Gillette has launched a new campaign, #UseYourAnd, that aims to get rid of the stigma that women need to be put into a box. Mainstream marketing usually tries to convince women that without product X, they can’t attain a high level of beauty: this can be brutal for the self-esteem of many people, and overall just doesn’t make for a successful marketing campaign. In contrast, Gillette has empowered women, by telling them that their isn’t a limit on their success. There isn’t really a commercial aspect to it, because they don’t advertise their brand name.
This campaign is especially interesting because it is telling women that they shouldn’t limit themselves, they can be pretty and smart and brave. Unlike most traditional media, Gillette isn’t encouraging women to constrict themselves and fall into a archetype that media (predominantly men) has set for them. The main message behind this campaign is that the internet (and everyone that uses it) should be constantly working toward breaking down gender based stereotypes and barriers. Gillette recognizes that certain labels put women at an disadvantage, especially when speaking about the gender gap or equal opportunity in STEM.
The only viable fault in the campaign is, unfortunately, a primal one. It’s important to understand that this campaign is being endorsed by Gillette, a razor company. Even though they’re actively telling women that it’s great for them to be courageous and business-minded, they’re also letting women know that they must feel the need to shave their body hair, in order to fill the constraints that media (men) have set for them. Even though most of the ideology behind #UseYourAnd is wonderful and totally progressive, it’s tinged with a bit of hypocrisy when one realizes exactly what Gillette, a cosmetic superpower, is truly aiming to do.
#UseYourAnd is very progressive and definitely empowers women all over the world. There have been several other incredibly successful campaigns like this one; significant ones include Net-A-Porter’s #WisforWomen, Pantene’s #ShineStrong, and Always’ #LikeAGirl. Even though these campaigns are backed by seemingly commercial businesses, their messages definitely come through, and they successfully inspire women everywhere.
Even though it can be difficult to get past the advocation for faux-feminism, #UseYourAnd truly means well. After all, the message that they’re getting out there definitely is admirable. Essentially, Gillette is telling women that there isn’t a need for them to just be pretty. They can be anything and everything, and they can definitely do anything that men can do.
Prathusha Yeruva hails from the Great Lake state and is currently a sophomore at Troy Athens High School. She has an interest in biology and journalism, as well as in female empowerment. She founded a She's the First chapter at her high school (an organization that sponsors girls' education in the developing world), and that opportunity has definitely given her a more developed lens on women's issues globally. In addition to writing for Her Culture, she also writes for the women's issues column at She Speaks Media. She challenges herself academically with AP classes, participates in a wide variety of clubs, and values her Indian culture. In her free time, Prathusha drinks an abundance of coffee, listens to indie bands, and uses ampersands & parentheses excessively. She's so excited to be writing for Her Culture!