Changing Attitudes Towards Body Hair

      Hair Removal : Changing Attitudes towards Body Hair

      Society attributes completely hair free skin with beauty, and through the ages, all women have been conditioned to think that hairless skin is essential to looking beautiful. Even mass media propagate this ideal – look through any beauty magazines, and you will find models waxed, plucked and preened to perfection. These images lead us to believe that some women are completely hairless. But a look back at history might set these notions right, because fashions and society’s attitudes to them were anything but static in the olden days.

      In the beginning…

      It turns out that the ancient Egyptians may have pioneered the idea of body hair removal for women. Before this era, there is evidence to suggest that body hair may have been removed for ritualistic reasons, but it was not really a trend till much later. It wasn’t until the Egyptians invented this trend that society embraced hair removal as a fashion. Egyptians, both men and women, would remove all the hair from their bodies, using razors, sugaring, or primitive depilatory creams. These practices were later adopted by the Romans, but it is possible that with both cultures, these practices were more common among the wealthy classes.

      The (5 O’Clock) Shadows of Time

      The ‘Dark Ages’ reveal little to no evidence for or against body hair removal. However, Viking burial sites have been found to contain razors, combs and mirrors, which reveals that they took care to groom themselves and present a good appearance. So, it would not be unreasonable to assume that they took care of the hair on their bodies, as well. Around this time, Islam was founded in the Middle East, and it teaches that the armpit hair should be plucked, and pubic hair shaved. So this means that the trend of body hair removal was alive and well during the first millennia.

      A Body Hair Renaissance

      If you look closely at Renaissance art, you will find that not a single body sports even the tiniest hair. It naturally follows that society of the time removed their body hair, and quite possibly took the effort to remove all of it. There is famous evidence to prove this theory, if you believe the anecdote about the art critic John Ruskin – apparently, he was unable to consummate his marriage owing to shock (and disgust) on seeing his wife’s un-Renaissance naked body!

      The 20th Century

      Although it is true that there were several hair removal methods and indeed, a trend to remove body hair all through the ages, it wasn’t until the 20th century that they crystallized into trends and were followed by people from all walks of life. One reason for this could be the easy availability of hair-removal products, and aggressive marketing campaigns to back their sales. In 1915, Gillette released the first razor marketed specifically for women, with the tagline, ‘Summer Dress and Modern Dancing combine to make necessary the removal of objectionable hair’.

      Hair Today (Gone Tomorrow?)

      Today, women are free to make their own decisions about whether they want to remove body hair, how much they want to remove, and how often. It is completely your choice about whether you wish to remove your body hair or not, and this decision should never be based on what others feel – it depends entirely on you. But if you do decide to remove body hair, whether some or all of it, you should know that Veet provides plenty of solutions to meet all your requirements. So whatever you decide, the process will be an easy and quick one.