It’s 4 seasons 2019 as well as the new ever, there’s actual body hair in the razor commercial for girls. What happened to all or any the hairless legs, smoothed armpits, and ‘perfectly’ photoshopped bikini lines?
Well, these ads still exist (in the same way blue tampon ads still do), but realistic body image is correct just about to happen, and we’re for the time when all bodies are appreciated.
“No you’ve 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 why does it bring such visceral reactions through the masses?
Maybe the answer, like many cultural answers, is at history — body hair removal might be traced back for hundreds of years.
The reputation body laser hair removal
According on the Women’s Museum of California, traditional hair removal in Ancient Rome was often described as identifier of status. Wealthier women would find other 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 traditional hair removal tool was incrementally refined in the past in an effort to create a safer instrument that might be utilized by the masses. William Henson added his contribution by creating the “hoe-shaped” razor, the look the majority of us have an understanding of today.
Fahs’ results said that many women were disgusted with the concept of body hair, each of their particular as well as the idea of other women allowing their hair to grow out.
However, it wasn’t until a traveling salesman named King Camp Gillette combined the form of Henson’s razor along with his want to make shaving easier that this first disposable double-edged blade was invented in 1901.
This effectively eliminated the call to sharpen shaving blades after each shave and maybe reduced the probability of skin irritation.
A couple of years later, Gillette designed a razor for girls called Milady Décolleté This new women-friendly release as well as the chicas peludas alternation in women’s fashion — the sleeveless tops, shorter skirts, and summer dresses — influenced increasingly more women to get rid of the hair growing on their legs and underarms.
During the 1960s, some movements — often hippie or feminist in nature — encouraged an even more “natural” look, but nearly all women of this time were choosing techniques wherever they saw fit.
Over many years, pop culture along with the media fueled this hairless trend as the acceptable standard by constantly portraying perfectly smooth bodies.
“I make it clear towards 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 ladies and their relationship with body hair, specifically whatever they looked at hairiness.
Fahs results revealed that the majority of females were disgusted through the idea of body hair, both their very own and the notion of other women allowing their hair to grow out.
The second part of Fahs’ study challenged participants to permit their body hair to cultivate for 10 weeks and make a journal in regards to the experience. The results revealed that the participating women thought obsessively regarding their body hair and even refused to interact with other people during the experiment.
And like Fahs, i was also fascinated through the relationship between those who perceive womanhood along with their relationship with body hair, so we did our very own research. After all, at the end of your day, it’s a private preference.
What 10 women needed to say regarding body hair, removing it, the stigmas, and themselves
On how body hair affects their actions and interactions with others
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“When first dating someone, I try to produce my body hair visible. If she reacts negatively, then I discontinue relations together with her. When we have intercourse for that first-time, I similarly gauge her reaction; nonchalance and awe will be the only acceptable reactions.”
“I try and hide my body system just as much as I can when I’m hairy. In the summer it’s so faithfully to constantly shave and I lag a lot since I stood a baby so I end up having long sleeve tees or long pants a great deal greater than I should!”
“I used to always wax/Nair when I had new partners, however I really don’t care. I definitely still get eliminate underarm hair for going sleeveless, particularly in work and formal settings. I feel pressured to take action and I’m too exhausted to convince individuals who my figure should indeed be mine during these spaces.”
“It doesn’t. At least not at this time. It’s a me thing.”
“Not a little bit. I make it clear to 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 locks are very long. Everything else is similar.”
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“I don’t shave my vagina — except to trim for convenience during sexual intercourse — and I infrequently shave my armpits. I don’t do these products because 1. they are tedious and time intensive; 2. if men don’t have to do it, why must I; and 3. I like just how my figure feels and looks with hair.”
“Yes, but ‘regularly’ is a loose term. I do when I make sure you take action or if it’s likely to be necessary for me to show some section of my body. I have really fine and sparse leg hair so I often forget to eliminate it until I see an embarrassingly long hair. I’m more regular with removing the head of hair under my arms.”
“Yes, oh my goodness yes. Since pregnancy my hair initiated a policy of arriving course and fast! I can’t cope with all of the stubborn and thick growth of hair.”
“It’s become a habit and I’m utilized to my mostly hairless body.”
“I don’t regularly remove my hair. I only resort to shaving my pubes when I can’t stop fiddling from it.”
