I have long been a a Gilette user and have forgotten why i started. I think I just believed ‘The best a man can get’ to be the only option.
Until I went on a sailing trip and bought a few throw-away Wilkinson knives at a gas station. I was amazed by their longevity and felt like an idiot; suckered for years by Gilettes (Procter & Gamble’s) marketing department.
The biggest thing Gilettes research department came up with in the last couple of years was to skip 4 blades and go directly from 3 mediocre blades to 5.
fantastic spoof article:. http://www.theonion.com/articles/fuck-everything-were-doing-five-blades,11056/
My moment of awakening was around the time David Beckham was replaced (he/Posh wanted a cut of the profits) His spot was taken by Thierry Henry and Roger Federer and Tiger Woods. 3 celebrities simultaneously promote a pricey so-so product. I think Gillette should transfer more R&D money to the marketing department and match the number of ‘stars’ with the number of blades, then the campaign would make some sort of sense.
Barbarians and manliness
Why are most of us men shaving everyday, why do we feel better when our chin is smooth? I found some great background info, no definite answers though.
Fiddling with bodily hair predates history. The Egyptians were the first well documented shavers, or rather; they pulled out or scraped off all bodyhair, yet donned fake beards and wigs when it was time to be decisive and manly.
Alexander the Great obliged his soldiers to shave, so no one could grab their beards in combat. The unshaven peoples came to be known as barbarians.
The first world war was another episode of obligatory shaving; your gasmask won’t work when you have a beard. Smooth chinned heroes came back from the war. A well-timed, massive Gilette marketing campaign made being clean shaven into western status quo.
Things are starting to get fuzzy again now that having a beard is becoming a fashion statement in the West. Maybe there is war coming.
A great article on the history of shaving: