Recently, I've stumbled across several stories, posts, and comments that have got me thinking about body hair. The hows and why of removing or not removing, and the different cultural attitudes towards body hair on men and women.
Yesterday, Ms L
. referred to a competition in the Yukon where they judge who has the longest, coarsest, thickest leg hair. The ladies around Whitehorse grow their hair all winter in anticipation!
Also, yesterday, we were imagining some fun hair removal experiences for pawlr at the spa in L.A.
I started looking around to find out a bit more about attitudes toward body hair. I used to just think that it was women that feel they should have hairless pits and legs but I came across info leading me to believe there a lot more men out there doing hair removal. Whether its waxing/shaving their backs or doing their bikini lines!
One interesting pseudo-history article talked about the fact that hair removal has been something people have indulged in through all recorded history. Read about it here
. At one time, people would shave or pluck all the hair on their head then wear wigs and draw on eyebrows!
Another article I came across was a research project
in Australia, trying to determine why over 81% of women surveyed felt they had to remove their excess body hair.
I read quite a few articles and some of the theories included things like:
- women in particular have been convinced by the marketers that body hair is ugly and unfeminine so it should be removed
- more and more men are falling into this mindset
- body hair on women is a sign of sexual maturity and power and it should be removed so they will appear younger, pre-pubescent, less powerful
-men should remove the hair from their butts and groin area if they are planning to wear a thong type bathing suit to the beach
In my own history, I, like most girls, started shaving as teenager. I went through a phase in my twenties where I stopped. This was partly because I often got a rash, especially under my arms, and also because I was rebelling against 'societal norms'. Well, I guess I question my own socialization because I didn't like the way I looked 'au naturelle' and have removed hair ever since. I'm quite a fan of waxing and am even seriously considering permanent hair removal with laser treatment. Does that make me a woman who is overly concerned with being attactive to men, or of low self esteem? I don't think so.
My attitudes to body hair on men are more lenient. It doesn't bother me to see hairy pits or a hairy back. I don't look at a guy and think 'eew, he should wax that!'. Looking around the net though I discovered quite a few guys and gals who don't like excess hair on men. In fact, quite a few salons advertise waxing for men and I found this article
on getting Brazilian wax for men. I knew women went in for this but never thought men would. So interesting. And yeah...ouch. Read this article
. In between cringing I was laughing. A short excerpt from the first one gives you the idea:Brazilian Nuts; The Brazilian Wax treatment was introduced to North America in the late 1980s by J. Sisters International, a Manhattan salon that is owned and operated by seven clearly insane sisters from Brazil. The Brazilian is an all-over body hair removal treatment that chiefly involves the buttocks, pubic area, and dark crevasses in a ritual of pain so spectacular there are few words to describe it.
Most charitable estheticians will provide a tongue depressor to sink your teeth into during treatment. Some will turn up the salon's sound system so you can scream 'til you burst a blood vessel.
So, Cyberpolers, what do you think? Are we succumbing to unrealistic ideas of beauty and tidyness by doing all this hair removal? Are women being victimized by the marketers? Are men? Lets hear your thoughts!