Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday 19 January 2019

The best a man can be

In which G.M. Norton encourages you to boycott Gillette.

There’s been a big old furore this week over a new campaign from Gillette who have changed their strapline from ‘The best a man can get’ to ‘The best a man can be’. Although I'm yet to meet anybody who doesn't like it, I'm lead to believe that Piers Morgan has been leading the line of knuckle-dragging imbeciles who are full of rage at Gillette with threats to boycott the brand. I’ve had a couple of chuckles this week at some of the responses using the #GilletteBoycott hashtag, where one man even tried to flush his razor down the toilet.

I must confess, chumrades, I do believe men should boycott Gillette. But not because I find their campaign offensive. Simply because Gillette’s shaving tools are inferior to a good old safety razor.

So yes, boycott Gillette and try a safety razor instead. It provides a vastly superior shave, is more environmentally friendly and costs less than multi-blade cartridges.

While I’m on the subject of the video that has given me so much entertainment, I may as well give my thoughts.

This very periodical exists because I decided that I wanted to become a better man. Encouraging the next generation of men to be respectful is wonderful, it really is.

I do believe that far too many men are weighed down by ‘toxic masculinity’. From an early age, men are told that they shouldn’t cry, to not be a girl.

And that’s precisely why the male suicide rate is so high. Men are not encouraged to have feelings or to display their emotions. Which is another reason why I try to be open and share my feelings with you.

I don’t cry very often. My beloved and I have been together for 14 years and she’s only seen me cry two or three times. And I do still bottle up my feelings. But I’m trying to be better at that, I just find it hard.

As you may already be aware, I don’t follow the stereotypical male path of lads, lads lads or have any ambition to become Alpha Male King of the Jungle.

I am hopeless at DIY – my beloved tackles this, who thankfully enjoys it. I care about my appearance and what I wear. Pink is just one of many colours that I like and enjoy wearing. My beloved earns more they me, which I have no issue with (although of course, I would like my employer to give me a pay rise...but who wouldn't?!).

What I liked about the campaign was that it showed men being decent and standing up for their gender, and everyone else. By showing men intervening in situations is not saying all men are sexist, bullies or misogynists. 

I also think that Gillette have been rather clever in flipping their incredibly well-known slogan - which has been arguably part of the perpetuation of what it means to be a 'man's man' - on its head to actually help an incredibly important social movement. 

I do try to be a good example to my two daughters. I have made mistakes and still continue to make them, but I am trying to be the best a man can be.

Despite all this, I will continue to not use Gillette (contrary to reports, bearded men still need to shave some parts of their face). But bravo to Gillette for creating this talking point, even though your multi-bladed razors are rubbish.

G.M. Norton

Protagonist of 'Norton of Morton'


  1. I agree, safety razors are far superior - I made the switch last year. It was environmentally driven for me.

    The male suicide rate is shocking. Mental health is my area of research, so this is a topic close to my heart. You make some very good, enlightened points. Unfortunately those who are so vehemently opposed to the ad are perhaps those most in need of taking on board its messages..

  2. Phew, your headline to this post made me think, "Not Norty! He's not one of *those*!" It's good to know you're not following the Way Of Piers, who is an unspeakably awful person.


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