Gillette released a new advertisement Thursday and it seriously got me feeling emotions.
The one-minute video tells the story of Samson Bonkeabantu Brown, a young transgender man based in Toronto, about to embark on a monumental milestone: shaving his beard for the first time.
“I didn’t know that there was a term for the type of person that I was. I went into my transition just wanting to be happy,” Brown says in the video, which is titled First Shave: The Story of Samson. “I’m glad I’m at the point where I’m able to shave.”
The ad then shows Brown’s dad teaching him how to shave and tbh, this is the part where my emotions got exposed. At one point he tells his son not to be scared because “shaving is about being confident.”
Whenever, wherever, however it happens – your first shave is special.
Posted by Gillette on Thursday, May 23, 2019
The video has been viewed more than half a million times on Facebook. It’s the latest ad to spark conversations about gender and gender roles. In January, Gillette released a short film asking men to do better which some men (and women) responded by being the worst and getting angry at razors 👀.
Gillette is owned by Procter & Gamble and the company is no stranger to employing a woke strategy in its advertising. For instance, feminine hygiene brand Always, launched the #LikeAGirl campaign in 2014 to keep “girls’ confidence during puberty and beyond.” While baby and toddler brand Pampers ran a star-studded (I mean, Adam Levine and John Legend are in it!) ad in February that shows men playing an equal role in parenting. P&G is not the only company promoting equality in their ads. Axe (owned by Unilever) has also produced ads that aim to challenge gender norms and Dove (also owned by Unilever) produced #RealMom in 2017 to address stereotypes about motherhood.
Brown says he’s still trying to figure out the kind of man he wants to become. In a Facebook comment, he thanks Gillette for allowing him to share “such an important moment in a man’s life” with his father.
Before the video fades to black, Brown and his dad are seen having an adorable father and son moment with Brown saying, “It’s not just myself transitioning, it’s everybody around me transitioning.” And seriously, that left me reaching for my phone and calling my parent because of #feels.