11

votes

A question concerning hairy legs/armpits, for women in particular (and guys too).

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 09, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Why do women feel they have to/want to shave their legs/under their arms? I live in France (I am English) and in the summer I come across women with a full compliment of body hair and proud of it, yet I find it very difficult to muster up the courage to bare my legs/armpits in public without ridding them of every bit of hair they have. Surely as a paleo gal through and through I should have no problem adopting the cave girl look, or has that original cave girl look been romanticized into something it actually isn't?

Well, I now have hair under my arms and on my legs from a winter spent covered up and warm and I want to wear less clothes in the warmer weather but there is something holding me back that I know I shouldn't care about, but I do.

What do guys feel about this? Do you find women's body hair threatening, un-feminine, butch, sexy? Indeed, do you have issues about your own body hair in addition to these thoughts about women's hair?

What do girls feel about this, positive? negative? Is it really an anti-feminist issue at heart or something more than that?

I am really interested in finding out your thoughts.

In addition: Do any women go around in the summer with hairy legs/armpits and if so, how do you feel about it, have you come under any pressure from partners/friends?

thanks.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

This is simply incorrect. Maybe white European and American people didn't removed hair prior to that time period, but body hair removal has a very long history in many cultures. Muslim people have traditionally removed pubic and underarm hair for centuries - it's part of Sharia law! Threading has been practiced in India and the Middle East for many generations. Body hair (and selective head hair) removal was common in many Asian cultures, as well. Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians often removed body hair.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

@Karen- Not all "hairless" women (or men for that matter) use all those razors, creams etc. There are threads about "paleo" hair removal.

Medium avatar

(8239)

on October 28, 2011
at 06:07 PM

As for the why-women-shave angle, is anybody aware of porn depicting hairy women? I suspect it exists, given the "F*#% it or kill it" dimension of testosterone pulsation, but perhaps we can agree any such genre is limited, appealing to a rather small population of male consumers of erotica.

8f48d334642f7f6f32c54610bdf7f10e

(0)

on July 19, 2011
at 04:23 AM

Really, so would you been seen with your GF sporting leg hair?

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on March 28, 2011
at 12:35 AM

I don't agree with your statement because body hair removal has been a tradition in tons of cultures without media and advertising, ancient past, modern past and present. If your great-grandmother was American she probably didn't remove her armpit hair, but countless women in our evolutionary history did.

9cfa1ab909f6f89544be665d4ef6e3ea

on March 27, 2011
at 01:46 PM

I think the societal trends toward preferring hairlessness go hand in hand with wanting to be skinny at the expense of not being strong. It's all about immaturity (people are afraid to grow up and take responsibility) and trying to ignore/blank out the natural fear of aging and death.

388637efb09568e7c1e2527de2a8bfd5

on March 17, 2011
at 05:26 PM

There is just that point where my legs look like my husbands. That's when I feel the need to trim.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on March 14, 2011
at 06:50 PM

"I do whatever I feel like. Not because Paleo tells me." Perfectly said, Yoannah!

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on March 14, 2011
at 06:46 PM

I wonder how Louisa and Karen feel about growing a uni-brow, for both men and women?

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on March 12, 2011
at 12:32 AM

I must admit that I am sad to see that you described the natural state of your body as "manly".

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on March 12, 2011
at 12:30 AM

You are right, the same as the mouth wash people forced future clients to believe there was something wrong with their breath.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on March 12, 2011
at 12:27 AM

I agree that we play/compromise with our mate, but that's on an individual basis. With a particular person. It's quite different when you assume you can find a mate ONLY if you fulfill some kind of beauty requirements.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on March 11, 2011
at 03:45 PM

Dang. Wish I bounced up like that!

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on March 11, 2011
at 03:36 PM

pretty amazing the way different times and generations are affected by what they observe of the majority. maybe someday we will revert back generationally or something and women will go au natural more. time will tell.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 11, 2011
at 03:21 PM

Re: rep points - I go in bursts of posting or not. Yesterday was a high posting day for some reason. Points bounced up. The'll probably flat line next week when I'm out of town/busy.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 11, 2011
at 03:18 PM

Hence "suspect". Couldn't figure out why since whoever didn't leave a comment. As I said, we could be infested with razor marketers. Or any number of other possibilities. {shrugs} One advantage of leaving a comment is so the person knows what the reason was and can evaluate their actions/opinions. Not saying people/I will change my opinion on a matter, but seeing other perspectives can be informative. Presumably when leaving a down vote, the voter feels relatively strongly about the issue, so it seems like a comment would be worth the trouble.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on March 11, 2011
at 02:40 PM

Whoa...this isn't related...Karen, you were at 800 (ish) rep when was here yesterday afternoon....

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 11, 2011
at 12:30 PM

1915 was when the marketing blitz to convince women that shaving underarms was necessary. No one even thought about doing such a thing until then. http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/625/who-decided-women-should-shave-their-legs-and-underarms Pressure to shave legs didn't come along for a few more decades. All your ancestors up to less than a century ago managed to find each other sexually appealing enough to breed despite the lack of bare pits and legs!

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 07:50 PM

I suspect I offended a couple of guys up thread, but since they didn't leave an explanation we may never know. I now have a new appreciation for the commenting system. Either that or the board is infested with Gillette Venus marketers. ;-)

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on March 10, 2011
at 06:39 PM

Yeah--WhyTF was this down voted? Everyone else is saying "I know my personal preference is shaped by culture", but someone pointing out the history of that really recent and market driven cultural shaping is a no no?

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on March 10, 2011
at 06:35 PM

Haha! I got nuthin for pain-free removal!!

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 06:03 PM

Paleo hair removal? Do you have a link? Everything I can imagine is horridly painful. I'm pretty anti-pain also.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 06:02 PM

Paleo hair removal?

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on March 10, 2011
at 06:00 PM

"I think heterosexual women are too afraid of not fulfilling male needs to really do whatever the feel like." i disagree with this attitude. I think it's important to consider the preferences of who you are trying to attract. if you want to 'do whatever you feel like" then fine. excellent. do it. but don't get depressed and complain when many men don't find you attractive. people are allowed to be attracted or put off by anything they choose. Personally I think too many people do not consider this enough in their efforts to find a mate. (I'm talking about "you" in general, not you Yoannah)

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on March 10, 2011
at 05:39 PM

Yoannah and Louisa, I think (as a man) that I understand your reasons, and I must say I agree. I'm happy that as a man I don't have to shave, although seemingly more men do it. Call me old-fashion. And that's also what I wanted to say: if you have a reason not to shave, than please, don't. And the contrary.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 04:51 PM

Helen, +1 for some absolutely fascinating history. Mind manipulation for the greater good. (somebodies bank accounts greater good) Nice guy.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on March 10, 2011
at 04:20 PM

I don't understand why this answer got two down-votes. The market for most of our modern "health and beauty aids" was created sheerly through advertising and "public relations". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/1999Q2/bernays.html

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on March 10, 2011
at 04:07 PM

I totally get that Louisa! I hate shaving, I'm sure at least as much as most women do. I come from very hairy people, my father and brother are like gorilla hairy! Lots of hair on their chests, backs, back of the neck, facial hair - I know what you're saying and I feel the same way but I cannot seem to not feel self conscious when I'm at the gym and especially if there's someone on the rower next to me and I haven't shaved my legs in a week or two. I know in my mind that they probably don't even notice that and it's something I'm putting on myself but I sure don't know how to stifle it.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on March 10, 2011
at 03:44 PM

is that when the razor was invented or something? i dunno. all i'm saying is that hairy legs/armpits doesn't seem feminine or attractive to me, personally. that was the OP's question right?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 02:30 PM

Care to explain?

