Leg hair is the cheapest form of long underwear.
Earlier this week, Veet launched a a horribly offensive, terrible-no-good-very-bad campaign to get more ladies stocking up on their chemical-filled hair removal cream. Called the "Don't Risk Dudeness" campaign, Veet's new commercials suggest that if a lady even has one millimeter of hair on parts of her body that are not her head, she will risk the unforgivable condition of becoming a bearded, wooly, paunch-having dude. But wait! There's a solution for women who are criminally covered in their own natural body hair! And it's a can of thioglycolic acid and potassium hydroxide that will make her forget her normal biological functions.
What Veet is implying is that being hairy as a woman makes you a second class citizen. A pleb. An untouchable. Worst of all, as Lady Macbeth would shout, it completely unsexes you. As many outraged audiences on Twitter and Jezebel have pointed out, "the campaign reinforces a standard of beauty dictating that body hair is only for men."
Exhibit A: A hairy woman is incapable of hailing her own cab. "I shaved yesterday!" the monster yeti trying to go uptown cries out as a (must be affluent) cabbie refuses to take her fare because she has hair growing under her armpit.
Exhibit B: No working professionals will provide any services to a mutant women with body hair, even working professionals in salons who customarily make profit off body hair removal. It's the truth.
Exhibit C: And most heinous of all is a woman daring to be sexual when she is sporting a little leg fuzz. The Veet ad also has a spark of both homophobia and transphobia. A brief hint that not only is a woman with body hair a monstrosity, but also two men (or a woman presenting as a man) lying in bed together and possibly getting it on is an appropriate butt of a joke or a disgusting anomaly. Nothing sexy about two dudes in bed, right? (Wrong.)
But the thing here isn't just that these ads reinforce regressive and sexist beauty standards and further perpetuate the belief that women are naturally born somehow flawed (which it totally does), but it also neglects the fact that risking "dudeness" is something all women should definitely try to do sometime in their life. I've compiled a small list of reasons why women absolutely must risk dudeness — this time in the form of growing body hair — at least once in their very lady-like and highly depilated lives.
1. Leg hair is the cheapest form of long underwear in the winter.
2. If you stop shaving your underarm, you can be a little more like Madonna.
3. You can become an icon of free love and living lush in your lady curves like Gwyneth Paltrow, Gabby Hoffman, and that American Apparel mannequin.
4. Every time someone pulls down your pants, their reaction, whether positive or negative, is a litmus test for how much of an asshole they are.
5. You save so many dollas and pains.
6. Lumberjack looks are very sexy.
7. Having body hair does not, in fact, make you a dude.
Image via YouTube.