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  • Women and their body hair

    Why do women get rid of all their body hair?

    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]Published: June 8, 2014 - 3:00AM[/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]I'm having lunch outside with a handful of close friends. Wearing a short-sleeved top, I stretch my arms behind my head, then wait for the reaction. "Gosh, full armpit hair. I haven't seen that in a while," says the 50-something husband of a friend.

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]"Lost your razor, did you?" asks my friend Rachel, as her teenage son swallows, looking disgusted by what is unquestionably his first sight of proper underarm hair: his mother, I know, has an underarm and leg wax and a Brazilian every six weeks, not leaving much change from $200. "Still, where Madonna goes, we all must follow, I suppose," she murmurs, referring to a recent Instagram shot of the high priestess of pop, complete with long underarm hair.

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]The question of body hair – and what, if anything, a woman is supposed to do with it - sits neck and neck with diet and body weight as a pressing question on the feminist agenda. Ever since the term Brazilian was coined by the J Sisters salon in Manhattan in 1994 for the waxing of all but a small strip of pubic hair, the trend for shaving, waxing or lasering armpit, leg and pubic hair has seemed unstoppable. Facial-hair removal – the faintest down from brows and upper lips – is pretty standard for many women, and three female friends have been offered arm-hair removal in salons, although none has yet taken this up.

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]"Three years ago I wouldn't have dreamt of booking a Brazilian from work, but it's not surprising any more. Last year, I overheard a junior booking a Hollywood," says Emma, 34, referring to the extreme version of a Brazilian, in which all hair is removed.

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]These days, a mere gentle trim of the bikini line pre-holiday is unthinkable. The perceived pressure for women to be groomed and beach- or bedroom-ready at all times has never been more intense, or more lucrative. Research firm Mintel forecasts that the British hair-removal market will be worth £628 million ($1.1 billion) this year.

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]But since the sight of underarm hair, let alone a messy bikini line, is now fairly rare, it's easy to forget that extreme hair removal is relatively recent. French actor Béatrice Dalle, with her long, dark underarm hair, was considered a sex goddess in the 1980s. And despite the yelps at the sight of Julia Roberts's unshaven armpits at the premiere of Notting Hillin 1999, they only seemed to increase her bankability.[/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]"When I started in the beauty industry 25 years ago, the idea you'd take the whole lot off was extremely shocking," says Rachel Cross, who owns a beauty clinic specialising in laser hair removal and electrolysis. "Bikini lines started getting higher with the trend for G-strings around 2000, but we've seen a big increase in Brazilians and Hollywoods driven by both 20-something and post-menopausal ladies, who either want to try something new in their marriage, or might have started dating again. Contrary to popular belief, this isn't a trend confined to younger customers."

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]But a run of high-profile women are adopting a public stance against hair removal. In a chapter entitled "In Praise of Pubes" in her tome The Body Book, Cameron Diaz praised the "lovely curtain of pubic hair" surrounding "that glorious, delicate flower of yours". Diaz isn't alone: last year, Gwyneth Paltrow revealed that a sheer Antonio Berardi dress had left her stylists "scrambling for a razor" because "I rock a 1970s vibe".

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]In New York, stray pubic hairs sprouted on American Apparel mannequins, while Lady Gaga appeared on the cover of Candy magazine with an untrimmed bush. Perhaps most significant was the moment the actor Gaby Hoffmann appeared in Girls with natural pubic hair, suggesting the idea is filtering down to a younger generation.[/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]
    But none of my friends will admit to leaving their pubic hair completely unchecked. One of my early memories is of my mother making me run my hand over her stubbly legs as a warning about the perils of stepping on to the treadmill of hair removal, but I did it anyway.

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]I will never forget the extraordinary, humiliating pain of my first Brazilian in New York in 1999. I am a devotee of the humble razor: I think nothing of fast, pain-free hair removal in the bath every few days. I admit I feel pressure to remove a certain amount. It feels neater.