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on March 10, 2011
at 02:14 PM

@Karen- Oh, and thank you for so graciously resisting your temptations of giving me a "-1". I was so worried.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on March 10, 2011
at 02:13 PM

@Karen- That's not true. If you looked at the rest of the comments, you would see that I said, "I maintain my body hair". Men's body hair also carries stigma. I maintain mine because my wife doesn't like it. Why would I care to look past my conditioning (in this aspect)? I don't judge anyone for choosing to grow their hair out.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 01:24 PM

Equating lack of bathing with women not shaving = -1.

6a4fd73b4ae4761eefec8e0d38e6f224

(1008)

on March 10, 2011
at 01:24 PM

I wouldn't have done it if wasn't for the Groupons/Living Social deals. I swear I get at least one for discounted lasering each week in my inbox.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 01:20 PM

I sincerely wish that I could give you a couple of hand fulls of +s for this answer. Perfect.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 01:12 PM

So women pre-1915 were too manly? It's a wonder the human species survived!

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 01:11 PM

Oh, good gawd. I just looked at the prices of lasering. I'm going to go buy a cow instead.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 01:04 PM

Ben, I'm highly tempted (but resisted so far) to give you a -1 for the "not willing" to look past your conditioning bit. You realize it's conditioning, you apply your judgments only to women, and yet you still choose to deliberately hang onto your prejudices.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 01:00 PM

Dana, thanks for pointing out the bizarre inconsistency in this. WHY is it that only female hair carries this kind of stigma? +1

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 12:56 PM

Sad and true. Conditioning by a century of advertising has convinced an awful lot of women that they are naturally unattractive and only "beauty products" will make them acceptable. I think once you start seeing some of the fallacies in our socialization it's easier to see more of them.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 12:44 PM

Social conditioning and nowadays heavily influenced by corporate advertising. There's a lot of money in those razors, creams, dipilatories, and all the other many, many "beauty" products.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on March 10, 2011
at 12:07 PM

Well, there's always a choice I suppose. But why bother attempting to change your social conditioning (as far as sense of attractiveness??)? What's the point? Like I said, it's just my opinion. If you want to grow your body hair out, go for it.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:52 AM

"I think heterosexual women are too afraid of not fulfilling male needs to really do whatever the feel like." yes, I think you hit the nail on the head there although there are many women who would disagree.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:51 AM

totally agree, you are lucky though, I think I look rather more neanderthal than you.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:49 AM

I think you missed the point, I do not want to live in a cave Jason, but I see where you are coming from! ;)

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:48 AM

It is really painful and annoying; rubbing up to someone else in bed with stubbly legs really sucks and the bikini line? Agony for weeks afterwards, seriously. I am really interested to hear that some African tribes de-hair themselves. Yes, why would I not shave? it is far easier to shave and keep in with my 'tribe' so I guess. It is all a question of identifying with your tribe, But I am dissatisfied with the way my tribe views women. It will be more about making a statement than anything else. However, in the long run I think my desire to fit in will overcome the desire to make a statement.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:46 AM

It is really painful and annoying; rubbing up to someone else in bed with stubbly legs really sucks and the bikini line? Agony for weeks afterwards, seriously. I am really interested to hear that some African tribes de-hair themselves. Yes, why would I not shave? it is far easier to fit in and I am keeping in with my 'tribe' by doing so I guess. But I am dissatisfied with the way my tribe views women. It will be more about making a statement than anything else. However, in the long run I think my desire to fit in will overcome the desire to make a statement.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:41 AM

It is really painful and annoying, to rub up to your loved one in bed with leg stubble really sucks. I stopped shaving in the most private bits (yup, cannot believe I am writing this) because I would be in agony for a week afterwards, no joke. I now just wear a shorts style bikini at the pool and let it all grow down there, but then, that can be covered up! Why do women feel unacceptable in their natural state? My husband is bald and has hair practically everywhere else on his body, it doesn't really bother me, but then why does he sometimes scoff that my legs are hairier than his?

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:35 AM

Rural France is different from Paris and Lyon, but then, the locals do not go and hang out at the pool like us foreigners do....maybe it is our lifestyle that causes us to look more groomed. I mean has anyone ever met an Australian who didn't shave?

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:31 AM

Careful not to Mormon-bash Dana. I do not think that MANY man would walk away from you if you got burned in a plane crash, whether you had hairy legs or not.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:26 AM

My God that's weird, but cool. So you like your women (or men) to make a statement then?

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:25 AM

Funny how pits and legs are seen differently.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:24 AM

WOw, not sure if I could go through with that, but I can see why women do it, must be great not to have to worry about that hair ever again.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:22 AM

I think for me Hcantrall, it is the statement I am making, I feel uncomfortable with hairy legs, but I then I think WHY the hell should I feel uncomfortable? What it is about society that makes women want to hide their hairiness? Although it is gonna take some getting used to, I want to feel free from that societal pressure to conform. Wow, it is a really hard thing to get over!

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:19 AM

I wonder if he has back hair though?

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:18 AM

No french-bashing intended Dana, I am in awe of them actually. They certainly have a better diet than Americans/English. And they have body hair (most of them).

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:16 AM

So, because women are generally smooth-limbed nowadays, then you go with that Ben, fair enough. I wonder what your opinion on body hair would have been 150 years ago. Probably you would have just gone with the flow then too - i guess there would have been no choice!!!?

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:14 AM

That's the thing about it, it is a waste of time, money and its painful! Mind you, so are breast implants, but that doesn't stop women from feeling they want to have them.......

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on March 10, 2011
at 03:26 AM

"why would you?" the question is not to me, but I will take the liberty to address it. First - in pain in the butt. It can cause irritation, in growing hair, it's annoying when growing back etc. Second - it sends wrong message - that a woman in natural state is unacceptable by the society. Third - it forces too much preoccupation with one looks, which is another demand of the society for women.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 02:01 AM

My opinion on that thread was that mostly it's a waste of my time. Thankfully most of the people I deal with daily don't care and are focused on other things.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 01:59 AM

Another thread that applies: http://paleohacks.com/questions/5977/girly-stuff-shaving-make-up-etc/5999#5999

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on March 10, 2011
at 12:59 AM

Good point, I don't want to make sweeping generalizations; I just see France as probably being similar to Germany in that shaving isn't a "must-do" like it is here. I also wonder if it is catching on more with the younger generation- I haven't been to Europe since I was about ten, so things could've changed quite a bit since I was there last. Looks like Louisa is encountering non-shaving French ladies, I'm guessing it's kinda a mixed bag.

