While Hardee’s told us recently that you have to literally become a man to enjoy a burger, Veet’s new ad campaign warns us that women will literally become men without their wax strips. And, again, that isn’t what the ads imply – which obviously wouldn’t be all that rare for a body hair removal product. The campaign’s tagline is “Don’t risk dudeness!” and features a few different videos showing women whose one-day-old stumble has turned them into men being shamed by a paramedic, taxi driver, and even a professional salon worker. Yep, just one day will do it, ladies! The whole thing is vaguely transphobic, relying on the idea that “dudeness” is determined by body hair and that there’s something inherently funny about a man in a dress. And the ad featuring a disgusted boyfriend above throws in some homophobia — “Eww, two guys in bed together, gross!” – for good measure.
Of course, the irony of Veet’s campaign is that the very existence of its product undermines the idea that there is anything naturally “womanly” about a hairless body. Most men and women have some body hair. (If this is news to you, I hope you are someday blessed with the chance to see the range of bodies that exist outside the fantasy world of porn.) The cultural norm that leads many women to remove that hair, while men typically do not, is pretty much arbitrary — and one that necessitates some artificial intervention by razor, cream, laser, or, say, Veet’s wax strips.