Here is an ad from the “Most Interesting Man in the World” ad campaign by Dos Equis:
This ad, which is a clear attempt to harken back to the halcyon days of unfettered masculinity, is a cautionary tale against the feminizing effect of men shaving their body hair. Contrast this message with that of the following ad for the Schick Quattro:
Since the razor is pink, we can safely assume that it’s intended for women to use when converting their spiky brambles into beautiful flowers.
So, men aren’t supposed to shave below the neck, but women are required to. Specifically, women are supposed to shave their “flowers” (in a nod to vulva-as-flower imagery?).
This may be helpful in discussions about social norms related to the removal of pubic hair. Of particular interest is whether the expectation of women’s pubic hair removal is objectively different from the expectation that they will remove other body hair. Although pubic hair is considered more “private,” it’s difficult to make the argument that the impact of removing it is more sexual than that of, say, removing armpit hair (given that women’s attractiveness is partially predicated on the illusion of hairlessness). Also, some men are beginning to remove their pubic hair (and the Most Interesting Man in the World be damned). Is this a positive shift, suggesting some parity in beauty standards, or is it a negative shift, in that superficial cosmetic norms now have the power to leapfrog over the traditional bastion of masculinity?