The Lysistratas of stubble

Women threaten in cheeky campaign: "We won't shave 'til men do."

Published May 24, 2006 11:14PM (EDT)

Procter & Gamble's Braun, no longer content to play second razor to Norelco, has launched an unbranded viral campaign to scare men smooth. According to Advertising Age, they've "founded" a faux advocacy group, the National Organization of Social Crusaders Repulsed by Unshaven Faces, with its headquarters at

The main premise is this: Fellas, you gotta shave, 'cause the ladies hate the stubble. Scratchy, prickly, ow! (I think dear husband looks hot with a bit of a shadow, but whatever.) There's even a video, "In Your Dreams, Stubble Boy," in which our eponymous hero has a nightmare about the error of his unshaven ways. Gotta say I smiled when his spiky cheek pops a little girl's balloon and she bursts into tears while her mom snarls, "Nice job!"

But here's where the campaign gets very Lysistrata -- and a tad less charming. In other words, as the mythology here goes, these women are refusing to shave 'til men do. In other words, these "social crusaders" aren't just "repulsed," they're repulsive -- just watch Stubble Boy's face (and hear the horror movie soundtrack) when he encounters them out and about in all their shaggy glory. The real premise is: Fellas, you gotta shave, 'cause you hate to see the ladies with leg hair. Or underarm hair (check out the gals on the site, arms raised in hirsute salute). Or God forbid, a unibrow (see video).

While bonus fur on a male (with the possible exception of the overblown business about back hair) is seen as "scratchy" at worst, on women it's a complete nightmare on Elm Street. Look, you can make your own decisions about grooming choices and what they "mean" -- and about whether this doofy campaign is worth fussing over to begin with (I think it deserves maybe 300 words, which is right where I'm gonna stop) -- but still. Can't say it ever helps to remind women (and the men who love/hate them, depending) that whatever their body does naturally is probably something they need to fix.

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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