It's called "toxic masculinity" because you soiled your pants.
Two days ago, Gillette, the razor company, released their new Super Bowl spot on YouTube.
Its title, "We Believe: The Best Men Can Be | Gillette (Short Film)," lets you know that this isn't just another commercial. No sir, this is a short film. Gillette isn't just about selling razors anymore. Gillette is about real issues affecting real men. Gillette is woke. So listen up, dude, because Gillette is slicing up some hard truths: toxic masculinity is bad.
We Believe: The Best Men Can Be | Gillette (Short Film) www.youtube.com
Here's the deal: Pretty much nobody likes this commercial—sorry, short film. The problem isn't that it's offensive. The message behind it— that "boys will be boys" is a damaging sentiment that holds men to a lower standard, and that we should be better than that— is spot on. The problem is that it seems disingenuous and pandering coming from a company owned by Procter & Gamble. These issues are too important to be paraded out in a ploy to get us to buy branded razors.
That's not to say the people behind the campaign don't genuinely care about toxic masculinity and the myriad ways in which it negatively impacts both men and women. But if you're actually a woke dude™, you don't need a razor company to tell you toxic masculinity is bad; you already know. And if you're not a woke dude, you're probably not going to become enlightened by a corporation whose primary interest is making money.
Make no mistake, the ad is a bust, missing its target audience completely.
THAT BEING SAID...
Some men are mad about the campaign for a different reason: Gillette is clearly attacking masculinity.
Take professional waste-of-space Piers Morgan, for instance:
I've used @Gillette razors my entire adult life but this absurd virtue-signalling PC guff may drive me away to a co… https://t.co/A6yIkjwi7Q— Piers Morgan (@Piers Morgan)1547493177.0
Imagine seeing a razor commercial that basically says, "hey guys, let's be nice to each other and not sexually harass women," and thinking, "this is a global assault on masculinity." Imagine that headspace. You would have to be so delusional, so completely immersed in your own victim-complex, that you internalize any piece of commentary on a well-documented phenomena affecting most women as a personal attack.
But Piers Morgan isn't alone in crying about his manflake feewings being hurt by a commercial. Former talented actor and current total nut job James Woods is also getting in on the fun:
So nice to see @Gillette jumping on the “men are horrible” campaign permeating mainstream media and Hollywood enter… https://t.co/N5OPMyUi5v— James Woods (@James Woods)1547508655.0
Ah, yes, the "men are horrible campaign," the one that, after decades of powerful men getting away with sexual abuse, is finally holding some of them accountable. James Woods is right. Men should be mad! How dare we not be able to assault women unchallenged! Isn't that what it means to be a man? We spit and fart and beat people up and allegedly try to leverage our celebrity to pick up underage girls. And we'll be damned if a stinking razor blade commercial tries to take that away from us.
Some pathetic, non-famous dudes are also mad that their precious manhood is being cut off by big bad Gillette. They've been posting their outrage under #GilletteFAIL.
We're talking about pillars of masculinity here, men to emulate.
Guys who know that the most victimized men are the white ones.
@mirandadevine @chriskkenny Hating white men to be specific. All the ‘bad’ men are white. All the ‘good’ men are non-white #GilletteFAIL— C C B 😷 (@C C B 😷)1547603337.0
Guys who think "soyboy" and "cuck" are insults instead of confessions of deep-seated insecurity.
@Gillette the best a soyboy cuck can get. #Gillettefail— DIEGO (@DIEGO)1547595777.0
Guys who definitely don't have manginas.
#GilletteFAIL #GilletteAd buy Gillette to smooth out your mangina and join the world of snowflakes by ignoring what… https://t.co/yHlJmuueiy— 🤷🏻♂️ (@🤷🏻♂️)1547560121.0
And of course, guys who are protesting by not shaving their handsome, oh-so-manly faces.
Gillette Protest Beard- Day 1. #GilletteAd #GilletteFAIL https://t.co/raiS8APLdz— Ben Emlyn-Jones ❌ (@Ben Emlyn-Jones ❌)1547656343.0
Let's be honest here. If you claim to value traditional masculinity, but then proceed to get so deeply shaken by a commercial that you need to cry about it on twitter, you are not a reflection of your own values. You are a whiner. You are a complainer. You are a little baby crying into a void and your diaper needs changing. So sure, the Gillette ad may be "virtue signaling," but to the toxic "men" who are so, so offended by it: you're proving their point.
Oh, and check out the video above because as bad as corporate pandering may be, toxic dudes are a whole lot worse.
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A vibrant summer earworm.
Dance-pop duo Krewella, the Pakistani-American sisters, hooks up with Yellowclaw on "Rewind."
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Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.
Villains always have the best outfits.
From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.
Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com
But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.
Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.
Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.
Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com
Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.
As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.
History of Nazi Chic
For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.
The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.
Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it
Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.
The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com
Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.
Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.
Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com
Nazi Chic in Asia
Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.
A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.
In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.
OF COURSE. i.imgur.com
That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.
In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.
So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?
The answer is not so black and white.
On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.
But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.
Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.
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