6a4fd73b4ae4761eefec8e0d38e6f224

(1008)

on March 09, 2011
at 11:15 PM

It is most assuredly permanent - at least it has been on me. (I had some done more than 10 years ago and it has not grown back at all.) But there are different kinds of lasers, and it doesn't work the same on everyone. The ideal candidate has fair skin and medium to dark hair. The laser is drawn to pigment; the darker your hair, the more intensely it zaps the root, and the more likely it is to kill the follicle. And the lighter your skin, the less it will attract the laser's wrath and thus will not be damaged. (Disclaimer: I am no an expert, this is just how I understand it to work.)

Medium avatar

(12379)

on March 09, 2011
at 11:01 PM

I really did not get that impression from France at all. I have three very good friends from France (living all over the country -Paris, Lyon and Toulouse) and they all shave their legs and armpits. I never got into a conversation as to why they did this or what the social norms were for them. I think that it is a really North American belief that the French don't shave.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on March 09, 2011
at 10:48 PM

ooohhh...please let us know how the laser goes - I'm intrigued, but not sure if it really is permanent

Medium avatar

(12379)

on March 09, 2011
at 10:48 PM

while in sweden, i lived with two french girls - they both shaved and washed ans smelled wonderful and were very polite ;)

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 09, 2011
at 10:21 PM

Shaved heads are awesome. 8)

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 09, 2011
at 10:18 PM

I'm giving myself laser hair removal as a "congrats" for losing weight. I can't wait to have it done as I really don't like shaving (or any of the other repetitive hair-removal processes).

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 09, 2011
at 08:42 PM

my first wife was pretty much hairless until she started shaving the hairs on her legs, then thet grew back thicker and thicker.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on March 09, 2011
at 07:56 PM

selleck. ladies love that guy.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 09, 2011
at 07:48 PM

wow. i see zero "french bashing" here. only pointing out the fact that in france, there are different conventions regarding womens body hair. which there are.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on March 09, 2011
at 07:10 PM

Don't think anyone has done any French bashing - unless pointing out that they are more relaxed about female body hair is French bashing.

6a4fd73b4ae4761eefec8e0d38e6f224

(1008)

on March 09, 2011
at 06:38 PM

Personally I've always been a little creeped out by men with (unnaturally) bald chests. I like my men furry. Long live Tom Selleck!!!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 09, 2011
at 06:23 PM

I did that too. Not to become hairless, though, but to make grooming easier, less painful and less often. That's the best of both worlds I think.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on March 09, 2011
at 06:02 PM

@Dana- Ouch. I was just giving my opinion! But in the interest of full disclosure: I maintain my body hair, I smell wonderful, and I'm very clean.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:58 PM

I think Ben was just being honest about how he feels about it. That shouldn't be right or wrong. Louisa asked for honest opinions.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:57 PM

I think it's a fun topic as long as no one takes it personally. I am on the "hairless" side of it myself and what I find attractive, but I don't think the other side is WRONG.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:56 PM

Yes, I do. I figure if no one likes it they can kiss my butt. I haven't been able to go there in regards to not-shaving my legs yet, though...LOL!

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:55 PM

yeah, very interesting indeed!!! I am also kinda interested in the reasons behind why the 'general consensus' is that female body hair is repulsive - I mean, why should we think bare arms and legs are sexy nowadays, because it makes women look like little girls? I really wonder about this. Perhaps I should ask my french friends how they feel about it (kinda embarrassing topic though).

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:53 PM

yeah, very interesting indeed!!! I am also kinda interested in the reasons behind why we think female body hair is so repulsive (men and women) I mean, why should we think bare arms and legs are sexy nowadays, because it makes women look like little girls? I really wonder about this.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:50 PM

I'm not even sure why, but I love this answer.

F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:48 PM

So you're dirty, stinky, and you don't groom? Gotcha.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:48 PM

No problem! I just remembered reading it awhile ago and it was a very interesting read.

F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:47 PM

As a Cajun woman I see a lot of French-bashing around the Internet--and while, strictly speaking, I am not French at this point, I do have the ancestry. I'm kind of tired of seeing the bashing, could we please not bring it here? It's not even based in reality, anyway. I mean, Americans only owe the country our existence as a nation, and French people outside of Paris aren't any ruder than anyone else.

3e6c0ab969e49e2f341d6a55ac771cc4

(420)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:47 PM

I live in California so my view of social evolution may be a bit skewed:).

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:46 PM

thanks Melissa, did not find this thread b4 I wrote the question....

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:31 PM

underarm laser hair removal is one of the nicest gifts I have ever given myself. no shaving, no ingrown hairs. good for you!

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:27 PM

um, 1915 isn't exactly the paleolithic--that is when the sustained marketing blitz started to convince american women to go hairless and buy razors and creams.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:16 PM

I am leaning towards that opinion yes, but it is also like going against what is socially acceptable I guess.

4aa3281b2b5c6ec066c82675ee3df5f7

on March 09, 2011
at 05:08 PM

I know plenty of women and men who love a hairy man. Some people find it very sexy. A sing of higher testosterone?

9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:02 PM

Having a lot of body hair tends to correspond with Caucasian origins. I'd say that there was evolutionary selection for being furry during the ice age; from personal experience living in Minnesota there was a big difference between having a beard and no beard at -20 F. But you still see lots of hair on men (and women) of Caucasian origin in the Mediterranean and Near/Mideast. There may well have been some selective pressure for maintaining hair in those groups. The trend towards metroscaping men, at least in the US, is a recent thing. In the 70s and 80s, men proudly had hairy chests.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 09, 2011
at 04:48 PM

Excellent thread here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/5978/not-shaving-anymore#axzz1G7N55xQn

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 09, 2011
at 04:36 PM

Helen, do you expose your pits then?

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39 Answers

13
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 12:50 PM

There's an interesting history of female shaving over on The Straight Dope http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/625/who-decided-women-should-shave-their-legs-and-underarms Shaving of underarms and legs is apparently a quite recent (1915) development and started by advertisers who saw a large potential market for their products.

Aside from the whole waste of time issue - a big one for me - I refuse to be a patsy and hand my hard earned money to some clever marketers. (Who apparently didn't feel it worthwhile to target the men, probably because they were men and had NO intention of shaving their legs or pits!) My great grandmother and any prior women in my line never shaved; why should I suddenly find it necessary?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 02:30 PM

Care to explain?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 04:51 PM

Helen, +1 for some absolutely fascinating history. Mind manipulation for the greater good. (somebodies bank accounts greater good) Nice guy.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 07:50 PM

I suspect I offended a couple of guys up thread, but since they didn't leave an explanation we may never know. I now have a new appreciation for the commenting system. Either that or the board is infested with Gillette Venus marketers. ;-)

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on March 10, 2011
at 06:39 PM

Yeah--WhyTF was this down voted? Everyone else is saying "I know my personal preference is shaped by culture", but someone pointing out the history of that really recent and market driven cultural shaping is a no no?

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on March 11, 2011
at 03:45 PM

Dang. Wish I bounced up like that!

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 11, 2011
at 03:21 PM

Re: rep points - I go in bursts of posting or not. Yesterday was a high posting day for some reason. Points bounced up. The'll probably flat line next week when I'm out of town/busy.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on March 12, 2011
at 12:30 AM

You are right, the same as the mouth wash people forced future clients to believe there was something wrong with their breath.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on March 10, 2011
at 04:20 PM

I don't understand why this answer got two down-votes. The market for most of our modern "health and beauty aids" was created sheerly through advertising and "public relations". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/1999Q2/bernays.html

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on March 11, 2011
at 02:40 PM

Whoa...this isn't related...Karen, you were at 800 (ish) rep when was here yesterday afternoon....