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]I was relieved, however, that when I undertook to grow out my underarm hair for this article, my husband seemed unfazed. "Are you going for a full 1970s bush as well?" he asked gamely, and when I asked whether he finds pubic and body hair unsexy or unattractive, he sighed. "When you're in love with someone, it's irrelevant."

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]Growing out my underarm hair felt strangely novel. My children eyed it slightly suspiciously, since it wasn't something they'd seen on me before, but in the years of shaving off the faintest stubble, I'd forgotten how soft armpit hair is. There's almost something cosy about it: it reminded me of sitting on the laps of mums with full armpit hair as a child in the late 1970s. I don't, however, think I'll keep it. Not because it looks wrong, exactly, but because it makes me feel slightly unkempt. Equally, I doubt Diaz and Paltrow, both of whom have fine, blonde hair, would be quite so laissez-faire if they were blessed with a pelt of thick, dark fuzz.

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]Although women outperform men all over the place, we still feel light years away from shaking off a generalised squeamishness at the functions of the sweating, bleeding female body. Body hair is one of the most visible manifestations of this.

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]"It seems so odd that at a time when women are more powerful than ever, there's a simultaneous impulse towards diminution, which is what hair removal represents, since it's returning an adult female body to an aesthetic akin to that of a prepubescent child," says the feminist writer and psychoanalyst Susie Orbach. "We remain very scared of the smells, blood and secretions of the human body, especially the female form, and are more comfortable erasing the reminder of these functions all together. All female bodies, whatever their age, weight or appearance, are beautiful, but we'd rather punish ourselves than acknowledge this."

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]It was to challenge the idea that body hair is ugly that the lingerie firm Soft Paris recently shot a model with thick underarm hair, a decision that "traumatised" the model herself, according to the owner of the company, Luca Armenia. He wanted to "encourage a more open debate about the pressure of oppression and conformity which comes with hair removal. It should be a matter of choice, but that choice has been removed and we've normalised something obsessive. Hair isn't ugly, but we've taught ourselves it is."

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]The majority of men I spoke to for this article claimed that body hair wasn't a problem. A 22-year-old male friend told me, "Pretty much all girls my age take a lot of hair off, but I recently had a fling with a German girl who was hairy all over. It was slightly shocking to start with, but I admired her, too." (Although, as beautician Rachel Cross points out, "We're seeing a rise in male clients, particularly men in their 20s and 30s.")

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]Most of my friends claimed they remove their body hair because it "feels cleaner", despite the fact that body hair performs the biological function of temperature regulation, and that there's no evidence supporting the idea that removing hair is more hygienic.

    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]The hair-removal industry is also open to abuse, as anyone who has paid for an expensive and sometimes futile course of electrolysis can testify. Dr Nick Lowe of the British Association of Dermatologists says the health benefits of hair removal are "negligible", although pubic lice are now an endangered species. "But problems arising from typical home and salon removal methods include inflammation, burns, ingrown hairs, infections, cuts and scarring."

    Read more here[/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]
    [/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]Stella Magazine, The Sunday Telegraph, (UK).[/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]This story was found at: http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and...608-39r2u.html[/FONT][/COLOR]

  • #2
    A lot of women's fashion and beauty leaves me mystified.

    High heels? 3 hours of hair and makeup just to go out? Eyebrow plucking? 4 inch fingernails?
    Sasa Bule is having a bayi!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jaime C View Post
      A lot of women's fashion and beauty leaves me mystified.

      High heels? 3 hours of hair and makeup just to go out? Eyebrow plucking? 4 inch fingernails?
      With 4inch fingernails, are you sure they are even human?
      Lost in Jakarta's trafic jam

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Jaime C View Post
        A\ 3 hours of hair and makeup just to go out?
        Not to mention the monetary cost - I've had friends who considered $200/month to be the required expenditure on cosmetics. It doesn't make sense to me, but I'm sure I spend money on things that don't make sense to them, so I guess it all evens out.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Puspawarna View Post
          Not to mention the monetary cost - I've had friends who considered $200/month to be the required expenditure on cosmetics. It doesn't make sense to me, but I'm sure I spend money on things that don't make sense to them, so I guess it all evens out.
          I have a SIL in the US and she used to spend $300 every six weeks just for a haircut and coloring. For me, crazy. She finally decided to just go grey.

