Shave Your Legs, Or The World Will Be Destroyed

This is a follow-up of sorts to the Mow the Lawn post because it’s the same company’s advert. I would’ve remained blissfully ignorant of it, but for Rhiannon Problematising Stuff
linking back here. She pointed out several other blogs posting about this:

Now that is some hardcore shaming. Apparently a woman has to have perfectly smooth legs, or she shouldn’t bother getting out of bed. No going out in public, missy, until you’ve removed that stubble. Got the goosebumps immediately after a shave? SHAVE AGAIN. Shave until you’re bloody, if you have to. Because bleeding razor burn is better than stubble.

Apparently a woman has to have perfectly smooth legs, or she’s liable to cause a massive chain reaction resulting in a bus accident. Imagine what could happen if that unshaven woman was at the United Nations or in any major government office. Lawsa-mercy, she could inadvertently end the world!

Get thee shaved so we can all be saved.

(And don’t think I missed the fact that the camera went back several times to the woman being nearly flattened by a man, or that their position looked at least vaguely sexual.)

Comments

  1. Holly says

    I agree with Jennifer. I’m not going to shave my legs for a good long time after seeing this, and I will NEVER buy a Wilkinson blade. Ever.

    And did you see the French version of “mow the lawn”? It’s completely bizarre. Google “ma garden party” or scroll down on my blog.

  2. sbg says

    You know, I’ve never quite wanted to stop shaving my legs so much as I do after these two ads. Unbelievable.

    When my older sister stopped shaving some years ago, I wondered why – with all the socially-programmed horror in the world.

    Now? I understand.

  3. Charles RB says

    What the CHRIST?

    You know, these two ads do wonders for making me realise that women have it shit when it comes to social expectations and image.

  4. says

    I haven’t shaved my legs since 2007. The grand sum total of the damage I have wreaked:

    Two bleach-blonde girls at university giving me dirty looks and muttering “Disgusting” under their breath.

    One hundred and twenty-seven helpful shaving tips from my mom.

    Zero reaction from an entire convention of anime fans, any of the people at the mall, the ice-cream parlour, or the park.

    Zero bus crashes.

  5. says

    Huh. That’s really something else. It’s a wonder I don’t cause accidents all the time! I rarely bother to shave every day, even in the summer. And if you’re THAT worried about stubble, perhaps you just shouldn’t shave at all…

  6. SunlessNick says

    This is the first time I’ve actually seen the ad, but I’ve seen observations made on it before – one of them is that the woman is repeatedly trying to stop the boyfriend, if that’s what he’s meant to be, from touching her legs.

    So the message becomes “be ready to satisfy anyone with a yen to use your body without your consent.”

  7. sbg says

    Dani, I think I love you.

    Fourthwave, I rarely shave daily, either. It’s way too much work for one, and for another I try to conserve water by keeping my showers short. I’ll have one or two days a week I take a little extra time to shave and whatnot.

    Nick, I totally didn’t even consider what started the whole ad off was the man insisting he have access to parts of his girlfriend’s body she didn’t want him to have access to. Big time yuck!

  8. says

    Maybe it’s a public service announcement about not dating asshole guys who’ll freak if you aren’t perfectly hairless?

    I mean, just look a the evidence:

    Man touches leg (even though lady doesn’t want him to), then becomes disgusted, and in his haste to flee from her body, he manages to cause grevious harm to the entire bus full of people.

    Yep. Clearly an advertisement to help you weed out jerks. “If he doesn’t love your hairy legs, just think what he could do to a whole bus full of people”

  9. says

    It also reinforces the idea that women have a responsibility to anticipate ways they might repulse people and protect the general public from coming in contact with that source of repulsion.

    Meanwhile, every neighborhood in the US has a least one flabby guy who waters the lawn in nothing but Bermuda shorts, black knee socks and sandals, profoundly oblivious to the way the tufts of graying hair on his shoulders look revoltingly like a second set of armpits. And we all know we have no right to expect him to realize no one wants to see that, and he should either cover up his shame or stay indoors before we lose our lunch.

  10. Charles RB says

    That guy is an ICON and an example to us all in fighting back against social standards of our bodies.

    Possibly.

  11. Biku says

    I almost get the point of this ad. Stubble is unpleasent, when you’re going against the grain–whether it’s leg stubble or upper-lip- and chin-stubble. I get that. It’s why men’s razors are so badass, with their 13 blades apiece and charged turbonium isotopes and all that.

    But why is women’s stubble a public-safety concern and men’s stubble merely an indicator of future smooches (or lack there of)?

  12. Jat says

    *thinks Biku’s comment over*

    I’d be much more convinced if the argument of the ad was that she’d get fewer smooches up her legs when she wants them, if she doesn’t shave.

    Though it’s still BS.

  13. says

    That guy is an ICON and an example to us all in fighting back against social standards of our bodies.

    Well… if he were at all self-aware, I might buy that. ;)

    It’s why men’s razors are so badass, with their 13 blades apiece and charged turbonium isotopes and all that.

    Rambo Razor sneaks up on your enemy hair and takes it out with one flick of the blade!

    But why is women’s stubble a public-safety concern and men’s stubble merely an indicator of future smooches (or lack there of)?

