It's hard to be a pube. For centuries, people have removed these hairs with everything from shark teeth, to sugar wax, to razors. But now, an animated, singing pubic hair wants everyone to know it's OK to have hair down there. At least, at first watch, that appears to be the messaging in Gillette's new ad campaign attempting to de-stigmatize body hair — while also marketing its new Venus razor.
In an animated commercial released this week, a little curly brown hair appears to be feeling down because society is grossed out by pubic hairs. "I'm just a pube, and it's not fair, all I ever wished to be was just another hair," it sings (yes, sings). The little hair continues to cry, sing, and dance its way to self-acceptance along with other colorful strands of purple, red, orange, and blonde pubic hairs, while twirling in synchronicity and asking: "Why the mass hysteria about the pubic area?" The little brown curl responds, "There's nothing diabolical about this little follicle."
But Gillette's pubic hair musical raises so, so many questions. For example: Why are pubes singing and dancing to choreography? Why is one of them purple? (I mean, do what you want down there, of course.) But mostly, who did this?
The Pube Song was illustrated by London-based animation director Sacha Beeley and created by the ad agency Grey, using results from a 2019 survey of 250 American women conducted by Venus. The survey focused on the ways women talk about pubic hair and what kind of language they use when discussing it.
"We've found that more women are dissatisfied with caring for the pubic area than anywhere else on the body, in fact, 56% of US women wish there were more accurate descriptions and imagery in society of women grooming their pubic area," said Kristin Monaco, a senior product research engineer for Venus.
Elizabeth Compo, Senior Product Research Scientist for Venus added, "While many women don't regularly talk about managing their pubic hair and skin, 84% of US women choose to remove at least some of their pubic hair in some way. However, a staggering 87% of them are dissatisfied with the results."
But Gillette isn't really trying to — or going to — de-stigmatize body hair. Brands like Gillette have perpetuated toxic narratives and stigmas around body hair and feminine hygiene through their advertising over the course of decades, and are in large part the reason that so many people have internalized negative feelings about pubic hair. In recent years, as movements around body positivity become more popular, brands have taken notice and are co-opting these ideas and inclusive language in their ad campaigns. It should come as no surprise, considering that Gillette made a #MeToo commercial in 2019 when the social movement against sexual harassment and abuse became popular, too.
While this new musical ad claims that it's OK to style pubic hair however you want to, the campaign is also still trying to sell a hair removal product. The message is pretty clear: do whatever you want with your pubic hair as long as you're removing it.