Body hair and its stigma have received significantly less attention recently as the body-positivity movement has gained traction, but should women be ashamed of their unshavenness? Let's talk about it.
Although having body hair on a woman may make people feel disgusted and perceive the person as unfeminine, men and women both see hairy women favorably as being more intelligent, more self-assured, and in better physical health. Many women are even popular in the hairy webcams industry.
The “body hair” controversy around whether or not to shave was previously forbidden, but Julia Roberts sparked it last year at the Notting Hill premiere. Hollywood's highest-paid actress stunned the country when she said she didn't shave her body.
Women May Not Want to Shave
There are around 5 million hair follicles on the normal human body, and decades of beauty standards from different cultures have determined which hair is and is not acceptable on femme-presenting bodies. Body hair removal routines that require significant time and money include shaving, waxing, laser hair removal, electrolysis, and more. They appeared as a result of the condemnation and regulation of body hair.
The idea that body hair on women is “undesirable” gradually disappeared. At the beginning of the 20th century, women's clothing became more open, and Gillette released the first women's razor. This started an entire industry.
Nowadays, most women remove their body hair. Only a few years ago, the Billie company first showed it in an advertisement for shaving products – before that, girls “shaved” absolutely smooth legs without a single hair. However, according to research by Mintel, the percentage of young women who regularly shave their body hair is falling. For example, 95% chose to shave their armpits in 2013, and 77% in 2016. The same applies to leg hair: 92% of women used to remove it regularly, and now – 85% do.
Women Are More Beautiful with Hair
Madonna and Lily Allen were seen with hairy armpits, whose images upset many at the time of their appearance.
Proponents of unshaven parts of the body remind that the standards that dictate a woman to shave her armpits or legs appeared quite recently. A few decades ago, they wrote, famous models and actresses took part in photo sessions with unshaven armpits, and no one paid attention to it, unlike today.
For clarity, social networks began to cite the example of Sophia Loren, whose unshaven armpits can be seen in many photos.
Numerous users of social networks write that no one should impose on a woman what to do with the hair on her body. At the same time, many girls actively oppose the refusal to shave as an act of feminism.
Inconsequential Nuances Are Ultimately Irrelevant
Some women spend a lot of time worrying about seemingly unimportant aspects of their appearance, including their eyebrows, whether their breasts are symmetrical, or if their stomach is chubby. These inconsequential nuances are ultimately irrelevant. A guy won't care that your nipples are a little odd-looking if he's prepared to be nude with you, undress you, and love you enough to lay you on his bed. When a woman worries about her appearance, it kills arousal in bed the most.
Body Positivity Movement
Suppose you've never given your arm hair any consideration. In that case, it might be difficult for you to understand what it would be like to feel self-conscious about it constantly, but that's precisely the feeling that countless girls and women transitioning from childhood into adolescence go through.
Body hair has gained popularity, particularly on the legs and under the arms. The body-positivity movement has gained traction recently, and Instagram influencers and celebrities have been praised for showing off their own.
Benefits of Body Shaving
- Some people don't mind having hair on their arms. But some individuals get confused by it; they want to see their hands “clean.” Shaving suits such people;
- Hair traps moisture, and shaving your armpits can lead to less sweating. Or at least to less noticeable sweating;
- Shaving can also reduce the odor associated with sweat. But there are other options for reducing the smell of sweat: deodorants, for example.
Drawbacks of Body Shaving
Shaving the arms and armpits (and any part of the body in general) can have undesirable consequences.
Shaving with a blunt blade, for example, increases the risk of getting ingrown hairs, razor burns, cuts, and skin irritation. In addition, skin areas such as the elbow are a special risk area for cuts during shaving because we do not see well what you are doing.
Razor burn is an especially unpleasant consequence of shaving. It can be caused by:
- using an old or dirty razor;
- shaving without lubricant (cream or gel);
- shaving too fast.
Ingrown hairs—painful red bumps on the skin—occur when shaved hairs grow into the skin instead of out.
Skin irritation can occur in the form of folliculitis: inflammation of the hair follicle. It usually appears on the skin as an area with small, red dots that cause a burning or itching sensation. The reasons may be different:
- tight clothing;
- a blunt blade.
For many people, the possibility of these inconveniences is a serious issue that makes them quit shaving.
Even though there has been a recent upsurge in interest in female body hair, with many women giving up their razors and tweezers, refusing to shave is still predominantly seen as a feminist statement. The second feminist movement, when women started to question beauty standards, is somewhat to blame for this view. Still, these presumptions are firmly ingrained in the absence of cultural acceptance of female body hair.
It can be powerful to intentionally encourage body hair development, rejecting the traditional conventions that society relentlessly promotes, especially because society still heavily shames women for not shaving their body hair. In addition, many men do not care about female hairiness. And many people even consider it beautiful.