    Because everything about women is up for public scrutiny and shaming. Men – at least white ones – sometimes enjoy this thing called privacy, in which they are entitled not to be examined by every passing stranger who’s bored or horny. Or so I’ve heard! It’s pretty wacky stuff!

  14. Biku says

    Men – at least white ones – sometimes enjoy this thing called privacy, in which they are entitled not to be examined by every passing stranger who’s bored or horny. Or so I’ve heard! It’s pretty wacky stuff!

    You mean they can walk around in public without being judged by random strangers? That’s too weird. How do they regulate their appearance if not by glances and remarks they overhear?

  15. says

    Those commercials are sick. Clearly, my legs (hairy since October 2008) would be unacceptable anywhere in the UK… So happy to be living in hippy country. :)

  16. says

    Or so I’ve heard! It’s pretty wacky stuff!

    Wull, yah – if you’re a passing stranger and you’re not a str8 guy, you have no *business* being bored or horny. How DARE you be female and sexually active, even mentally? Slut! Shame upon you for thinking about what some man might be like with his clothes off, you’re going to hell for sure – *and* an unnatural creature, mentally ill, a nymphomaniac according to all the old pre-Vatican II “Spiritual Health Manuals for Teens” that my mother gave me. And if you’re male-but-gay, that’s even worse! You should not even exist, let alone be checkin’ out the chicks cocks…

    And likewise, women shouldn’t be *bored* – because that means you’re not fully mentally occupied with the duty of Being Attractive To Straight Dudes (But Not TOO Attractive), and that’s wrong and a sinful waste of your time and energy. I’m not supposed to, frex, be sitting in a coffeeshop chilling out waiting for the bus and notice that the guy going by has nice calves but a hideous haircut, or that the man buying his latte just now has very fine hands but an unpleasant smirk that is a total turnoff and enough Axe to stun an ox (or that the woman at the next table is straight out of an art book, either…)

  17. sbg says

    I almost get the point of this ad. Stubble is unpleasent, when you’re going against the grain–whether it’s leg stubble or upper-lip- and chin-stubble. I get that. It’s why men’s razors are so badass, with their 13 blades apiece and charged turbonium isotopes and all that.

    Well, yes, but the question remains: why did the man insist on continuing his pursuit of getting his hands on the woman’s stubbly legs when she was clearly trying to prevent it.

    Dude’s boundary issues are what really caused that bus wreck, not unshaven legs.

  18. Biku says

    I realise I’m in the minority here, but I don’t see the ad as man going “Ugh, me want” and the woman desperately trying to push him off her. To me it looks more like the boyfriend is after a PDA, she’s saying no, but not firmly–notice her smiling?–and he thinks she’s joking/playing hard-to-get. I’ve done the same thing with my bf who knows how many times.

    That’s what the body language says to me, anyway.

  19. sbg says

    I realise I’m in the minority here, but I don’t see the ad as man going “Ugh, me want” and the woman desperately trying to push him off her. To me it looks more like the boyfriend is after a PDA, she’s saying no, but not firmly–notice her smiling?–and he thinks she’s joking/playing hard-to-get.

    I honestly don’t think anyone was implying it was him assaulting her or that it was anything more than what you describe. HOWEVER playful the interaction is, though, the point remains the same: she is trying to halt his attempts to touch her legs and he refuses to see acknowledge this cue.

    Her “mixed signals” are not an excuse for him to keep on keepin’ on, when one of those signals is to repeatedly rebuff his advances.

  20. A Very Bad Girl says

    Meanwhile, every neighborhood in the US has a least one flabby guy who waters the lawn in nothing but Bermuda shorts, black knee socks and sandals, profoundly oblivious to the way the tufts of graying hair on his shoulders look revoltingly like a second set of armpits. And we all know we have no right to expect him to realize no one wants to see that, and he should either cover up his shame or stay indoors before we lose our lunch.

    Well said.

    As for the commercial, it annoys me just as much as one that I saw a few weeks ago, which was directed at men. I don’t remember what brand of razor they were pimping, but the message was “no woman wants to kiss a piece of sandpaper”. It made me so angry I couldn’t see straight. Not only was I mad because they were attempting to speak for all women, but I was upset because I LOVE stubble. I have a huge fetish for the five-o-clock shadow. The way it feels against my skin drives me crazy.

    For my own selfish pleasure, I hope most men ignored that commercial. :D

  21. Dan says

    Once again, I’m almost as appalled by the lousiness of the commercial as by the ethical problems. The editing is so confusing and slapdash, it’s impossible to clearly follow the chain reaction they’re making so much of.

    The premise kind of reminds me of Male Bathroom Etiquette http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzO1mCAVyMw though not as funny.

  22. Anemone Cerridwen says

    That was a pleasant waste of a morning.

    I haven’t shaved since age 15, when I tried it twice and decided that my mother and peers at school were all brain-washed and deluded, so I can’t really comment on the bus crash ad, since I have no idea how women who shave would feel. I actually found it rather funny. But then I’m really a gay man with boobs.

    I’m also bra-free, makeup-free, tweezer-free, and, more recently, shoe-free. It’s really funny how people react to some of these.

    The Male Bathroom Etiquette was really very funny.

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