Women have long been told to hide their natural body hair, even if it means beginning the expensive and often painful habit of shaving or waxing half your body all the time.
I became completely normalised to harbour the notion that you are only attractive to men without any body hair at all, like a naked mole rat. However, the times are a-changing.
Women across the world and celebrities alike are embracing body hair, with some even choosing to dye their armpit pair (Miley Cyrus, who else). The movement has now been pushed to the forefront by Billie razors.
The brand released their 'Project Body Hair' video one year ago, which was the first ever razor ad to show female body hair.
"We very much wanted to not only acknowledge that body hair exists, and to show it," Billie co-founder Georgina Gooley told Glamour. "But we also wanted to move the conversation around the message that razor brands have been sharing with women—and that shaving is a choice, not an expectation.”
They've now smashed even more taboos by becoming the first ad to show pubic hair. Ideas of what constitutes beauty are definitely changing, courtesy of women like Janelle Monae and Ashley Graham.
Billie wants to normalise pubic hair with its newest campaign, Red, White, and You Do You, to celebrate the Fourth of July.
The video shows the pubic hair of models in various states, from a total clean shave to a full bush. It's a pioneering idea, with the campaign being inspired by the spirit of last year's video but with a summer vibe.
"If we’re not acknowledging body hair exists, it’s a form of body shaming,” says Gooley, who believes that grooming is another way to force women to be "beach body ready".
“There has been this shame around body hair, and a lot of that is the shaving category talking about the topic as a problem that needs to be fixed with the product they're trying to sell. We didn’t want to be part of that conversation.”
The director and photographer of the ad campaign, Ashley Armitage, who also directed 'Project Body Hair', agrees with Gooley wholeheartedly:
"In our film we wanted to normalize pubic hair because it’s exactly that—normal,” she says. Authenticity is deeply lacking in the advertising and beauty industry,
“Body hair grows on people of all genders, and it doesn’t suddenly become 'gross' or 'unhygienic' when it is on a woman, trans woman, or nonbinary individual. We wanted to show that body hair is a choice; shave it, wax it, grow it, or do a bit of both. All are valid."
The razor brand chose not to showcase a single actual razor in the ad, but the female-focus feels beautifully candid and truthful. Breaking stigmas has never felt this good.
“I think for us it’s always been about putting our audience ahead of our product,” says Gooley. The brand have received huge support on social media, and sold out of razors after the video.
“With Project Body Hair we showed women with body hair and without body hair. We actually had the razor in that one, because we were making this statement and calling out the shaving category. But we were also saying that’s a choice, and with this new video, it's more of a celebration of that choice.”
Feature image: Billie/Unsplash