real. Fuzzy and faint or dark and dazzling, they're there. So this Movember, we're growing out our (formerly) top-secret upper lip hair," reads the campaign website.

Billie | Youtube (2019) ©

With gender and beauty norms continually being questioned, shaving is no longer a 'must' for women, and it’s driving a shift in beauty routines. In fact, in 2017, one-quarter of women between 16 and 24 no longer shaved their armpits. As the stigma around female body hair breaks down, women are embracing not having to fit into a box of what it means to be beautiful – it’s the same movement fuelling the demand for inclusive and diverse beauty products. With more than 70% of women not feeling represented in the images they see everyday, now is the time to embrace real beauty in advertisements. By encouraging women to embrace their upper lip hair, Billie is aiming to solidify its reputation as authentic and forward-thinking in a traditionally unrealistic industry. The brand’s Project Body Hair campaign also tackled entrenched beauty ideals.

Isabel Evans is a junior behavioural analyst at Canvas8. Fascinated by how and why people do things, she has an MSc in cognitive and decision sciences from UCL. You can often find her drinking endless coffees, running around Regent’s Park, or delving into a book.


11 Nov 19
2 min read

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