Thursday, February 18, 2010

Manscaping: Men managing their body hair

Are you worried about your hair down there? Are you insecure about how it looks? No, these aren’t questions directed to women, but to men. Taking care of “hair down there” is typically a concern for women. Remember the recent Schick Quattro videos urging women to “mow the lawn?”

But Gillette is tapping into the male landscaping theme. A comparison of two studies shows that since 2005 the percentage of men engaging hair removal increased from 63% to over 80% (Boroughs et al., 2005; Nytimes, 2009).

Gillette’s art of manscaping has gained a lot attention for its informational website. It tells men how to groom their armpits, head, chest, legs, and groin. In one scene, it features a young man in a towel swaggering into an animated forest while the narrator states, “If you want to see the tree you shouldn’t have to blaze a trail to get there. Trees look taller when there is no underbrush.” Near the man is a scantily dressed “girl scout” seductively eyeing him up and down.

The Web site not only tells men why to shave their groins, but how to shave them. This section states Gillette’s catch phrase, “trimming the bush to make the tree look taller,” twice as a cartoon man illustrates the step-by-step process to looking larger, but warns to be careful and not “put the equipment at risk.” The phrase “make the tree look taller” and the imagery allows for the male audiences to make a logical connection between the product and their personal size.

The “groin” how-to video has garnered over 2 million views on YouTube and over 2,000 comments. The comments—by both men and women—reveal mixed feelings about overly groomed men. Overall, Gillette does a good job identifying and voicing reasons men may want to consider manscaping. At the very least, Gillette is effectively tapping into the male grooming trend.

--Posted by Allison Einsiedel

No comments: