EDITORIAL: Gillette ad challenges men

Recently, Gillette changed their logo and put out a two-minute ad, all about “the best a man can be.”

Although the company has faced some backlash from viewers and consumers, their message seems simple to me. The company is working on changing the way we view boys and men, and explains to people that the way boys are raised creates the men of tomorrow. It is also trying to change the way boys and men see the world around them.

With recent movements against sexual assault and long-time stereotypes of “boys will be boys,” Gillette is trying to change the way people think. They are standing up and saying it’s not OK to punish boys for being weak, it’s not OK to treat women as objects, and it’s not OK to bully and harass other people.

Their objective is commendable. More advertisements need to be made this way. With all of the “sex sells” advertisements we have seen over the past many decades, of course people might be a little shocked to see something so poignant come from Gillette.

But, they are taking a stand, which is very brave for a company of its size and status among men. They are teaching us as a society that men have to be more. They have to work harder, but they can work together. Men can make the change in the attitudes of their peers.

Women have worked so hard to get where we are. We worked for the right to vote, to have our say, for equal pay, and so much more. We are still working every day on sexual assaults, and self defense. Women of today need the help of the men now and in the future. Together, we can make a difference in our society.

Really, we can only do this together. We need each other to change the way the world thinks. And, it is attainable. Even something as simple as showing that it isn’t acceptable to cat-call, touch, or demean women in any way is starting the change.

The ad hit me in an emotional way. So far, I haven’t seen any company send such an important message out to the world. I hope consumers will see it this way, and maybe it will inspire some people to make a change in the way that they act each day.

Maybe Gillette can work on their products for women next. No more of this “I’m your Venus, I’m your fire, your desire.” They could easily change the slogan to something more empowering, and uplifting for women, rather than implying we are objects of desire.

It is time to wake up, stand strong, and take pride in personal grooming, knowing that the rest of the day will go on to treat people fairly, equally, and with empathy.

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