On preferred method of body hair removal
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“I’ve always used a razor. I guess I was only introduced to this technique and it did actually help me. I’ve since learned what blades perform best and ways to take better proper my skin. I’ve considered waxing but it seems more invasive and painful. I shave repeatedly per week. Might be obsessive regarding it.”
“I prefer a chemical hair remover because shaving and waxing have side effects on my small sensitive skin.”
“I like waxing and ultizing Nair. Waxing because I don’t should do it frequently and I use Nair in the case of home ‘emergencies.’ I remove hair less frequently than I utilized to as it bothers me less now.”
“Shaving. It’s in order to I’ve tried up to now. Every three or four weeks for underarms if I don’t visit the beach before this. I haven’t actually checked just how long I usually stand it between doing my bikini line and I don’t shave my legs.”
On the best way body hair is portrayed in the media as well as the stigma surrounding it “It’s bulls—t. My body was literally constructed with pretty much everything hair into it, how come I invest some time removing it when it’s not putting me at an increased risk? I don’t knock or shame any woman who does, obviously, but I personally think how the social pressure on women to get rid of tresses are just one more strategy for attempting to infantilize her making her mould to a beauty standard that men don’t must abide by.”
“We have issues, man. I will say I hold many of these stigmas also it’s bothersome in my experience. For instance, I think women (and men) that have bushy underarm hair are less hygienic (and bra burning feminists). And while I know this can be completely false, my first thought lands there.”
“No you’ve body hair on television. You grow up thinking that’s normal and easily attainable. I also feel as if I spent my childhood years in the heyday of female razor marketing — I think the Venus razor came out inside the early 2000s and suddenly everyone needed to have it. But you also needed whatever newest scent of shaving cream was out. At enough time, I think it felt like a method to ‘modernize’ laser hair removal for that new millennium (it’s not your mama’s shaving and all), the good news is it’s clear they simply wanted us to get more products.”
“They’re exhausting and expensive. Honestly, we need to just let women live nonetheless they want.”
“We have to stop policing what people do with their health or how much hair they carry on any a part of their own health. I think the media makes some strides in leaving perpetuating the stigma attached with body hair. Articles are being written on body hair positivity and that’s amazing.”
On the relationship between body hair as well as their feminism
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“I think people have to do the things they’re at ease with. Being a feminist doesn’t ought to be synonymous with being hairy.”
“It’s integral to my feminism, though I don’t understand that I would have said that before. Feminism could be the freedom to pick and define yourself by yourself. I think social expectation for elimination of body hair is merely another way women’s looks and bodies are controlled, and so I push back against it.”
“My body hair doesn’t factor much into the feminism because, while it’s directly associated with body autonomy, it’s not just a large part 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’ve got about body.”
“Personally, I don’t make that connection. I don’t think I ever will. Maybe because I haven’t been placed inside a position to must carefully think in regards to the choices I’m making with my body system hair.”
“Even community . would be great to not feel uncomfortable in a spaghetti strap top with hairy underarms, it’s not where I think we should be focused inside fight for equality.”
“I don’t determine if I’d connect my figure hair to my feminism, but I do think concerning the pink tax and the way items are 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 have to go down that aisle inside the store. But when I do, I’m really struck by how pastel everything is. The products seemed made for visual appeal (on the shelf and inside 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 for any little (skin) darkness was life or death. [But it also] is determined by your geographical area, the location where the negative stigma of tresses are for girls. I lived in [Los Angeles] and everyone is well-kept. Now that I’m in Seattle, it’s no huge problem who has hair on their own body!”
“Not really. I’ve only learned to utilize underwear that doesn’t trap heat or moisture because that, along with my ‘Afro’ has a tendency to supply folliculitis pimples.”
“Sometimes I won’t post images to social media marketing because there’s visible body hair inside.”
And there you contain it, the scene on body hair is as complex as it is simple
As among the women we spoke to very elegantly use it: “It really hurts me when women shame other women just for this. […] I believe in the freedom of preference. And my options are never to remove hair from my body because I like it where it really is.”
Removing one’s body hair or letting it grow doesn’t must be an announcement, nonetheless it does exist — and such as the first body hair positive razor ad of 2018, we have to openly acknowledge that.
Stephanie BarnesStephanie Barnes is really 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 trying to find the right skincare routine.