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 11, 2011
at 03:18 PM

Hence "suspect". Couldn't figure out why since whoever didn't leave a comment. As I said, we could be infested with razor marketers. Or any number of other possibilities. {shrugs} One advantage of leaving a comment is so the person knows what the reason was and can evaluate their actions/opinions. Not saying people/I will change my opinion on a matter, but seeing other perspectives can be informative. Presumably when leaving a down vote, the voter feels relatively strongly about the issue, so it seems like a comment would be worth the trouble.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on March 28, 2011
at 12:35 AM

I don't agree with your statement because body hair removal has been a tradition in tons of cultures without media and advertising, ancient past, modern past and present. If your great-grandmother was American she probably didn't remove her armpit hair, but countless women in our evolutionary history did.

9cfa1ab909f6f89544be665d4ef6e3ea

on March 27, 2011
at 01:46 PM

I think the societal trends toward preferring hairlessness go hand in hand with wanting to be skinny at the expense of not being strong. It's all about immaturity (people are afraid to grow up and take responsibility) and trying to ignore/blank out the natural fear of aging and death.

Medium avatar

(8239)

on October 28, 2011
at 06:07 PM

As for the why-women-shave angle, is anybody aware of porn depicting hairy women? I suspect it exists, given the "F*#% it or kill it" dimension of testosterone pulsation, but perhaps we can agree any such genre is limited, appealing to a rather small population of male consumers of erotica.

9
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:06 PM

Honestly, I've always thought shaving underarms and legs to be totally bizarre. I have done it, especially as a teenager, but I rarely do it now. It has never impeded my ability to attract men, except for possibly weeding out the types I'm not interested in anyway. I do find that underarm hair will hang on to smell even when washed with soap, and if I'm going to be in a very sensitive situation, I'll shave for that reason. But it's pragmatic, a concession to the culture I live in.

7
F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on March 09, 2011
at 06:04 PM

Having social conventions about stuff is a normal human thing, even the pressure to conform to beauty ideals. It is what it is. But it's also normal for some people to not go along with all social conventions. I call them "outliers." I think that's how new tribes were formed way back when--someone would come along in the tribe who didn't march to the same drumbeat as everyone else, couldn't understand why everyone else lived the way they did and they'd set themselves completely at odds with their people, and eventually they'd get kicked out. If they were lucky they got to take a few friends along. Bingo. More diversity in human social groups.

But. I don't buy the argument that women should go along and shave because it's Paleo to go along with social conventions. So it's a social convention in the United States for women to be nearly hairless. (What's next, compulsory baldness?) But may I point out that strictly speaking, this is not a tribe. It's an artificial construct imposed on people who may or may not want to be a part of it, but who have nowhere else to go because nation-states are EVERYWHERE now. We're living in a very unnatural social arrangement now, mostly among people we don't know (also unnatural) who impose their will on us when they don't even know us. Most of you might not notice that if you've had the same neighbors and co-workers and romantic partners for the past 5-10 years, but in my particular life situation I notice it VERY much--and neighbors, workers, and romantic partners are not family or tribe, anyway. (When was the last time you called your mom?)

So in that context, hell, we're already not in a Paleo situation. The good news is that outliers aren't kicked out anymore unless they actually break a law. So it is not like anyone is going to throw you in jail for not shaving your legs. (Yet. It's looking like a few nuts in Georgia want to jail or execute women for having periods, though.) The worst you have to face is social harassment, if that.

In the past several years I quit bothering with shaving because not only did anyone around me care whether I did or not, but I was pretty broke and guys may not realize this, but on top of women having to shave larger areas of the body, our razors are also more expensive. I finally got smart and just bought guy razors, of course. It's the same thing, it's just blue instead of pink. But I'm still not OCD about the hair removal. I keep up with it in my pits because stubble in that area is just not fun. I might care more in the summer IF I wear shorts, but even then I'm usually in jeans.

But my feeling about any potential boyfriends is, again, it's MY body and if they're going to have a problem with my amount of hair I don't think I want them in a position of potentially making any life decisions of actual importance to me either.

I've dated guys of many different configurations of body hair. I used to think back hair would gross me out. Turns out that if I'm attracted to the guy anyway, the back hair doesn't matter. I don't care if he's balding either. But I don't go for a guy just for his looks, and I've always been flexible about those. I'm not shopping for an accessory. I want the type of relationship with someone where if I were to get into a plane crash and get my face burned off (warning: Mormon blogger, if that bothers you), he'd stick around. If he's gonna get into a snit about body hair, I can't trust him to do that.

It's really more about character than about period re-enactment, I think.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 01:20 PM

I sincerely wish that I could give you a couple of hand fulls of +s for this answer. Perfect.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:31 AM

Careful not to Mormon-bash Dana. I do not think that MANY man would walk away from you if you got burned in a plane crash, whether you had hairy legs or not.

5
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on March 09, 2011
at 06:31 PM

I think, for the ladies, leg hair and pit hair has got to go. Too manly. Ain't nothin like super silky legs. But hair elsewhere (eh-hem) is A-Okay.

For guys, stay clean and smellin good, and a little hair is usually fine with most girls, especially if you're a stud. If you look like a gorilla, and she likes it, fantastic. If you look like a gorilla, and she hates it, at least consider satisfying her wishes too, as she does for you by keeping well groomed.

I can't believe I am going to post this. lol!

Cheers

6a4fd73b4ae4761eefec8e0d38e6f224

(1008)

on March 09, 2011
at 06:38 PM

Personally I've always been a little creeped out by men with (unnaturally) bald chests. I like my men furry. Long live Tom Selleck!!!

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 01:12 PM

So women pre-1915 were too manly? It's a wonder the human species survived!

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on March 09, 2011
at 07:56 PM

selleck. ladies love that guy.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:19 AM

I wonder if he has back hair though?

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on March 10, 2011
at 03:44 PM

is that when the razor was invented or something? i dunno. all i'm saying is that hairy legs/armpits doesn't seem feminine or attractive to me, personally. that was the OP's question right?

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on March 11, 2011
at 03:36 PM

pretty amazing the way different times and generations are affected by what they observe of the majority. maybe someday we will revert back generationally or something and women will go au natural more. time will tell.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 11, 2011
at 12:30 PM

1915 was when the marketing blitz to convince women that shaving underarms was necessary. No one even thought about doing such a thing until then. http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/625/who-decided-women-should-shave-their-legs-and-underarms Pressure to shave legs didn't come along for a few more decades. All your ancestors up to less than a century ago managed to find each other sexually appealing enough to breed despite the lack of bare pits and legs!

5
A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on March 09, 2011
at 04:53 PM

I think body hair on women in unbecoming. I know it's because of social conditioning, but I'm a product of my society. I don't think that's necessarily not paleo.

To definitivley answer your question: As an American, westernized, paleo guy, I am not able (or willing) to look past the conditioning to which I have been subjected. Body hair, to me, signifies dirt, odor, and overall poor grooming habits.

