Gillette released a commercial on Jan. 14 addressing toxic masculinity and encouraging men to make the “right choice.” Through a series of scenarios depicting sexual harassment and bullying, the ad encourages men to step up to the plate and take a stand against abusive behavior.
One of the phrases said during the commercial, which has unfortunately stood the test of time, is “boys will be boys.” Many a man and woman have heard this phrase as either an excuse for their actions, or an excuse for what’s being done to them, respectively.
After the release of this creative ad, the general public took to various social media platforms to express their feedback. Much of this feedback was extremely negative toward Gillette, where some men even threatened to stop purchasing products produced by this company simply out of spite for the new ad.
Tweets flooded in showing anger towards the ad. One of which stated, “Gillette has made it clear that they do not want the business of masculine men. I will grant their wish. I have used #Gillette razors since they sent me a free sample on my 18th birthday, and I will no longer buy any of their products.” We have watched the commercial many times and one thing we would like to point out is, where was the attack on masculine men? Was it when boys were chasing another boy down the street? Was it when a man was trying to harass a woman? Or was it when Terry Crews said that “men need to hold other men accountable for their actions?” What part of any of these statements is considered to be emasculating?
Others tried to react with reverse psychology, raising the glass-shattering idea of “What if women were told to be better?” Oh, what if? I wonder if it was that make up commercial, the bathing suit commercial or was it the latest diet pill being advertised on our Instagram feeds? Women are told every day through various commercials how to be “better.”
Advertisements and social media are consistently telling women to be physically better. This Gillette commercial is just urging men to just be better people, to look out for one another, call each other out and poor behavior and look out for women. This isn’t telling men that all of them are abusive, but it is telling them to prevent potential abusive actions from taking place. It’s encouraging men to stop using violent behavior. It’s telling men that they can be positive role models in society.