Tag Archives: body battleground

Corporations: Helping You Hate Every Last Body Part

18 Apr

Do you think your armpits are disgusting? If you didn’t before, you’ll have Dove to thank for your new-found underarm-specific body hatred!

As usual with such ads, Sociological Images has a write-up on the new campaign.

On Yahoo Shine (the division of Yahoo that’s for the chicks), this little article had some pretty sad comments. What’s notable in many of the comments is evidence of a total shift in what ‘normal’ should mean. Even while expressing disinterest in the idea of ‘unattractive pits’ that can supposedly be solved by this deodorant, what they’re saying still upholds an idea of what an ‘attractive’ armpit looks like. Some examples:

Going on the record here as saying I could care less about my pits. As long as they are shaved and don’t stink, then I’m good.

[. . .] I never really think about them. They stay shaved and deodorized and that’s what matters.

I shave my underarms regularly, wash them, and use deodorant. Despite that, and being 44 years old, I have never, not once, wondered, “how do my pits LOOK?”

Sure I have worried once in a while that my armpits weren’t as cleanly shaven as I’d like…but hate them?? Meh, who cares?!

I totally don’t care about my armpits! I just spend a bunch of money on shaving supplies and deodorizing products every year because I just don’t care!

Although they recognize a corporate overstep, these commenters still have a clear idea of what appropriate female armpits are to look and smell like. Shaving regularly and using all manners of chemical cocktails to ‘freshen up’ one’s pits is absolutely the norm in the U.S., as seen in these discussions.

In reality, your hairy pits are actually just fine and your body odor probably isn’t a public health hazard. Look at all these women who are doin’ just fine with their lovely non-shaved pits! And that is what the body’s norm looks like.