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  • The 100-second video rocked the web, receiving nearly 200,000 likes and 500,000 dislikes since its release on Jan. 13, 2019.

    The 100-second video rocked the web, receiving nearly 200,000 likes and 500,000 dislikes since its release on Jan. 13, 2019. | Photo: Gillette/Youtube

Published 15 January 2019
Opinion

"By holding each other accountable, we can help create positive change that will matter for years to come,” Gillette said.

A razor company’s campaign targeting “toxic masculinity” has created a stir across social media, stirring a mixed reaction with many supporting the viral video.

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Channeling sentiments from the worldwide #MeToo movement, which denounces sexual crimes- primarily against women, Gillette Razor released an advertisement this week which critiqued the social misconception of the “Ideal Man.”

Using excerpts from former advertisements and playing on its timeless slogan “The best a man can get,” marketing directors replaced the saying with “The best men can be” and entwined typical sexism found in entertainment, media, the workplace, and the playground.

With nearly 200,000 likes and 500,000 dislikes, the 100-second video rocked the web with its suggestion that men hold each other accountable for their actions, rather than shrugging it off with a careless, “Boys will be boys.”

Company president, Gary Coombe, said, "By holding each other accountable, eliminating excuses for bad behaviour, and supporting a new generation working toward their personal 'best,' we can help create positive change that will matter for years to come.”

However, some Twitter users felt differently.

One user named Ary, wrote, “I’ve been shaving since I was 12, since the beginning I used Gillette because that’s what my father used, now I will never use it again, and neither will my father, collectively been your customers for 50+ years never again #BoycottGillette #Gillette.”

Still, others rushed to the company’s defense, commending them for taking a chance and making a stand against toxic social norms.

Twitter user, Ethan Matisa, said, “The #Gillette ad clearly calls out sexual harassment and bullying, and says ‘Some men are already doing fine.’ Yet tons of men are still going to take it as an attack on ‘normal male behaviour,’ and will interpret it as ‘painting ALL men with a wide brush.’ Priceless.”

Coombe said, “We knew that joining the dialogue on 'Modern Manhood' would mean changing how we think about and portray men at every turn.

“Effective immediately, Gillette will review all public-facing content against a set of defined standards meant to ensure we fully reflect the ideals of Respect, Accountability and Role Modelling in the ads we run, the images we publish to social media, the words we choose, and more,” the company president said.

"For us, the decision to publicly assert our beliefs while celebrating men who are doing things right was an easy choice that makes a difference," Coombe said.

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