Veet has pulled their latest hair removal campaign entitled “Don’t Risk Dudeness” after the commercials stirred up controversy online from both women and men. The ads seem to imply if women don’t use an epilator, razor, or veet on their legs, they are actually men. Critics are calling the ads sexist and homophobic, saying it a horrible way of shaming women into buying Veet hair removal products.
In one 30 second commercial, a handsome young clean shaven man wakes up in bed with his girlfriend next to him. When she puts his leg over him, he becomes horrified when he feels her hairy legs. He rolls over only to find a bearded man lying next to him. The bearded man says in a woman’s voice “I know, I’m pricky. I shaved yesterday.” The commercial ends with the saying, “Feel womanly around the clock.”
In another commercial a woman is refused a taxi ride when the driver learns she has body hair under her arms. The other commercials in the campaign feature the same messaging.
Veet posted the commercials on their Youtube channel and website on Monday but has since pulled the ads due to a backlash that has spread online. Veet’s Facebook page is filled with angry comments from women who found the ad offensive and sexist. Some even said they planned to no longer buy Veet’s products.
While Veet thought the ads were funny, proponents argue that the ads seem to imply even the slightest bit of hair makes you a dude. It’s not that removing hair from your legs is bad. The problem is that the ad seems to suggest that it is compulsory and that shaving is not good enough. Critics say that Veet is suggesting that body hair is something that women should be very ashamed of. Adweek’s Roo Cimabriello said: Telling women they’re less womanly if they miss a spot shaving . . . is closed minded. Others found the ad not only shameful to women but also men. Kate Dries of Jezebel called the ads homophobic.
Veet has taken the ads down issuing this statement on their Facebook page: