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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, April 12, 2024

Giving the Axe to the beauty game

\Your mojo is loading.""Um, what? Have I accidentally triple-w'd my way to a raunchy porn site? 

 

 

 

I hear several slaps and chicka bow-wows before the site loads. I can feel my roommates raising their eyebrows in the living room. 

 

 

 

Unruly coeds? Barely legals? Cheerleaders? 

 

 

 

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No. The Axe deodorant website. 

 

 

 

Until this site, I had considered myself an equal opportunity exploiter. That is, I always thought men should be subjected to the same objectification and unnatural beauty standards as women. Not anymore. 

 

 

 

Maybe it's because trying to appeal beauty-like products to men seems so strange that it's finally made me take notice. Or maybe I'm just mad that a deodorant website succeeded in turning me on. In any case, the same ruthless beauty industry that's ruled women's lives for centuries is now targeting men too. And, dude, this just isn't cool. 

 

 

 

Axe is a perfect example. To get a better idea of what kind of campaign Axe had planned, I checked the site's ""Axe's Wearer's Handbook."" Its title? ""Coping with all the ladies."" 

 

 

 

The entire extensive site promises Axe users an infinite amount of sexual partners, good times and the ability to keep one's cool under any situation (even an intimidating fivesome!) 

 

 

 

Here's the thing: The shallow part of me really wants men to know what it's like to use 23 (yes, I counted) hygiene and beauty products before leaving the house. Part of me likes to see airbrushed male torsos with no heads in Calvin Klein ads. Part of me wants dudes to feel the disappointment when they not only fail to get four girls into bed, but also can't even seduce a single freshman sorority girl.  

 

 

 

Then I remember how terribly I felt when I realized I'd never reach the impossible ideal beauty standard. And I feel bad. Poor lads, let me help you: 

 

 

 

Dudes, put down those three bottles of hair gel, that dumb aftershave and sticky lotion stuff right now. Drop them. No, you can't keep the sticky lotion stuff. Because dudes, beauty products never fulfill their promises. There's no quick fix. If you want the girl, you're just going to have to improve your boring personality. 

 

 

 

But as the problem of objectification and beauty product advertising increasingly becomes a mutual one between genders, maybe we can do some bonding here. As fashion and hygiene companies tap into the ""guy market"" with more gusto than ever, we can all sit back and have a giggle together. 

 

 

 

Finally, we've got the chance to appreciate one another's imperfections and respect the difficulty we all face between balancing traditional beauty and maintaining our individuality and realistic expectations. If the whole metrosexual movement backfires, (like I hope it will) guys and girls can develop an unspoken agreement that a healthy balance between caveman and centerfold is not only acceptable, but attractive. 

 

 

 

And anyone who can't acknowledge that this beauty game is getting out of hand? 

 

 

 

Well, they get the axe.  

 

 

 

ewinter@wisc.edu.

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