Braun razor advert under review after anti-trans backlash to transgender male model

Braun's advert that features a trans model is being reviewed by the Advertising Standards Agency following anti-trans complaints.

An advert for Braun razors is under review by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after the company faced an anti-trans backlash for using a topless trans male model in its latest campaign.

A spokesperson for the ASA confirmed to PinkNews that complaints had been received about the advert, which is being reviewed.

In the advert for the Series X Hybrid Trimmers, the model’s double mastectomy scars could be seen.  

Some trans men and non-binary people undergo the procedure as part of their gender-affirming journey, to remove breast tissue and reshape the chest.

According to the brand’s website, which features the image of the model, the Series X is a one-tool wonder that allows users to “trim, style and shave”. 

But the brand’s inclusivity hasn’t been well-received by anti-trans campaigners, with Maya Forstater telling The Telegraph that she found the advert “shockingly immoral”. 

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Meanwhile, TalkTV presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer claimed Braun will see a drop in sales following its decision to use a trans model. 

In a debate about “irresponsible advertising” on the right-wing channel, Hartley-Brewer claimed to be physically repulsed by the advert.

“This is not to be transphobic,” she said, adding that it’s “horrific” and is “gender-dysphoria” which she called a mental-health condition.

Another anti-trans campaigner, James Esses, described the advert as doubly disgraceful. 

Despite the negativity surrounding the advert, many people have aired their support for it, with one taking to X, formerly Twitter, to respond to Hartley-Brewer.

“Trans people should be visible, because they exist and are part of our society,” they wrote.

‘We applaud Braun for their inclusive casting’

Chay Brown, the operations director at pro-trans organisation TransActual, told PinkNews that he can’t understand why anyone would be offended.

“It’s a man advertising a shaving product, shirtless men doing this are nothing new,” he said.

“We applaud Braun for their inclusive casting. By [featuring] a trans man in their advertising, they’re reflecting the fact that some trans men and non-binary people (and trans women) use their products.

“Most people wouldn’t know what ‘masculinising mastectomy scars’ were unless they knew a trans person.

“As for turning people trans, what nonsense. I’ve always enjoyed chocolate, but, despite years of watching Milk Tray ads, I’ve never had an urge to ski down a mountainside at midnight to deliver a box of chocolates to anyone –  no matter how much I’ve fancied them.”

It’s important for companies to “reflect their whole customer base” because “that’s part of building an inclusive society”, Brown added.

Trans journalist India Willoughby took to X to say that the procedure the anti-trans campaigners are complaining about has made the man’s life “infinitely better” and there’s nothing wrong with trans people being shown in adverts.

Another person congratulated Braun and Costa Coffee, which also faced a backlash, following the use of a cartoon of a trans man in its branding, for “standing up for trans people”.

One flagged the bias in the majority of the national media’s reports, with only anti-trans pundits being asked to share their views about the advert.

Others have hit back at the anti-trans pundits, saying that’s it’s good to have visibility of transgender people.

“The Braun advert makes no difference to you, but makes a big difference to a trans man. It shows he’s visible and accepted. Why would you want him to stay in the shadows? Why is he less of a person than you are?” wrote one X user.

The Braun controversy follows another razor company, Harry’s, being subjected to a transphobic backlash for working with transgender influencer Luke Wesley Pearson in June 2022, while during Pride month a number of other brands were attacked for supporting the LGBTQ+ community.