Why does a razor brand want women to grow a moustache? Watch the video to find out
US shaving brand Billie's latest campaign challenges the beauty norms surrounding female body and facial hair, especially when it comes to women's upper lips. Here are all the details.
Movember has been around for over a decade. The charitable movement, which encourages men to grow facial hair throughout the month to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer research, has only grown bigger and more impactful with the rise of social media. With all the stigma surrounding women and body and facial hair since, well, forever, women have generally been left out of the Movember conversation – until now.
It should come as a shock to no one that women have body hair. But thanks to celebrities on the red carpet (more on that in a bit) and more authentic advertising, it is becoming less of a taboo, day by day. Still, while there are certain kinds of body hair that have been deemed somewhat acceptable, like a fluffy tuft of armpit hair or leg hair peeking out from beneath a dress; facial hair for women remains largely undiscussed. Shaving brand Billie wants to change that.
With No-Shave November, aka, Movember, here, the US-based brand decided to launch their own Movember campaign, because women have moustaches, too. On Tuesday, Billie launched a new initiative encouraging women to participate in Movember by growing out their moustaches. Their goal? To simultaneously destigmatise female facial hair, raise money and bring awareness to prostate and testicular cancer. Previously, the Movember charity only asked men to grow a moustache for the cause. However, according to US fashion magazine, Glamour, Billie has become the first women-geared shaving brand to not only participate in Movember, but also the first women’s razor brand to show facial hair.
To welcome women into the Movember movement, Bille posted a video that normalises facial hair on YouTube and on social media. Shot in a playful style, the 48-second clip showcases women celebrating their facial hair by combing it, styling it with eyebrow gel, and highlighting it with bright lipstick. "Our hair has a very important announcement to make: Women have moustaches too," reads the voiceover. "The world may not know this because we go through a lot to hide them; we’ve been hiding them all our lives. But newsflash, we’ve got them." While a Billie razor makes a brief appearance in the film, it is ultimately tossed aside, along with wax strips and tweezers, as the women embrace their facial hair. Watch it here:
Billie is also walking the walk by matching 100% of contributions up to $50,000 to be donated to the Movember Foundation. The brand wrote along with their new YouTube video: "Newsflash: women have mustaches. We’ve been trained to hide them – wax them, bleach them, shave them – but that doesn’t make them any less real. Fuzzy and faint or dark and dazzling, they’re there. So this Movember, we’re growing out our (formerly) top secret upper lip hair. We're matching 100% of contributions made to our Movember team, up to $50,000."
Breaking down the double-standard around women's facial hair is essential, especially when women have grown up believing that their facial and body hair is gross or unacceptable. This example of female facial hair in a campaign will hopefully help some women feel less self-conscious about their natural hair. Without worrying about the stigma, they can truly decide for themselves if they'd like to groom or not to groom it. Thanks to Billie's Movember campaign, body hair may be a trending topic right now – specifically, women who choose not to remove theirs – but it’s not something new. Below, we take a look at a few women celebrities – in India and abroad – who shattered beauty stereotypes, and proved that body hair is the ultimate show of confidence.
On May 29, TV personality and former VJ Malaika Arora went where no female Indian star has ever gone before for a photoshoot and rocked unshaved armpits. Her black and white behind-the-scenes photo showed a different side to the perfectly edited celeb photos and an exciting step for embracing body hair like it's nobody's business. While Arora, who is known for her unparalleled sexiness, flaunted a plunging lace top, it was her underarms that had people talking. Some comments commended her choice to go natural, but as expected, others felt differently.
US singer Madonna tosses the razor and sports thickets of underarm hair, whenever she feels like it. A long-overdue shift in society's standards of female beauty wouldn't have been possible without the woman, who seems to be on a mission to normalise body hair.
Of course, we'd be remiss not to mention US actress Julia Roberts, who greeted the crowd at the Notting Hill premiere wearing a short-sleeved, sequined, crimson dress with unapologetic thickets of underarm growth in 1999. A moment forever cemented in pop culture history, it sent shockwaves through the industry at the time and to this day, is cited by many as a pivotal – if not pioneering – moment in the history of famous women bucking shaving tradition and going au naturel.