"Don't risk dudeness."
That's the tagline in Veet's new wax strip advertisement, which has stirred up some controversy online from both men and women. The 30-second commercial features a couple peacefully sleeping in bed. A clean-shaven man wakes up, shocked, next to hairy guy with a woman's voice — meant to imply that women should shave to avoid looking like hairy dudes.
The ad, which was originally posted on Monday, was removed from Veet's YouTube page and website on Wednesday morning. However, it can still be viewed through Google's cache.
At the end of the ad, the shaggy man transforms into a woman, and it ends with the line, "Feel womanly around the clock."
Backlash from both men and women immediately surrounded Veet's ad, with many claiming it shames women and measures masculinity by body hair.
The first advertising campaign focused on women shaving appeared in 1915 in an issue of Harper’s Bazaar, with an ad portraying a young woman posing with exposed, shaved underarms.
UPDATE, April 9, 3:36 P.M.: Veet has released the following statement on their Facebook page.
Hi…this is the Veet marketing team in the US. We just wanted to let everyone know, we get it – we’re women too. This idea came from women who told us that at the first hint of stubble, they felt like “dudes.” It was really simple and funny, we thought. To be honest, the 3 of us could really relate to these real-life moments and they made us laugh. Not everyone appreciated our sense of humor. We know that women define femininity in different ways. Veet helps those who choose to stay smooth. Our intention was never, ever, to offend anyone, so we decided to rethink our campaign and remove those clips. Thank you for letting us know how you feel.
Messy, messy, messy.