April 13, 2010
 

MSN and its Body Hair Story with the South American Country Name

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Much to our shock and utter amazement, when we launched our browser yesterday, we were subjected to the article above on our MSN home page. Needless to say, we dropped our hot coffee cup right on our lap, which generated a bolt of adrenaline more like RedBull than Maxwell House.

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Maybe it was a slow news day or one of the interns pulled a practical joke on the MSN.com editor-in-chief; or maybe someone was taking the week off. Or maybe it's us. Could we be open to criticism for being out of touch with contemporary culture and social mores as it relates body procedures that share the same name with a South American country? Are we prudes?

Is the topic of getting a "Brazilian" something that could be talked about over the kitchen table with your children? What do you think?

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As important, what would Progressive Insurance feel about seeing their advertisement adjacent to this story?

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MSN apparently thought it was fine and important enough to have it rotated with the announcement that the US Postal Service is planning on closing thousands of Post Offices around the country. Such a move by the Post Office is going to have huge economic implications in thousands of communities and virtually millions of families. No surprise that almost 15,000 other online sources picked it up yesterday.

Conversely, MSN's syndication of the South American Country body hair story had a grand total of 70 matches. To quote a good friend of ours, "PULLEASSE!"

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The original article was published by Women's Health, which is where it should have stayed. Readers go to Women's Health for health and beauty tips. However, MSN also linked 3 other stories from Women's Health besides the Brazilian story. One of them was about a "Perfect Skin Diet" which would have been far more sensible to highlight.

Therefore, why did MSN pick up the Brazilian story? Why do you think? Our opinion is that it was far more titillating and eye-catching than just another diet story. It is clear that no one at MSN thought this through. Or perhaps they did think it through and chose to put it on the front page for the shock value.

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According to Wikipedia, the procedure actually goes back centuries. "In Middle Eastern societies, removal of the female body hair has been considered proper hygiene, necessitated by local customs, for many centuries. Evidence of pubic hair removal in ancient India dates back to 4000 to 3000 BC, and methods have not changed much beyond the material used."

Maybe we got it all wrong. There was a simple explanation all along. Perhaps it was published during Summer recess as a history lesson.

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