After decades of women being told to hide their natural body hair, it's is finally becoming normalized. In addition to both celebrities and women across the country embracing their leg and armpit hair, this movement has, ironically enough, been pushed to the forefront by an indie razor brand, Billie.
A year ago today the brand released its historic Project Body Hair video, the first-ever razor ad to show female body hair. “We very much wanted to not only acknowledge that body hair exists, and to show it," Billie cofounder Georgina Gooley tells Glamour. "But we also wanted to move the conversation around the message that razor brands have been sharing with women—and that shaving is a choice, not an expectation,”
Despite the progress made in our culture and advertising, there's still one type of hair that's seen as taboo: pubic hair. While the tides are changing (see Janelle Monáe's "Pynk" video and Ashley Graham's group text), Billie wants to normalize pubic hair further with its newest campaign, Red, White, and You Do You, just in time for the Fourth of July. The video showcases models' pubic hair in various states, from a clean shave to a full bush. To the brand’s knowledge, it is the first-ever razor ad featuring female pubic hair. The campaign was inspired by the spirit of Project Body Hair, with a summer-focused twist.
“If we’re not acknowledging body hair exists, it’s a form of body shaming,” says Gooley, adding that grooming is yet another way women are expected to be “beach ready.” She hopes to alleviate some of this pressure so women can just enjoy summer in their own skin. “There has been this shame around body hair, and a lot of that is the shaving category talking about the topic as a problem that needs to be fixed with the product they're trying to sell. We didn’t want to be part of that conversation.” The film’s director and photographer, Ashley Armitage, who also directed Project Body Hair, echoes these feelings. "In our film we wanted to normalize pubic hair because it’s exactly that—normal,” she says. “Body hair grows on people of all genders, and it doesn’t suddenly become 'gross' or 'unhygienic' when it is on a woman, trans woman, or nonbinary individual. We wanted to show that body hair is a choice; shave it, wax it, grow it, or do a bit of both. All are valid."