This is just my opinion, though. To each their own.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on March 09, 2011
at 06:02 PM

@Dana- Ouch. I was just giving my opinion! But in the interest of full disclosure: I maintain my body hair, I smell wonderful, and I'm very clean.

F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:48 PM

So you're dirty, stinky, and you don't groom? Gotcha.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on March 10, 2011
at 12:07 PM

Well, there's always a choice I suppose. But why bother attempting to change your social conditioning (as far as sense of attractiveness??)? What's the point? Like I said, it's just my opinion. If you want to grow your body hair out, go for it.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:16 AM

So, because women are generally smooth-limbed nowadays, then you go with that Ben, fair enough. I wonder what your opinion on body hair would have been 150 years ago. Probably you would have just gone with the flow then too - i guess there would have been no choice!!!?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:58 PM

I think Ben was just being honest about how he feels about it. That shouldn't be right or wrong. Louisa asked for honest opinions.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 01:04 PM

Ben, I'm highly tempted (but resisted so far) to give you a -1 for the "not willing" to look past your conditioning bit. You realize it's conditioning, you apply your judgments only to women, and yet you still choose to deliberately hang onto your prejudices.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 01:00 PM

Dana, thanks for pointing out the bizarre inconsistency in this. WHY is it that only female hair carries this kind of stigma? +1

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on March 10, 2011
at 02:14 PM

@Karen- Oh, and thank you for so graciously resisting your temptations of giving me a "-1". I was so worried.

A8d95f3744a7a0885894ee0731c9744c

(3761)

on March 10, 2011
at 02:13 PM

@Karen- That's not true. If you looked at the rest of the comments, you would see that I said, "I maintain my body hair". Men's body hair also carries stigma. I maintain mine because my wife doesn't like it. Why would I care to look past my conditioning (in this aspect)? I don't judge anyone for choosing to grow their hair out.

4
6a4fd73b4ae4761eefec8e0d38e6f224

(1008)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:10 PM

I agree with hcantrall - I don't feel as feminine if I'm wooly. But I'm not one of those lucky women who only sprouts a bit of peach fuzz if she loses her razor. Still - I REALLY hate shaving, which is why I recently bought a couple Groupons for laser hair removal. It may be shamefully modern, but I LOVE that I will never have to shave my armpits or wax my bikini line again.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:24 AM

WOw, not sure if I could go through with that, but I can see why women do it, must be great not to have to worry about that hair ever again.

6a4fd73b4ae4761eefec8e0d38e6f224

(1008)

on March 09, 2011
at 11:15 PM

It is most assuredly permanent - at least it has been on me. (I had some done more than 10 years ago and it has not grown back at all.) But there are different kinds of lasers, and it doesn't work the same on everyone. The ideal candidate has fair skin and medium to dark hair. The laser is drawn to pigment; the darker your hair, the more intensely it zaps the root, and the more likely it is to kill the follicle. And the lighter your skin, the less it will attract the laser's wrath and thus will not be damaged. (Disclaimer: I am no an expert, this is just how I understand it to work.)

Medium avatar

(12379)

on March 09, 2011
at 10:48 PM

ooohhh...please let us know how the laser goes - I'm intrigued, but not sure if it really is permanent

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 09, 2011
at 06:23 PM

I did that too. Not to become hairless, though, but to make grooming easier, less painful and less often. That's the best of both worlds I think.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 01:11 PM

Oh, good gawd. I just looked at the prices of lasering. I'm going to go buy a cow instead.

D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

(4101)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:31 PM

underarm laser hair removal is one of the nicest gifts I have ever given myself. no shaving, no ingrown hairs. good for you!

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 09, 2011
at 10:18 PM

I'm giving myself laser hair removal as a "congrats" for losing weight. I can't wait to have it done as I really don't like shaving (or any of the other repetitive hair-removal processes).

6a4fd73b4ae4761eefec8e0d38e6f224

(1008)

on March 10, 2011
at 01:24 PM

I wouldn't have done it if wasn't for the Groupons/Living Social deals. I swear I get at least one for discounted lasering each week in my inbox.

4
34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on March 09, 2011
at 04:55 PM

As a woman, I just don't feel comfortable being hairy. I don't feel feminine if I have hairy legs and armpits. I'm sure that is some kind of deep seeded societal/cultural pressure that females have impressed upon them but it is what it is. The bottom line I think is that if you are comfortable with it and you don't care what other people think, then go ahead and don't shave. I don't know really any men that find hairy women attractive though so if that is important to you, that will be an issue and possibly a deal breaker.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:22 AM

I think for me Hcantrall, it is the statement I am making, I feel uncomfortable with hairy legs, but I then I think WHY the hell should I feel uncomfortable? What it is about society that makes women want to hide their hairiness? Although it is gonna take some getting used to, I want to feel free from that societal pressure to conform. Wow, it is a really hard thing to get over!

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on March 10, 2011
at 04:07 PM

I totally get that Louisa! I hate shaving, I'm sure at least as much as most women do. I come from very hairy people, my father and brother are like gorilla hairy! Lots of hair on their chests, backs, back of the neck, facial hair - I know what you're saying and I feel the same way but I cannot seem to not feel self conscious when I'm at the gym and especially if there's someone on the rower next to me and I haven't shaved my legs in a week or two. I know in my mind that they probably don't even notice that and it's something I'm putting on myself but I sure don't know how to stifle it.

4
531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

on March 09, 2011
at 04:53 PM

I'm all about the supernormal stimulus. Give me over-the-top hairiness or the "full Telly Savalas" and I'm happy as a clam. So to speak.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:26 AM

My God that's weird, but cool. So you like your women (or men) to make a statement then?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:50 PM

I'm not even sure why, but I love this answer.

4
9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on March 09, 2011
at 04:53 PM

I mean if you're into the whole Paleo re-enactment thing, go for the hairy pits and legs, by all means. Yes, it is a social convention and all. All Paleo people have their aesthetic social conventions--look at all the various HnG peoples that pierce, tattoo, brand, stretch or engage in various other body mods. Women shaving is pretty tame compared to what many real Paleo people do.

It is worth noting that clothes are also a post-Paleo invention (at least outside of the spring and summer in the temperate zone and year round in the tropics). So you could go naked while you're at it.

It is your body, do what makes you comfortable. There are plenty of guys and gals that don't really care (and they're probably mostly in France).

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 09, 2011
at 07:48 PM

wow. i see zero "french bashing" here. only pointing out the fact that in france, there are different conventions regarding womens body hair. which there are.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:16 PM

I am leaning towards that opinion yes, but it is also like going against what is socially acceptable I guess.

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:27 PM

um, 1915 isn't exactly the paleolithic--that is when the sustained marketing blitz started to convince american women to go hairless and buy razors and creams.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on March 09, 2011
at 10:48 PM

while in sweden, i lived with two french girls - they both shaved and washed ans smelled wonderful and were very polite ;)

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on March 09, 2011
at 07:10 PM

Don't think anyone has done any French bashing - unless pointing out that they are more relaxed about female body hair is French bashing.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:18 AM

No french-bashing intended Dana, I am in awe of them actually. They certainly have a better diet than Americans/English. And they have body hair (most of them).

