Okay, so although shaving your armpits is probably the norm for our younger generations at the moment, older women, such as you and me, probably remember the days when not shaving wasn’t a big deal. This article isn’t a call for you to stop shaving your pits immediately, because doing so is a completely personal choice. However, we do hope that it opens up a discussion and gives you a little historical perspective on attitudes towards women’s body hair.
If anything, I hope this article will stop other women from actually SHAMING those of us who don’t shave or wax our armpits. Shaving underarm hair was literally unheard of at the turn of the 20th century. Having leg hair in those days was NORMAL believe it or not. However, when fashion changed and women started wearing less, the media began to dictate what was acceptable and what was deemed ‘attractive’. Consequently, the marketing industry pounced when it came to making money at our expense.
Here’s an example of an early ad:
“THE FASTIDIOUS WOMAN TODAY MUST HAVE IMMACULATE ARMPITS IF SHE IS TO BE UNEMBARRASSED.”
It sounds shocking to hear and read such rhetoric now, but back then this was nothing. Shaming women about their natural state of being was just another way marketers could make endless amounts of money.
I don’t know one women that actually ENJOYS shaving. Most women find it an awkward, inconvenient, expensive chore, yet we succumb to the social pressure to do so. We are actually programmed to feel gross when we have leg hair and sexy when we have none. We have completely internalised societies version of perfection.
These days it takes a lot of courage to counter the social norms, and celebrities that are brave enough to do so tend to get a lot of stick for it in the media.
AT THE SAME TIME IT CAN BE EXTREMELY EMPOWERING.
The more people who express their own views, the greater the spectrum of acceptability becomes. Which in turn, will promote a healthier self-esteem and body image than the one we currently idolize today.
I hope you find this video as enlightening as I did. It shows how the evolution of how shaving became somewhat mandatory. It has definitely given me food for thought, but I’m not sure where I stand on the topic just yet.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:
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