|Razors Are Mental|
|Written by Murphy Simmonds|
Just how many names does a razor need?
Go and have a poke around in your bathroom. What's the manliest thing in there? The loo brush? The shower gel? The pneumatic drill you use to clean the sleep out of your eyes? No, it's none of those. It's the razor.
Not the women's razor, you fool, that's pink. We're talking about the men's razor. You can tell it's a men's razor if it has a sleek metal handle and makes fighter jets fly around in the mirror when you use it. Or, alternatively, you can check its name. All six of them."Will we be popping down to Boots in 2020 to buy a Wilkinson Sword Nanotech Dodecaplex Tungsten Carbide Plasma Force Ultra Diesel?
Take the Wilkinson Sword Quattro Titanium Precision Freestyle. That's got six names, and four blades. Which definitely means it's better than the Gillette Mach 3 Power Nitro, which has only five names and three blades. Although, confusingly, the Gillette Fusion Stealth Power has just four names, but five blades. So we're not sure where that one ranks. Us, we got a Gillette Champions Fusion Power Stealth Elite Power Pack for Christmas - eight names, five blades, beats everything.
Obviously, all of this is insane. Razors are useful things, easy-grip devices which have been specifically created to remove hair from the face. But good god, the advertising has turned them into plasticky manifestations of everything that is terrible and stupid about the modern world.
In retrospect, the entire industry was showing signs of madness more than 20 years ago. If it was a pet, or a grandmother, it would have been taken out into the yard and shot through the back of the head before it could do any harm to anyone, or to itself. The razor marketing fiasco shows what happens if you don't end a bad situation when you have the chance. Two decades later, it's wandering the streets, twitching like a monkey that swallowed a taser and telling everyone it's Elvis.
It was set in motion by Gillette's all 80s image of man (he's got the suit, he's got the woman, he's got the jawline) and maintained throughout the 90s (that's when the fighter jets came in) but it's this decade which has seen the madness truly take hold. For razor manufacturers, the 2000s have been little more than a demented arms race which has seen more blades, more functions and more ridiculous names bolted on to the common chin cutter in a lunatic attempt to out-testosterone the competition. The result, here in 2009, is a distorted depiction of cartoon manliness which has travelled so far from the land of rationality that it is now technically a moon.
So, the Wilkinson Sword Quattro Titanium Precision Freestyle. Let's break it down. "Wilkinson Sword" makes sense, that's the brand. "Quattro" is foreignfor "four", so it's got four blades. "Titanium" means it's slightly made of titanium - handy for people with moustaches which break steel. "Precision" refers to the blade on the back for "sculpting your stubble", which everyone's doing nowadays because we're all morons. And the "Freestyle" means nothing. It's just a word added on to the end to tell you it looks a bit different to the Wilkinson Sword Quattro Titanium Precision. You know, the basic one. All of which leaves us wondering when this is going to end. Will we be popping down to Boots in 2020 to buy a Wilkinson Sword Nanotech Dodecaplex Tungsten Carbide Plasma Force Ultra Diesel?
No, is the answer. Because we'll be growing a beard.
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