          I'd rather spend those same funds on a nice 2 week vacation.
          Sasa Bule is having a bayi!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Puspawarna View Post
            Not to mention the monetary cost - I've had friends who considered $200/month to be the required expenditure on cosmetics. It doesn't make sense to me, but I'm sure I spend money on things that don't make sense to them, so I guess it all evens out.
            I don't even spend that much a year on cosmetics I don't think.
            The challenge is to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else.

            Comment


            • #7
              Women invented this problem, as there aren't many men who care about body hair on women one way or the other.

              "I'm not dating Cameron Diaz because she doesn't shave" said no man ever.

              Comment


              • #8
                You mean no man over 40, right? She's not a spring chicken any more. Did you see Green Hornet?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by martindo View Post
                  You mean no man over 40, right? She's not a spring chicken any more. Did you see Green Hornet?
                  She ain't no spring chicken, but she can still rock your boat, guaranteed.

                  If Emily Blunt sports a full grown carpet most men still won't kick her outta bed.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ponyexpress View Post
                    [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times]I was relieved, however, that when I undertook to grow out my underarm hair for this article, my husband seemed unfazed. "Are you going for a full 1970s bush as well?" he asked gamely, and when I asked whether he finds pubic and body hair unsexy or unattractive, he sighed. "When you're in love with someone, it's irrelevant."
                    [/FONT][/COLOR]
                    I think that's an apt quote and I agree.

                    Oddly, the article only mentions smell in passing, without any reference to pheromones which is probably the main purpose of humans retaining body hair (compared to simians) under the arms and in the crotch. Sweat clings to hair, causing scent to accumulate. Hair itself doesn't contribute to cooling -- sweat evaporating directly from the skin does.

                    High heels are really not good for posture in the long run. The trend of wearing flats or sandals outdoors, then donning the heels as soon as you get to the office, ameliorates some of the damage. The fact that you can "master" (mistress?) wearing high heels without wobbling is not proof of the absence of stress in your ankles and hips. Go to a rolfer or someone who does Alexander Technique sometime and ask for a reading of your posture.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nimbus View Post
                      She ain't no spring chicken, but she can still rock your boat, guaranteed.

                      If Emily Blunt sports a full grown carpet most men still won't kick her outta bed.
                      full grown carpet haha omg
                      [FONT=tahoma]be strong.. I whispered to my wi-fi signal[/FONT]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What about the guys, let's not just stick with the women here...
                        Do any of you remove body hair for cleanliness, coolness, fashion etc.?

                        I ask because I have come across males here who shave all... I have even waxed my (ex) assistant's legs for him, at his insistence a couple of years back... hahaha he cried & never asked for a repeat performance.


                        & FTR , when I can remember I do hit the shower with the bic & whip the lot off... purely cos it is less water retentive so less likely to make clothes wet after a trip to the toilet... (think hose & no paper).

                        I would however be super wary of guys who like hairless memeks... cos to be honest, that is creepy in the "i have hankerings for sex with pre-pubescents" department.
                        Cicak Magnet

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bad_azz View Post
                          I do hit the shower with the bic & whip the lot off...
                          I've done that but it is so itchy when it starts to grow back. And not the kind of thing you can scratch in a business meeting ....

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                          • #14
                            I think i must be immune to the itching, I never notice any... on the plus side for the whole shave the bush off... the grey pubes are gonners
                            Cicak Magnet

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                            • #15
                              & Pusp... re this "[COLOR=#3E3E3E]If only I could think of a signature that would prove how clever and mysterious I am."

                              I'd go for: Pi... or Pie? hmmm[/COLOR]
                              Cicak Magnet

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