Companies continue to take progressive stances towards minorities, at least through their ad campaigns.
In a recent Gillette Ad, a Trans teen gets a shaving lesson from his father. “First shave, the story of Samson” introduces Samson in an intimate interview style setting.
We learn about Samson’s struggle to figure out what kind of man he wants to become. The teen expresses his journey of understanding who he is starting from when he was very young.
He emphasizes the goal of being happy and how his transition was informed by that sentiment.
The next scene we see Samson’s father talk him through his very first shave. His father emphasizes the meaning behind shaving. It’s not just a grooming technique, it instills confidence.
Samson links shaving to manhood like most of us do and we understand why this is such a special and important moment.
It’s important to note that Gillette’s choice to include a trans teen of color is (unfortunately) revolutionary. The intersectionality is visible but not exploited. The ad is more about the importance of his journey towards manhood.
His father’s support and guidance are also at the forefront, and we need to see more of that. Of course, many disagree. They disapproved of the ad’s normalization of trans identity. The usual suspects took to Twitter. But others defended.
Why is it a little much? Who is it too much for? The population that lives with the fear of getting gunned down at school? The population that is losing rights to their own bodies?
Nope, I think those Gillette ads are inclusive and right on goddamned time.
— Mame of Team Human (@icterid) May 29, 2019
Gillette invites discourse about manhood with this ad like some of its previous campaigns. Gillette’s ad will likely spark more controversy much like it’s progressive ad/short film “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be.”
The short led to heated debate amongst men. Some felt attacked claiming that the ad painted them as predators and violent, chastising them. The ad did negatively portray certain masculine coded behaviors like catcalling and harassment and overall violence.
Others felt that this anti-violence stance was a needed one in the face of the #MeToo movement and rising fight for gender equality.
The Gillette trans ad continues the conversation of what it means to be a man as well as what a man looks like, sounds like and behaves like. Rejecting toxic masculinity, a progressive step that is sure to win many hearts.