F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:47 PM

As a Cajun woman I see a lot of French-bashing around the Internet--and while, strictly speaking, I am not French at this point, I do have the ancestry. I'm kind of tired of seeing the bashing, could we please not bring it here? It's not even based in reality, anyway. I mean, Americans only owe the country our existence as a nation, and French people outside of Paris aren't any ruder than anyone else.

4
D67e7b481854b02110d5a5b21d6789b1

on March 09, 2011
at 04:46 PM

Grooming is as old as humans and completely cultural. I think now that the world is more global, grooming preferences are becoming more individual based on personal preference rather than just societal conditioning. To each his/her own! (my personal preference for men is the less hair the better--embrace the bald! For women i think healthy skin and muscle tone is better shown off sans hair.) I think I would be strong enough to not shave my legs/pits despite friend's comments if I wanted to in a similar fashion as avoiding SAD food fare during social gatherings and resisting that pressure. Choosing your nutrition to best suit yourself as opposed to society should help with the resolve to choose your grooming habits to best suit yourself as opposed to society. However, I am not sure how well that would go over with a partner who may have a certain idea of attractiveness. Meaning I couldn't care less what society thinks, but I doubt my hubby would think hairy legs are as sexy as bare ones. He would deal with it because he's awesome like that, but luckily I love the feeling of smoothness too.

3
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on March 10, 2011
at 02:22 AM

I do whatever I feel like. Not because Paleo tells me. It's because I like myself too much to obey when it's inconvenient. I have very sensitive skin, and even though just after shaving it's a nice feeling, what comes after is a nightmare. I can shave really only with an electric razor, which isn't as sharp (so doesn't irritate the skin) but is never perfectly smooth.

I got used to it so much, that I dont' really care anymore. BUT I do feel self-conscious if it's visible. I would not shave hair because of my lover's demand - it's my body. I make decision based only on my comfort, belief (women's rights to fight the oppression of societal norms and the obsession with female looks). I am lucky that I am a lesbian, who are by nature accepting of the female body as it is, and embracing women's choices about it. I think heterosexual women are too afraid of not fulfilling male needs to really do whatever the feel like.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:52 AM

"I think heterosexual women are too afraid of not fulfilling male needs to really do whatever the feel like." yes, I think you hit the nail on the head there although there are many women who would disagree.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 12:56 PM

Sad and true. Conditioning by a century of advertising has convinced an awful lot of women that they are naturally unattractive and only "beauty products" will make them acceptable. I think once you start seeing some of the fallacies in our socialization it's easier to see more of them.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on March 10, 2011
at 06:00 PM

"I think heterosexual women are too afraid of not fulfilling male needs to really do whatever the feel like." i disagree with this attitude. I think it's important to consider the preferences of who you are trying to attract. if you want to 'do whatever you feel like" then fine. excellent. do it. but don't get depressed and complain when many men don't find you attractive. people are allowed to be attracted or put off by anything they choose. Personally I think too many people do not consider this enough in their efforts to find a mate. (I'm talking about "you" in general, not you Yoannah)

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on March 14, 2011
at 06:50 PM

"I do whatever I feel like. Not because Paleo tells me." Perfectly said, Yoannah!

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on March 12, 2011
at 12:27 AM

I agree that we play/compromise with our mate, but that's on an individual basis. With a particular person. It's quite different when you assume you can find a mate ONLY if you fulfill some kind of beauty requirements.

3
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on March 09, 2011
at 07:57 PM

well, im armenian and live in the united states so i spend a lot of time on hair removal! honestly, just because its the style. i dont go nuts- i wax my lower legs and bikini line in summer (i like at the beach) and shave my armpits. in winter, i just shave my legs and underarms when i think to do it. my husband doenst really care either way. i got a brazilian a couple of times just to see what it was like and IMHO, for me, it was not worth the time, pain or money. also, kind of creeps me out that i looked like i was 10 years old. i would LOVE LOVE LOVE to get laser hair removal someday. i do feel better when ive shaved my legs and underarms, but if theres stubble i dont kill myself over it. fashions change and style comes and go. who knows what kind of nonsense my daughter is going to have to deal with. i hate seeing younger and younger women obsessing about body hair, but it is what it is, i guess....

3
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on March 09, 2011
at 06:19 PM

If you really want to try a summer without shaving, France is a good place to give it a try, because there isn't all that pressure to be hairless (I'm not sure how bad it is in England compared to the US though). But don't be hard on yourself; if you still want to shave, that doesn't make you un-feminist or less of a cave-gal. I guess I'm a product of social pressure; I get waxed, I get embarassed if I'm at the gym and realize I haven't shaved the legs or pits in a few days, etc. My mom is from Germany and doesn't shave in the cooler months unless she's getting ready for a cruise, and she's not obsessive about the upkeep in the summer. My dad apparently finds this awesome; he would never even buy me and my sis shave gel when we were growing up because he just doesn't believe in leg-shaving. I'm just not as progressive as my parents, and that's ok!

Medium avatar

(12379)

on March 09, 2011
at 11:01 PM

I really did not get that impression from France at all. I have three very good friends from France (living all over the country -Paris, Lyon and Toulouse) and they all shave their legs and armpits. I never got into a conversation as to why they did this or what the social norms were for them. I think that it is a really North American belief that the French don't shave.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:35 AM

Rural France is different from Paris and Lyon, but then, the locals do not go and hang out at the pool like us foreigners do....maybe it is our lifestyle that causes us to look more groomed. I mean has anyone ever met an Australian who didn't shave?

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on March 10, 2011
at 12:59 AM

Good point, I don't want to make sweeping generalizations; I just see France as probably being similar to Germany in that shaving isn't a "must-do" like it is here. I also wonder if it is catching on more with the younger generation- I haven't been to Europe since I was about ten, so things could've changed quite a bit since I was there last. Looks like Louisa is encountering non-shaving French ladies, I'm guessing it's kinda a mixed bag.

2
Fc7712b6a931b618ffaf4d6475b5d8f4

(200)

on May 29, 2011
at 12:43 AM

Personally, I find body hair ridiculously hideous, and know of nobody that would think otherwise.

2
0bca55dd53e259958c4b560dc12c936d

on March 27, 2011
at 11:14 AM

WOW...lots to chew on here...I think that all men should shave too. I did it in my bodybuilding days and there is nothing like a muscular, 200 lb. bulging man to drape his legs over the side of the tub and lather up, razor off and feel "pretty" for the first time in his life. Most women I have met enjoy the sensual part of love more than the men. We men are all about, wham bam thank you mam. Women enjoy the touch, feel and sight of sex more than us "Mr. EverReadys." Rub your bare abs and you will feel what women feel, everything. No hair to dull the sensation. Rub your head of hair and you now know what we hairy men feel as we move over your bodies...our own hair. That's why we want to get to the act quickly so we can FEEL something. If all men shaved, we would extend foreplay. I propose we role reverse. Men shave, women don't. Then do it on a bear skin rug and get the best of both worlds.

