Gillette’s commercial sends important message for both men and women


Kernel Opinions Sig

Kellsie Kennedy

On Jan. 14, Gillette released an advertisement calling men to action and challenging them to “be the best a man can be.” Since then, social media brawls have broken out with one side rooting for Gillette and the other hurt by the company’s supposed accusations.

I recognize that Gillette is cashing in on the advertisement. I acknowledge that the company may not even have beliefs that reflect the advertisement and that the #MeToo movement has gained an increasing amount of awareness and attention, something emotional that can be tapped by a company.

Even understanding all of this, I am still in support of the Gillette advertisement.

Regardless of the company’s intentions, the message needed to be said. The #MeToo Movement gained a lot of momentum, but it was stopping short. Many were viewing the stories with sympathy, but they moved on when they evaluated themselves as not being part of the problem.

“I understand why some people may be upset by it, but I think that the commercial has a good message and people aren’t reading too deep into it… The ‘Terry Cruz’ component is the main idea,” said dual major environmental & sustainability studies and economics sophomore Javi Busto.

Busto continued by saying that the advertisement did not intend to villainize men, but rather point out that all of us can improve ourselves by speaking up and taking action.

In a similar but differing opinion, Madison Miller, a junior psychology and gender & women’s studies major said, “While I think it’s important for companies to reevaluate their role in promoting toxic masculinity and even agree with the message, it was a marketing ploy… It’s another way for corporations to profit off of women’s pain. Not a fan.”

While both Busto and Miller make good points, the Gillette advertisement asks people to reconsider, and if they are truly not part of the problem, then what are they doing to fight against it? No matter if Gillette makes money or loses it (considering that many are swearing off the company’s products), they still inspired some to be better.

I would be even more okay with the advertisement if Gillette released a follow-up commercial featuring only women. Women, we judge each other. We “slut shame” and sometimes, we are not available for our friends.

Are we really acting as “goddesses” when we put down other women? What about when we put ourselves down and think we deserve to be treated unfairly? If Gillette really wants a call-to-action message, call us all.