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The brand name for a line of depilatory products.

While it holds a distant second place share of today's depilatory market (to Nair), it was influential in forming America's cultural aversion to hair on women.

In the twenties, Neet followed the lead of Gillette and Wilkinson Sword, mounting an effective Madison Avenue ad campaign to create a U.S. market for its products. The ads featured sexy bathing beauties humiliated by unsightly armpit hair.

The interesting thing about the campaign is that at the time, there wasn't really any widespread aversion to armpit hair. If anything, shaved pits may have been considered a bit slutty. However, the moment was perfect for spreading a smooth armpit meme. Bare shouldered and sleeveless fashions were a brand new thing at the time, and American women had never confronted the public presentation of their armpits before. How could they know that their "unsightliness" was cooked up by hucksters?

The idea took hold with a vengeance, and now it's considered odd for an American woman not to shave her underarms. The peculiar susceptibility of Americans to marketing of this type is pointed up by the fact that Neet was a cultural landmark in the US, but just a middling product in its native France, where everyone is considerably more relaxed about hairy armpits. I would guess that's because the French were showing ther axillae before the advent of safety razors and depilatories, so the advertisements failed to engender the fear that made them so effective in the states.

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