Shaving: It’s a very mundane thing many women do because the patriarchy insists that women’s bodies be hairless. However, when a razor ad poked fun at the chore of shaving, it got banned from Facebook for featuring a female model whose nudity was “implied.”
Friction Free Shaving’s “shoga” ad features a woman in a nude bikini shaving her legs and armpits in various all-too-relatable positions, showing off just how tiring it is to get rid of body hair. Taking place in a bathroom, the woman used in the commercial has two modesty bars covering her chest and pelvis. But this wasn’t enough for Facebook, who subsequently barred the video from the site’s official advertising service.
According to the Daily Mail, Friction Free Shaving received a warning that the ad “doesn’t comply” with Facebook’s “Advertising Policies.”
“Your advert isn’t approved,” the message reads. “Your ad can’t include images that are sexually suggestive or provocative.”
It remains unclear what, exactly, is so provocative about the ad. There’s a moment at the tail end where a man brushing his teeth sees the shaver’s bare leg on the toilet, hinting that her nether regions are exposed, but that isn’t necessarily “sexually suggestive” or “provocative.” At least, not any more than a gag from The Hangover.
Friction Free Shaving has since spoken out, condemning the ban and calling on fans to view and share the original advertisement.
“Our ad highlights the daily realities of women’s shaving in a fun way,” Friction Free Shaving co-founder Briar Keen said, according to the Daily Mail. “We wanted to move away from traditional and outdated women’s shaving ads that are overglamorized, sexualized, and unrealistic. We don’t think that a woman shaving is anything to be ashamed of and find it sexist and deeply offensive that Facebook have banned our ad on these grounds.”
BuzzFeed News reports that the “shoga” ad can still be shared on the site by users, so individual customers won’t be banned if they promote the video on their own. But Facebook refuses to promote the video as an ad due to its advertising rules. Keen thinks this is a double-standard, in part because lingerie commercials are featured all the time on Facebook.
“It’s just ludicrous really when you think you can have [a] young girl in lacy knickers and bra looking suggestively at the camera and that’s allowed but we got rejected,” Keen told BuzzFeed News. “We’re trying to break taboos around shaving and it’s not sexual in any way.”
When BuzzFeed News reached out to Facebook for comment, a spokesperson gave an official response: “In this instance, the ad was initially rejected for containing implied nudity. We are working with the advertiser to find a solution that is compliant with our advertising policies.”
This isn’t the first time Facebook has banned an ad for being “sexualized.” Facebook has previously struck down ad for using the term “boobies,” and the site came under fire for targeting a breast cancer awareness ad about self-examinations. Facebook fight against women’s bodies and “implied nudity” doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon.