The new Schick Hydro Silk advertisement once again unnecessarily objectifies women’s bodies. The commercials are animated this time, but the emphasis on sexuality seems no less present than it has been in past controversial commercials.
Animated female razors don’t need to attract sexual attention. I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this.
It’s been nearly nine years now since Schick unveiled it’s first “trim your bush” commercial. This commercial featured topiaries that start out looking rather wild and unkempt but that magically shrink to neatly trimmed shapes as a woman passes by them.
“…That doesn’t mean that every topic related to a woman’s physical body needs to be sexualized.”
Apparently determining that imagery was not explicit enough in its insinuation, Schick ramped it up in 2015 by specifically placing the trimmed topiaries directly in front of the genital areas of three young women. There could be no mistake this time and the vocal opposition to the campaign intensified.
The controversy appeared to have reached a critical point following the 2015 commercial, and Schick seems to have since scaled back the blatancy, at least abandoning direct representation of pubic hair for the moment. However, they don’t seem to have necessarily altered the sexual nature of their ads.
The most recent ad campaign features an animated Schick Hydro Silk razor with a decidedly sexual female form. The razor displays alluringly curved hips, gratuitous breasts and a completely unnecessary exposed navel.
Now, I’m no prude. I am not offended or embarrassed by the female body, and I find its form to be one of the most beautiful elements of the natural world. I completely applaud tasteful representations and appreciations of beauty.
I’m also not opposed to openness in or discussion of sexuality. I especially think our society would be a measure healthier if we were invested in supporting women’s comfort with their own sexuality and sexuality in general.
That doesn’t mean that every topic related to a woman’s physical body needs to be sexualized.
When and if they are questioned, I’m sure that Schick will point to the action figure or superhero nature of the animation, claiming that they only intended to portray female strength and vitality. That’s all well and good, but does that require an exposed navel and prominent breasts? There are other ways to effectively and positively represent femininity.
Complaints about the new animated razor’s body hit the Twittersphere almost as soon as it aired, and, as you might expect, there were those who tried to explain it away. Similar ads had been run with a male-bodied male razor. This female version, they reasoned was only the reciprocation.
The male version doesn’t have a bulge in his pelvic area, though. Somehow that wasn’t deemed necessary for defining his gender. He may have been given a recognizably male frame, but Schick didn’t see the need to accentuate his traditionally sexually-associated areas in order to make that clear. He also didn’t seem to need a belly button.
I’m completely in favor of recognizing the beauty, nobility, and significance of the gender-specific parts of the female body. I happen to think that’s different than unnecessarily sexualizing them in non-sexual situations, though. I don’t need perky breasts to entice me into buying toiletries, and I certainly don’t need a belly button on my animated razors.