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Fionola Meredith: A smug advert for razor blades will not teach growing boys what it means to become a man 

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18.01.2019

Genuine question: how do men learn what it means to be a man? From their fathers, brothers, teachers? From their peers, first at school and later at work? Becoming a man is no longer a straightforward acceptance of inherited power and privilege. It's a complicated, difficult, contested process. Nobody, not least men themselves, are sure what being a man even means any more.

Fortunately, we now have razor manufacturers Gillette to tell men who they are, or rather who they should be, and how best to conduct themselves.

In the past, razor adverts generally involved a steamy bathroom mirror and a bloke pulling weird faces to get at all the awkward bits of stubble, and maybe an admiring woman stroking the bloke's face afterwards to marvel at how delightfully smooth he is.

For years, Gillette had the same old boring slogan: "The best a man can get." Yeah, yeah, whatever. I mean, it's a bit of metal stuck to a plastic stick. Who cares?

But now, in the post-MeToo world, Gillette has unleashed a new advertising campaign, or rather a global manifesto for social change.

This advert no longer celebrates adoring women........

© Belfast Telegraph