“What this kind of advertising did was establish shaving as a modern rite—a signifier of manliness and paternalism,” said Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media, culture and communication at New York University. By associating a product with a culturally sanctioned act, Miller said, “these ads are trying to elevate their brands.”
And they’re not alone. For decades, advertisers have transformed shaving from simple hygienic ritual to a veritable proclamation of everything that’s wholesome and good about America.
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