It’s the year 2019 and for the first time ever, there’s actual body hair inside a razor commercial for women. What happened to all or any the hairless legs, smoothed armpits, and ‘perfectly’ photoshopped bikini lines?
Well, these ads survive (just like blue tampon ads still do), but realistic body image is correct just about to happen, and we’re here for the time when all bodies are appreciated.
“No you have body hair in media. You grow up thinking that’s normal and easily attainable.”
After we reveled inside the newness of Billie’s razor ad, we also wondered: How has body hair shaped us and how does it bring such visceral reactions from the masses?
Maybe the answer, like many cultural answers, is within history — body techniques might be traced back for centuries.
The reputation body hair removal
According for the Women’s Museum of California, techniques in Ancient Rome was often seen as identifier of status. Wealthier women would find different ways to eliminate their body hair, including using pumice stones.
The first relatively safe shaving instrument was created in 1769 by French barber Jean-Jacques Perret. This initial laser hair removal tool was incrementally refined over time in an effort to build a safer instrument that would be utilised by the masses. William Henson added his contribution by creating the “hoe-shaped” razor, the structure most of us are familiar with today.
Fahs’ results revealed that many women were disgusted with the thought of body hair, both their own and the idea of other women allowing their hair growing out.
However, it wasn’t until a traveling salesman named King Camp Gillette combined the design of Henson’s razor with his intend to make shaving easier how the first disposable double-edged blade was invented in 1901.
This effectively eliminated the need to sharpen shaving blades after each shave and perchance reduced the probability of skin irritation.
A couple of years later, Gillette made a razor for girls called Milady Décolleté This new women-friendly release as well as the chicas peludas difference in women’s fashion — the sleeveless tops, shorter skirts, and summer dresses — influenced increasingly more women to eliminate the hair growing on their own legs and underarms.
During the 1960s, some movements — often hippie or feminist as the name indicated — encouraged a much more “natural” look, but many women of that time were choosing hair removal wherever they saw fit.
Over many years, pop culture and also the media fueled this hairless trend as the acceptable standard by constantly portraying perfectly smooth bodies.
“I make it clear for the women I date that I love body hair. On me. On them. It actually turns me on.”
In a 2013 study, scholar Breanne Fahs conducted two experiments surrounding females and their relationship with body hair, specifically what they regarded hairiness.
Fahs results said nearly all women were disgusted from the idea of body hair, both of their particular along with the concept of other women allowing their hair growing out.
The second a part of Fahs’ study challenged participants allowing their body hair growing for 10 weeks and a journal about the experience. The results said that the participating women thought obsessively regarding body hair and in many cases refused to have interaction with other people through the experiment.
And like Fahs, i was also fascinated through the relationship between those who recognize womanhood as well as their relationship with body hair, so we did our personal research. After all, after the morning, it’s a private preference.
What 10 women was required to say relating to body hair, removing it, the stigmas, and themselves
On how body hair affects their actions and interactions with other people
Share on Pinterest
“When first dating someone, I try to make my body system hair visible. If she reacts negatively, then I discontinue relations along with her. When we have intercourse for your first time, I similarly gauge her reaction; nonchalance and awe include the only acceptable reactions.”
“I attempt to hide my body just as much as I can when I’m hairy. In the summer it’s so faithfully to constantly shave and I lag a whole lot since I were built with a baby so I end up getting long sleeve tees or long pants a whole lot over I should!”
“I used to always wax/Nair when I had new partners, these days I really don’t care. I definitely still get reduce underarm hair for going sleeveless, particularly in work and formal settings. I feel pressured to take action and I’m too exhausted to convince folks that my figure should indeed be mine of these spaces.”
“It doesn’t. At least not right this moment. It’s a me thing.”
“Not obviously any good tiny bit. I make it clear on the women I date that I love body hair. On me. On them. It actually turns me on.”
“I may avoid sleeveless clothing if my underarm tresses are long. Everything else is the same.”
“I don’t shave my vagina — except to trim for ease of access during sex — and I infrequently shave my armpits. I don’t do these things because 1. these are tedious and frustrating; 2. if men don’t need to do it, how is it that I; and 3. I like the way in which my body system looks and feels with hair.”
“Yes, but ‘regularly’ is really a loose term. I do when I remember to take action or if it’s going to be required for me to demonstrate a particular a part of my body system. I have really fine and sparse leg hair so I often forget to remove it until I see an embarrassingly long hair. I’m more regular with removing the hair under my arms.”
“Yes, oh my goodness yes. Since pregnancy my hair initiated a policy of arriving course and fast! I can’t deal with each of the stubborn and thick new hair growth.”
“It’s turn into a habit and I’m used to my mostly hairless body.”
“I don’t regularly remove my hair. I only head for shaving my pubes when I can’t stop fiddling by it.”