2
4aa3281b2b5c6ec066c82675ee3df5f7

on March 09, 2011
at 05:32 PM

I like hairy armpits. I like my friends and lovers to have their natural smell and the hair helps with that. Legs I can go either way but the worst is the stubble. My primary partner shaves her legs now but didn't for the first 6 years of our relationship. She says she does it because the smoothness makes her feel sexy. I personally have very little body hair and if I've felt pressure at all it would be to have more. This would be mostly from other men and in a nonsexual context. Though I have known women who have a strong preference towards hairy men. butch/femininity is in how you carry your self not if you have hairy legs/armpits.

1
B2008cd5e53b61c8ec35e6e3bf52fe50

on April 27, 2011
at 04:00 PM

I got exciteed when I first srated growing leg hair. Otherwise I never paid any gread attention to this women's body hair issue (and hence my own body-hair) until I started realizing how big a deal it is in our society. If it wasn't for the societal norm, I would probably be fully accepting and appreciating of my body hair. So how is it in reality? Deep inside, I still want to keep my body hair where it wants to grow, but I no longer can fully appreciate the sight of it as before. My mind just starts playing the tape; "Smooth is sexy", "Shave and groom yourself!", "That's gross", "You must be a feminist and hate men", "You'll be alone for the rest of your life", "Disgusting and manly on women", "Come on, women should shave (to be accepted), it can't be that hard, just pick the razor" "You won't be as successful in life with that dark body-hair" etc.

In short, I am in a situation where I do not shave and do not reveal my body hair in most situations although it might be uncomfortably hot with fully covering clothing.

It's the leg hair that I mostly hide. I've decided to trim my armpits just because it's more comfy that way when they are sweaty.

yes, I am so ridiculously concerned with what others think of me. Survival instinct? How to get over it, anyone knows?

Question to women who shave their legs during hot the season and leave them alone in winter months; Have you noticed any difference in the thickness, shape, or something else of your leg hair when you see them grow back to their full length? Observing my mother's unshaved legs, I get the feeling that the hair loses its sense of direction and pokes aimlessly every way.

1
93e7444a632804bae893ede1cea623a9

(10)

on March 14, 2011
at 11:52 PM

It's shaving, you talk like that razor's cutting your wrists instead of your leg hair. Fighting for the side of hairy ladies is not going to get guys who don't like hairy ladies to agree with you, it's just going to make them dislike you. And doling out +s and -s after asking for peoples' opinions makes you an a-hole. The answer isn't "We should both be hairy - yay nature!" or "Women are treated unfairly, let's give them this one!" or "I like my girls smooth cause I'm a pig and don't know no better!", it's a personal issue so decide for yourself. For me, like Robb Wolf says about alcohol, it's all about maximizing your sex life...

1
Medium avatar

(3259)

on March 14, 2011
at 08:49 PM

Slightly reticent to add my two cents, but what the hey. I've had female partners who lived at both ends of the body hair scale, and I've found them all incredibly attractive - I guess that makes me indifferent.

If anything bothers me about either perspective, it's the politicization of the whole thing. I get it, I understand the arguments, but I really question the vehemence with which some people feel they need to state a position, especially considering that we all live with so many other behaviours and habits that contradict the supposed belief system that makes us either grow hair or shave it all off. We are all modern, confused animals that have to live with contradictions and inconsistencies (the ecologist who drives, the paleo dude who drinks beer, the Christian who covets...whatever Christians aren't supposed to covet) - it's when we pick random, isolated things to take a stand on from the huge diversity that makes us human that I think I really start to wonder. Seriously...leg hair is what we're are all about? That's the stance we choose to take in the world? We do that while, at the same time, caring enough about how we look to dress well, get our hair cut, work out, lose weight - how are any of these other things giving in to societal pressure any less?

Personally, I try to do what feels right for me, inconsistent with who I'm perceived to be or not. I also try not to care about how it is you choose to be you. To my friends, I'm a gentle, sensitive, ecologically responsible, social-justice oriented guy who likes watching UFC, playing contact sports, and eating a ton of meat. On the grooming side, I shaved my legs one year while cycling competitively and have never turned back, and have expanded my grooming to include other regions (ahem). Shaving or trimming isn't about caring what you think or accepting/rejecting a political stance, it's about what I simply have come to prefer, for reasons I could never explain. I like the way I "look, feel, and perform" and don't care if I don't fit into any one particular box.

We're all so incredibly complex that I think it's disingenuous to claim that a body part or grooming practice represents a higher ideal without acknowledging the totality of how we live our lives.

1
32d2f8a41a121608d07aa68aa17991c7

(597)

on March 10, 2011
at 12:37 AM

I like having the freedom to play around with body hair. I tend to not love hairy legs on me (I'm very fair with dark hair) so usually my legs are waxed. But I think hairy underarms are sexy on a woman so I keep mine that way some of the time. I go through varying phases with the bikini too. A lot of the appeal for me is the ability to be different from one month to the next.

I don't think feminism enters into the discussion, but I'm also aware that could just be my hegemony speaking. The beauty industrial complex is a powerful thing indeed.

1
61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 09, 2011
at 10:32 PM

Hair on my legs and pits bothers me because I don't like how it feels. I also get ingrown hairs if I don't shave for a while. Add to that I have very dark leg hairs, so it's obvious when I haven't shaved in a couple days. It's not that the hair grows fast, it's just so dark you can tell just a couple days after shaving. I am not comfortable showing my legs when I haven't shaved in a while.

On the other hand, I really dislike shaving. The process is a bother and my legs get incredibly dry. I usually shave only when my leg hairs start sticking to my pants or if I get an ingrown hair. It's warming up here in FL, so I'll soon start shaving weekly, right before the weekend starts, so I can enjoy my shorts without feeling uncomfortable.

As some others have mentioned, I plan on getting laser hair removal so I can skip the shaving and still feel comfortable in my own skin. 8)

1
Bd271299b2d4d9b2e3da9c252fef058c

on March 09, 2011
at 07:33 PM

As a woman, I go thru phases of shaving and not shaving. Although I've got dark hair, my leg hair has always been blonde and thin, so I haven't shaved them in 10 years! Sometimes I'll let my armpits grow out- it makes me feel strong, in a way- but if I start to feel unsexy, I shave them. (it's also a great filter for men- if theyre not into me because of my armpits, I feel like I'm saving time!) Ultimately, I think it's about how it makes you feel- in the same way clothing or jewelry does.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:51 AM

totally agree, you are lucky though, I think I look rather more neanderthal than you.

1
99ac392257e444e014be6d4da6a900e4

(1036)

on March 09, 2011
at 07:00 PM

I have a real hard time understanding the ultra strict paleo folks. IF you want to go all out, you shouldn't be on your computer chatting with folks from around the world. Don't be afraid to take a shower! You won't die sooner or get cancer from it. I promise.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on March 10, 2011
at 01:24 PM

Equating lack of bathing with women not shaving = -1.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:49 AM

I think you missed the point, I do not want to live in a cave Jason, but I see where you are coming from! ;)

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on March 14, 2011
at 06:46 PM

I wonder how Louisa and Karen feel about growing a uni-brow, for both men and women?

1
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on March 09, 2011
at 06:29 PM

Louisa,

For what it's worth, I have quite a lot of books with lots of pictures of African hunter-gatherers and also pastoralist and horticulturalist (I have a life long interest in Africa). And there is a lot of shaving or hairpicking going on!! Legs, armpits and even intimate zones too, both male and female do it.

