Hair removal brand Veet’s newest campaign, “Don’t risk dudeness,” has sparked outrage for apparently being sexist.
A series of commercials released by the company on Monday see women being mistaken for a man for allowing stubble to grow on their legs and armpits.
In one of the ads, a man awakens next to a bearded man in bed. The bearded man is apparently his girlfriend, whose hair on her legs has re-grown after a day of not shaving. A text and a voiceover then tells the viewers, “Don’t risk dudeness,” implying that having body hair makes women be mistaken for men.
Another ad sees a woman hailing a cab, only for the driver to ignore her after seeing the hair on her underarm. The woman then turns into the same bearded guy, who laments the regrowth of her armpit hair.
One of the “worst” Veet ads, as online commenters claimed, is the one where a woman, who obviously had an accident, is embarrassed when a medic cuts open her pants only to see her unshaven legs. When the medic continues to cut her pants, the woman pleads, “Please, not the panties.”
Reactions on social media were harsh, calling Veet sexist for implying that women can’t be attractive if they have body hair.
“Wow, I didn’t know having natural body hair automatically made me a man, thanks veet I would had never known if it wasn’t for this enlightening commercial!” a YouTube user sarcastically commented.
“This is just so... it’s so awful on so many levels. It’s telling women that they have to be a certain way or else they aren’t women, so it’s limiting people based on their gender. And it portrays men as the equivalent of feeling ugly/unattractive. The commercials are saying, ‘I don’t feel attractive therefore I feel like a man,” another added.
“Oh goody! Another product I will never buy. Disgusting series of ads that are sexist, homophonic, and transphobic. Can’t wait to hear your apology, Veet!” said another YouTube commenter.
“Yes, exactly. When a woman is being rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, she would be most concerned about body hair. Beauty is more important than health. Obviously. Thanks, Veet,” another sarcastic commenter said.
The ads were aired in the U.S. on Monday, but thanks to the power of the Internet, they can be criticised by anyone around the world when they were uploaded on YouTube on the same day.