As far back as I can remember, shaving my legs has always been something that I felt I had to do. Sitting on the edge of my mom’s bath tub at age eight or nine, feeling like my leg hair was too dark, thick, and hairy, I desperately wished to rid myself of it and look like the smooth-skinned models in all of the advertisements that you’d see in magazine ads or on your screen. My Lebanese and Jewish roots have led me to having two or three dark strands sprouting out of each follicle, making it impossible to maintain smooth legs when a subtle breeze prompts them to stubble hours later. Despite being proud of who I am and where my family stems from, I continuously feel the need to rid myself of my body hair, making myself silky smooth.
Not only have I policed my own body hair, but society has too. In the 21st century, women’s body hair has been a hot topic of debate among magazines, talk shows, and the like. “Shave it off,” they say! Whether that’s the hair on your legs, armpits, groin, bikini line, mons pubis (the skin that covers your pubic bone), arms, happy trail, or dare I even say toes, it never seems to be “in-style” to grow out what’s bound to be there anyway. But enter Billie.
Known for their elegant and stylized marketing campaigns and inclusive mission, Billie is working to flip the script on hair growth and create a new narrative for women. The innovative women’s shaving brand uses its tactical marketing strategy to advertise their products as a choice rather than a necessity. Historically women’s shaving advertisements have always projected the image of a hairless woman becoming even more bare, body hair never to be seen, but Billie aims to show late Millenials and Gen Z women of different races, body shapes, and sizes flaunting their body hair or lack thereof, with emphasis on the woman’s right to choose whether or not to shave. They’ve started #ProjectBodyHair, a movement to show women’s body hair in their advertisements, hoping to make the interwebs a “fuzzier,” more accepting place. They even have a free image library of women rocking their strands and a promotional video featuring Princess Nokia’s song “Tomboy.” While they do sell razors, what’s unique about Billie’s angle is that they make their razors with women in mind and aim to rid the world of the Pink Tax, or as they put it on their site, “that extra amount that women are charged for certain products or services, for no good reason.”
Similar to the concept of Dollar Shave Club, Billie is a nine dollar shaving subscription service that includes a razor handle and four extra heads each month. Bonus: They provide free shipping on every order. Compared to overpriced lotionized razors from the likes of Venus and Schick, Billie’s razors are priced in accordance with men’s shaving subscriptions. Instead of simply halving the price of women’s razors on the market, they do this to make a point about women being able to enjoy a nice shave without having to invest in “traditional” women’s razors that are plagued by the Pink Tax. They also have a Pink Tax Rebate program where they issue you a coupon of a particular dollar amount in accordance with how many friends you refer to their subscription. Billie’s razors are also “clean,” meaning they are eco-friendly and made without toxins or harsh additives that are harmful to women’s bodies. Using natural ingredients in their lotions and creams and non-toxic materials for their products, Billie is altering the way we look at manufacturing as well.
This trendy new company is more than just a passing movement, it’s a catalyst in the progression of a woman’s bodily autonomy. Have you ever heard of a company that tells its demographic not to use its products if they so choose? Neither had senior Marketing major Marni Zipper before discovering Billie. She was struck by their visual branding via Instagram using “soft, feminine images [that were] in a nice juxtaposition to their message.” Zipper admires Billie for allowing people to buy into their brand whether they use the products or not and for striving to make their products cost effective. It’s not solely a company, but rather a lifestyle rooted in choice. Senior Media Studies major Emma Weeks, also a Billie user, has had similar feelings about the brand explaining that her favorite part of Billie is “the price and how often the refills come! Buying it online was so easy and I loved letting the company know what my shaving habits are so they could send me new cartridges accordingly.”
Grow your locks long—pubes and leg hairs included—or shave them all off! The choice is yours. And Billie supports you either way, advocating for your right to make that choice and to look and feel absolutely fabulous while doing it.
Art by Isabella Gonzalez