Shaving a terrible social normality

Jesse Farquhar-Greth, Co-Graphics Editor

“You are so lucky to have light arm hair!” says the girl sitting next to me in class, black hair falling from her head over shoulders.

I notice her arms, barren of any hair, folded in vexation. I ask if she shaves her arms. She says she does, explaining how her body hair makes her feel incredibly disgusting.

Why do people, particularly young girls, feel inadequate with hair on their bodies? Why is it only socially acceptable for women to shave their body hair, and not men as well? Historically, there is a relationship between shaving and worldly events. It has ended up as a pointless, expensive process, that has people needlessly hating themselves.

In 1915, Bazaar Magazine publishes a picture of a model with her under arms barren of body hair. Razor companies found that they now had a new demographic group to target. They could now double their target audience by peddling their wares to women.

During World War I and II, razor companies looked for ways to increase profits: they targeted legs as the next area of the female body that should be shorn clean of hair. After a wartime advertising blitz against hairy legs, it was at this point that the shaved legs trend became a mainstream norm. Leg hair became seen as unfeminine, and today women are expected to be hairless creatures.

So, the only reason people have been shaving in the last century is basically the result of a manipulative ploy by razor and fashion magazine industries making us hate ourselves and thus consume more.

The sleekness of the human physique will always be appealing, and by all means, shave. But don’t condemn yourself to shave because the media advertises humans as required to be like prepubescent hairless beings.