Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Public Service Announcement to Ladies

This post will be completely off-topic from my normal ramblings about national security, the military and politics.  Yet as you will see, there is a reason why.

Ladies, this is a public service announcement.  Please, please, please don't jump on the bandwagon about the so-called "gender tax" where ladies products (in this case razors) cost more than men's.  The short answer is yes you are paying more but what you are paying for is a MYTH!

For you see, I don't care if you are male or female shaving still is just dragging a sharpened piece of steel across the skin to remove hair.  Don't care about racial, ethnic, national or gender issues this remains true across the human species; razors are used to remove unwanted hair.

Companies such as Gillette and Bic make a fortune from the need for humans to remove body hair by shaving and convincing you that removing hair from a female body is somehow radically different from removing hair from a male body.  Thus was created the myth that in order to remove female hair requires dainty razors with curved handles and special tape to prevent "nicks and cuts".

This is all marketing bullshit that guys have fallen for as well.  The following is just a quick history synopsis on razors and shaving to give you some insight into how the myth was perpetrated.

Originally, when one wanted to remove unwanted body hair your turned to the straight razor.  These were glorious pieces 17th Century technology (yes, men have been putting sharp implements to their own throats for at least that long), used to slough off unwanted facial hair.  But in 1680, when the first listing for straight razors are found, women's fashion did not require women to bare legs or arms.  Therefore women did not have to worry about attempting to maneuver a straight razor around their legs, underarms or other parts.

A straight razor to this day still gives the best, most affordable shave.  The blade can be sharpened before each use thereby ensuring a smooth, clean shave.  A quality straight razor, when properly maintained, can be passed on for several generations.  However, straight razors are very difficult to use and can inflict serious wounds when not held correctly.

Around 1880, the double-edged safety razor was invented.  The safety razor takes the blade and bends it at the correct angle to shave along with a bar, the "safety", to keep the blade a safe distance away from the skin.  The invention of the safety razor reduced the skill need to shave safely.

The invention of the safety razor meant companies like Gillette could make money not only selling the safety razor but also the replacement blades.  Unlike straight razors, safety razors needed new blades on a regular basis creating a whole new industry based on hair removal.

The timing of the safety razor could not have been better for round the turn of the 20th Century, women's fashion started to require showing of the legs and arms.  This meant "unsightly!" hair had to be removed and the safety razor was one of the only ways to go about that initially.

All of this gave Gillette and other companies the grand idea to market razors to women.  More "feminine" designs and marketing campaigns to coincide hair removal with the latest fashions served to produce a terrific market growth.

Then around the 1970s Bic stirred up trouble by introducing a disposable plastic razor, the Bic Shaver!  Now men and women could buy a shaving instrument that your simply threw out once it got dull.  Awesome, now even a bigger market could be created and people fell for "cheaper" disposable shavers that actually cost more than the safety razor blades.

Gillette came back with inventing "twin-edged" disposable razors for "an even closer shave"!  Before you know it more blades were added along with strips of lubricant to prevent razor burn and avoid nicks.  Women's razors followed lock-step, all the while costing more because of the marketing used to convince you that removing hair from a woman's body is so fundamentally different that removing it from a man's.

Actually two myths have been perpetrated on women who shave.  One is that you need a different razor from what men use and second, that you need special strips and curves to prevent nicks and cuts.

Now here is the secret that women and most men don't know, all of those extras you are paying for the get a "smooth, nick free shave" is just marketing.  Period.  Nothing more.  The reason you aren't getting a "smooth, clean nick-free shave" is because you are using a cheap razor!  No, I'm not talking about the actually price but the construction of your razor.

Rather that demanding some elected official take action, or worse waiting until some lame-brained celebrity champions the cause, here is how you beat the "gender tax".  Learn how to shave.

What?  But, you may already been saying, I've been shaving for years!  Right but ladies, as well as most modern men, don't know how to shave.  And it's because Gillette and other companies have been marketing cheaply-made disposable razors to you.  Those cheaply made razors lack the weight to generate enough force on the blade to remove hair, hence people the bad habit of pushing harder on the handle to shave.

You don't need to wait for Washington and Mr. Obama to act.  All you have to do is throw out those cheap-ass razors marketed for women and buy a real safety razor.  Here are two sites where you can find them;

West Coast Shaving

Classic Shaving

Ignore all of the male-centric headlines and look at the safety razors.  Notice anything?  They are all made out of METAL and have a weight and heft to them that may make them seem "manly" but that's the secret to getting that hair off of your skin without nicks, cuts or burn.  What women and men don't know about shaving is that it's the RAZOR and not your hand that does the work.

A good safety razor can be dragged across the skin just using your thumb and forefinger and it will produce smoother shave than anything you get with those shavers for ladies.  No additional pressure necessary and that will greatly reduce your getting nicks and cuts.

The other culprit for nicks and cuts is pitting.  The more blades you have touching your skin, the greater the chance that one of those blades has uneven wear or pitting.  Women especially (I know, I had two daughters plus my wife living with me) like to leave their razors in the shower after they're done.  Whenever one of those hits the floor, it potentially dulls the blades.  The moisture in a shower also tends to corrode the blades leaving microscopic pits.  Those two things combine to give you those cuts on your legs.

For some bizarre reason, people treat items of value with greater respect than disposable items.  No one will leave a high-end safety razor out to rust or get dropped but they will with a disposable.  How much sense does that make to put a dull, rust piece of steel against your skin?

Safety razors are far more economical.  The safety razor can last indefinitely and the blades only cost around ten cents!  That means the minute you feel the blade get dull, toss it and put in a fresh blade.  It is cheaper than buying a whole new pack of "razors" and it's better for the environment as well!

Okay, hopefully you now have your safety razor.  Buy a sample pack of blades to try.  No one but you can tell which blade works best for you.  Oh and while you are at it, ditch the can of shaving cream.  It isn't helping you that much with your shave.  Instead, buy some quality shave cream or shaving soap from those same companies.  You will find it provides a much nicer glide for your new razor.

So please, ladies don't let this turn into another talking point for the politicos and celebrities.  Take matters into your own hands, ditch the marketing crap and buy yourselves a quality safety razor.

No comments: