From growing out brows to bikini line maintenance, women have plenty to think about when it comes to their body hair.
So it’s unsurprising that Gillette Venus has caused quite the wave of outrage by appearing to suggest female arm hair should be shaved off too.
Earlier this week, the same video commercial sparked a fat phobia debate with its inclusion of plus-sized model Anna O’Brien – also known as influencer Glitter and Lazers.
In the clip, which was first released in October, a woman with skin condition vitiligo is seen shaving her under arms as she gets ready to go do some street art.
Another shot shows a model with tattoos taking off her navy blazer jacket before leaning against a palm tree.
We then watch her enter a bathroom, remove some clothes, climb into a bath and shave her forearms.
A narrator in the short film – which features the slogan ‘My Skin. My Way’ – tells viewers: “When the world expects you to follow the rules, write your own.
“Because no one gets an opinion on how you live your life, why you shave or how you show your skin.”
The campaign, which is being aired in both the UK and US, may be aiming for inclusivity and body positivity, but viewers weren’t happy with its message.
While many – but not all – consider legs and armpit hair fair game when it comes to women de-fuzzing their limbs, others have pointed out on social media that arm hair is a whole new kettle of fish.
They have argued that females have enough societal pressure to remove hair from other parts of their body as it is, and they don’t need new parts added to that list.
On Twitter, one person wrote: “Wait, is that woman on the Venus ad SHAVING HER ARMS? Is that supposed to be normal now?”
Another commented: “I just saw a Venus razor commercial where the women featured was shaving her forearms. Do other women do that? Never once have I ever thought to shave my arms.”
Speaking to the brand directly, a third asked: “
@GilletteVenus why are you normalising women shaving their arms? More pressure on young women!”
Wait, is that woman on the Venus ad SHAVING HER ARMS? Is that supposed to be normal now? pic.twitter.com/yjHyzQyMDL
— Jane Duke (@stoneflowerjane) March 28, 2019
I just saw a Venus razor commercial where the women featured was shaving her firearms. Do other women do that? Never once have I ever thought to shave my arms.
— Daria Morgendorffer (@WhatsSleepTho) March 6, 2019
— Clare Johnson (@ClareTwirler) 10 April 2019
After the backlash for their ‘anti-male’ advert in January, it appears the blades are out for Gillette in 2019…