On preferred technique of body techniques
Share on Pinterest
“I’ve always used a razor. I guess I was only shown this process also it seemed to work with me. I’ve since learned what blades perform most optimally and the ways to take better proper care of my skin. I’ve considered waxing but it seems more invasive and painful. I shave more than once per week. Might be obsessive over it.”
“I prefer a chemical hair remover because shaving and waxing have uncomfortable side effects on my own sensitive skin.”
“I like waxing and taking advantage of Nair. Waxing because I don’t have to do it as frequently and I use Nair in the case of home ‘emergencies.’ I remove hair far less frequently than I utilized to as it bothers me less now.”
“Shaving. It’s the only method I’ve tried so far. Every 3 or 4 weeks for underarms if I don’t check out the beach until then. I haven’t actually checked how much time I usually stand it between doing my bikini line and I don’t shave my legs.”
On the best way body tresses are portrayed on tv as well as the stigma surrounding it “It’s bulls—t. My body was literally made with all of this hair onto it, why must I invest some time removing it when it’s not putting me in danger? I don’t knock or shame any woman who, obviously, but I personally think the social pressure on women to get rid of locks are one more strategy for looking to infantilize her to make her comply with a beauty standard that men don’t need to adhere to.”
“We have issues, man. I will say I hold some stigmas plus it’s bothersome to me. For instance, I think women (and men) who have bushy underarm hair are less hygienic (and bra burning feminists). And while I know that is completely false, my first thought lands there.”
“No you’ve got body hair in the media. You become adults thinking that’s normal and easily attainable. I also feel like I spent my childhood years in the heyday of female razor marketing — I think the Venus razor arrived within the early 2000s and suddenly everyone needed to have it. But you also needed whatever newest scent of shaving cream was out. At time, I think it felt like a strategy to ‘modernize’ hair removal for your new millennium (it’s not your mama’s shaving and all), however it’s clear they just wanted us to acquire more products.”
“They’re exhausting and expensive. Honestly, we have to just let women live nevertheless they want.”
“We should stop policing what folks do with their bodies or simply how much hair they carry on any portion of their bodies. I think the media makes some strides in getting off perpetuating the stigma attached to body hair. Articles are being written on body hair positivity and that’s amazing.”
On the partnership between body hair as well as their feminism
Share on Pinterest
“I think people must do what they’re comfortable with. Being a feminist doesn’t have to be synonymous with being hairy.”
“It’s integral to my feminism, though I don’t know that I would have declared before. Feminism will be the freedom to select and define yourself by yourself. I think social expectation for elimination of body tresses are yet another way women’s looks and bodies are controlled, and so I push back against it.”
“My body hair doesn’t factor much into my personal feminism because, while it’s directly related to body autonomy, it’s not really a large section of what would play into the liberation and fight to end patriarchy. I do, however, think it’s very crucial for feminists and I do support any work to end the negative ideas we have about body.”
“Personally, I don’t make that connection. I don’t think I ever will. Maybe because I haven’t been placed in a position to must carefully think in regards to the choices I’m making with my body system hair.”
“Even even though it could be great never to feel uncomfortable inside a spaghetti strap top with hairy underarms, it’s not where I think we should be focused within the fight for equality.”
“I don’t know if I’d connect my body hair to my feminism, but I do think about the pink tax and how merchandise is marketed towards me. Because I almost exclusively Nair and employ a men’s razor (four blades = closer shave) when I do shave, I don’t often must go down that aisle within the store. But when I do, I’m really struck by how pastel everything is. The products seemed created for look and feel (on the shelf and in the shower) over how well they work.”
On whether they’ve had negative experiences a result of body hair
“Yes. As a teen you’re constantly made fun of for everything. To be made fun of to get a little (skin) darkness was life or death. [But it also] is dependent upon your geographical area, the place that the negative stigma of locks are for women. I lived in [Los Angeles] and everyone is well-kept. Now that I’m in Seattle, it’s no huge problem that has hair on their own body!”
“Not really. I’ve only learned to utilize underwear that doesn’t trap heat or moisture because that, coupled with my ‘Afro’ has a tendency to deliver folliculitis pimples.”
“Sometimes I won’t post a picture to social networking because there’s visible body hair in it.”
And there you own it, the view on body hair is as complex as it’s simple
As among the women we spoke to very elegantly input it: “It really hurts me when women shame other women with this. […] I believe within the freedom associated with preference. And my option is to not remove hair from my body because I like it where it’s.”
Removing your system hair or allowing it to grow doesn’t have to be an argument, but it does exist — and like the first body hair positive razor ad of 2018, we should openly acknowledge that.
Stephanie BarnesStephanie Barnes is a writer, front-end/iOS engineer, and woman of color. If she isn’t asleep, you can find her binge-watching her favorite TV shows or attempting to find an ideal natual skin care routine.
Comments are closed.