Body hair is having a moment in the spotlight. From Rihanna‘s leg hair to Janelle Monae‘s pubes, celebrities and social media alike are reclaiming what is absolutely natural. And because of that, body hair is finally losing its stigma as being taboo or “unclean” except, weirdly enough, in advertisements.
Billie is trying to change that. The growing razor brand took on the notorious “pink tax”, the higher price companies charge for female-branded products versus those for men, when it launched a subscription service that reduces the cost of women’s shaving and body care products last year.
Now it’s running a new campaign called the Project Body Hair. The advertisements feature women proudly displaying their body hair in all of its glory, including unibrows, leg hair, and everything in between.
“We couldn’t help but notice the overwhelming amount of hairless skin in razor advertising,” explains Billie cofounder Georgina Gooley. “It was strange to us that these brands only show women ‘shaving’ perfectly smooth and hairless legs.”
Gooley points out, the lack of body hair both “before” and “after” shaving reveals nothing about the efficacy of the razor.
“When brands pretend that all women have hairless bodies, it’s a version of body shaming,” explains Gooley. “It’s saying you should feel ashamed of having body hair.”
By putting body hair front and center, she aims to normalize body hair whether or not you choose to keep it. Just like periods and acne ahead of it, it’s part of life.
So Billie hired Ashley Armitage, a photographer known for her body-positive visuals centered on the female gaze, to shoot the new imagery for the brand. “It’s so exciting to be a part of a campaign that breaks beauty standards and taboos by showing real women with real body hair,” says Armitage. “I wanted to keep it natural, unposed, and playful.”
And Billie isn’t stopping at its advertisements. The brand is also donating photos of women with body hair to the stock photo site Unsplash for free use by the public, as well as crowdsourcing other body-hair-happy images via the hashtag #projectbodyhair. The goal is for body hair, and not supersmooth, bare skin, to be the status quo.