A hairy moment.
August 14, 2012
It’s time to get a little more light-hearted; time to have a bit of a giggle.
So here we go…Female Body Hair – mainly of the leg variety.
I am of South American background and have been a fairly, hairy human from when I can remember – well, my legs especially.
I recall the serious discussion with my mother and grandmother, looking up between them, as to whether I was old enough to shave or not. Being ‘too young’ at the start, I began my hair removal journey with creams. That smelly, stinky stuff – and this was around 1980 – you can only imagine how bad that stuff was back then.
I then graduated to razors and have pretty much had to stick to them ever since. Thirty long years.
But that is not from lack of trying every other affordable way. But to no avail.
The method I wished worked for me, is waxing. I have tried. Many times. But thanks to the substantial dose of exposure to the Aussie sun at the beach, coupled with natural genes, my leg skin has been rendered a tad leathery and has, in turn, made my legs a haven for in-grown hairs. No amount of exfoliation and cream to soften the skin, seem to do the trick when I wax. So it’s shaving or nothing.
The final downer? That if a shave in the morning, I can feel the buggers poking their heads through by late afternoon…OK, a slight exaggeration; but only slightly.
One night in Winter last year, I was shaving my legs in my teeny, awkward shower; balancing precariously on one leg – it’s such a pain. And I felt this pinprick of annoyance, wanting to shout, “Why do I have to do this?” …even though I was in my ‘down time’ of shaving.
(Winter affords me a lovely window where I can let the legs get a bit gorilla-like, as they’re always covered).
So when did this irritating and expensive habit begin?
An article entitled “Caucasian Female Body Hair and American Culture” by Christine Hope, says that:
…businesses began “encouraging” American women to shave their underarms around 1915, when sleeveless fashions became popular. Harper’s Bazaar featured an ad stating: “Summer Dress and Modern Dancing combine to make necessary the removal of objectionable hair.” Yet another revenue stream made possible by human insecurity.
The war against nature’s leg warmers came a bit later, as changes in clothing allowed women to display more than just an ankle. According to Hope, convincing women to shave their legs was more challenging, so advertisers pulled out all the stops. “Some advertisers as well as an increasing number of fashion and beauty writers harped on the idea that female leg hair was a curse.”
A curse? How absurd, right?
Anything to get women to buy…and they do. A recent report I read, claimed women in Australia spend $100, 000 on razors and $30, 000 on waxing – a year.
Secondly, in the big scheme of things – centuries actually – this leg hair removal business is a really recent event; only about 70 year. When I think about all the women in history, who were loved – adored – worshipped…they would have ALL had hairy legs, hairy pits…the works.
All. Of. Them.
Question #82: Isn’t it a shame that so many ‘beauty necessities’ for women, are SO unnecessarily entrenched?
It didn’t seem to bother the men (or the women) of the past.
So am I saying that I’m going to stop shaving my legs?
I’m too conditioned and so is the world around me; it’s not a good look with my dark, luscious South American hairs. I have to say, I always envied all my fairer Aussie girlfriends…with their invisible leg hair…
…but the main reason I brought this up, is the mere FRUSTRATION that it’s just another thing we have to spend money on to make ourselves conform to a very recent norm.
My 7 year old daughter recently asked me (with a perplexed expression) why I removed my leg hair and I told her that that’s the way I was brought up but that she doesn’t have to. It probably won’t work because I’m not modelling it – but who knows, if enough girls reject removing their body hair, then it could become the norm just as easily as this one did.
So on I go – with razor in hand…
…Oh, look! A photo of what my legs look like after a few days.
KIDDING! (sort of).
Deep Breath, girls!