And on another level, why would you not shave (besides being practical), if that seems to be the social norm? Is there a health reason?

I like to be contrary to the main social conventions if I think I have a good reason (diet, barefoot, no television, ...). But I am not a contrarian for just being one.

I think the same goes for hair and shaving. Following social convention can be easy, and if there's no real reason to do otherwise, why would you?

(btw, I'm a man and don't shave, exepct my head, because I'm rather hairless in that area...)

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 09, 2011
at 10:21 PM

Shaved heads are awesome. 8)

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:48 AM

It is really painful and annoying; rubbing up to someone else in bed with stubbly legs really sucks and the bikini line? Agony for weeks afterwards, seriously. I am really interested to hear that some African tribes de-hair themselves. Yes, why would I not shave? it is far easier to shave and keep in with my 'tribe' so I guess. It is all a question of identifying with your tribe, But I am dissatisfied with the way my tribe views women. It will be more about making a statement than anything else. However, in the long run I think my desire to fit in will overcome the desire to make a statement.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:41 AM

It is really painful and annoying, to rub up to your loved one in bed with leg stubble really sucks. I stopped shaving in the most private bits (yup, cannot believe I am writing this) because I would be in agony for a week afterwards, no joke. I now just wear a shorts style bikini at the pool and let it all grow down there, but then, that can be covered up! Why do women feel unacceptable in their natural state? My husband is bald and has hair practically everywhere else on his body, it doesn't really bother me, but then why does he sometimes scoff that my legs are hairier than his?

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on March 10, 2011
at 03:26 AM

"why would you?" the question is not to me, but I will take the liberty to address it. First - in pain in the butt. It can cause irritation, in growing hair, it's annoying when growing back etc. Second - it sends wrong message - that a woman in natural state is unacceptable by the society. Third - it forces too much preoccupation with one looks, which is another demand of the society for women.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:46 AM

It is really painful and annoying; rubbing up to someone else in bed with stubbly legs really sucks and the bikini line? Agony for weeks afterwards, seriously. I am really interested to hear that some African tribes de-hair themselves. Yes, why would I not shave? it is far easier to fit in and I am keeping in with my 'tribe' by doing so I guess. But I am dissatisfied with the way my tribe views women. It will be more about making a statement than anything else. However, in the long run I think my desire to fit in will overcome the desire to make a statement.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on March 10, 2011
at 05:39 PM

Yoannah and Louisa, I think (as a man) that I understand your reasons, and I must say I agree. I'm happy that as a man I don't have to shave, although seemingly more men do it. Call me old-fashion. And that's also what I wanted to say: if you have a reason not to shave, than please, don't. And the contrary.

1
388637efb09568e7c1e2527de2a8bfd5

on March 09, 2011
at 05:00 PM

I trim my pits and leg hairs if the landscape is getting 'manly'. I don't feel like I need to be hairless - that look I will never understand, but I also feel like some landscaping is appropriate. Just like I don't feel my yard shouldn't be mowed, trimmed, neat, I don't think the hair-scape should be running wild. I think it's about finding a nice compromise. That hair serves a biological purpose. Find a balance between that an aesthetics. In the end, it is YOUR body and you have to enjoy it and be comfortable in it. Do what you want, not what society or significant other/etc deem is 'proper'.

A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

(4896)

on March 12, 2011
at 12:32 AM

I must admit that I am sad to see that you described the natural state of your body as "manly".

388637efb09568e7c1e2527de2a8bfd5

on March 17, 2011
at 05:26 PM

There is just that point where my legs look like my husbands. That's when I feel the need to trim.

1
3e6c0ab969e49e2f341d6a55ac771cc4

(420)

on March 09, 2011
at 04:51 PM

It seems hairlessness is an important quality in picking a mate these days. I don't know any women who love running their hands through a carpet of back hair. Is there some evolutionary reason? Maybe you're faster without hair? A lot of it is social pressure, but perhaps it goes deeper. People are becoming naturally less furry even withour the waxing, lazer shaving and plucking.

9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:02 PM

Having a lot of body hair tends to correspond with Caucasian origins. I'd say that there was evolutionary selection for being furry during the ice age; from personal experience living in Minnesota there was a big difference between having a beard and no beard at -20 F. But you still see lots of hair on men (and women) of Caucasian origin in the Mediterranean and Near/Mideast. There may well have been some selective pressure for maintaining hair in those groups. The trend towards metroscaping men, at least in the US, is a recent thing. In the 70s and 80s, men proudly had hairy chests.

3e6c0ab969e49e2f341d6a55ac771cc4

(420)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:47 PM

I live in California so my view of social evolution may be a bit skewed:).

4aa3281b2b5c6ec066c82675ee3df5f7

on March 09, 2011
at 05:08 PM

I know plenty of women and men who love a hairy man. Some people find it very sexy. A sing of higher testosterone?

1
1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on March 09, 2011
at 04:27 PM

I shave my legs during summer. Why? Social pressure. Around here its just not the done thing for women to go around with hairy legs. I haven't shaved my pits in years, but I have't been brave enough yet to skip the leg-shaving, at least in summer.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on March 09, 2011
at 05:56 PM

Yes, I do. I figure if no one likes it they can kiss my butt. I haven't been able to go there in regards to not-shaving my legs yet, though...LOL!

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 09, 2011
at 04:36 PM

Helen, do you expose your pits then?

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:25 AM

Funny how pits and legs are seen differently.

0
Bfd70bb38267fcc2d762063d691fa226

(723)

on June 28, 2013
at 01:22 AM

I find that I shave for multiple reasons. Yes, I do admit that I shave for social reasons. I don't think it is shameful or "un-paleo" to comply with social norms since humans are naturally social beings. I'm pretty sure that even primitive societies had social norms.

However, most of the shaving I do is for personal preference and, most importantly, hygiene. Before going paleo, I had a condition called hyperhidrosis, which is excessive underarm perspiration. I shaved my armpits ever since hair began to grow in order to alleviate this condition. I shaved my legs for social reasons. I keep it up because I don't like the stubbly rough feeling when my legs brush against each other.

I have always shaved my pubic area because I did not like the thought of sweat and bacteria down there. When I first began to menstruate, I started shaving that area and have done so ever since. TMI, but I was appalled by the idea of blood sticking in the hair. At this point in my life, I didn't even know that some people shaved there. I thought I was weird for it, as a matter of fact. Even now, being a person who exercises frequently, I don't like the idea of sweaty hair down there.

On a final note, I shave my arms. Society doesn't really pressure women to shave their arms as much as armpits or legs, but I simply like the smoothness of shaven arms. I put conditioner on them when I shave them, and they're super soft :)

0
Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

on March 03, 2013
at 07:25 PM

I think most men find hairless women attractive because it's an exaggerated version of how women look naturally. We have less hair than men, so no hair is even more attractive. Same reasoning applies to make up- lipstick enhances lips that are naturally more rosy than men's (flushed lips also mimics a woman's vulva), corsets- accentuate small waist, high heels- exaggerate length of legs and lifts rear end.

For the majority of women (this is a guess), if they never shaved, their leg hair would be fine and light...I know mine would. Unfortunately, I started shaving them at 11 and if I grew it out now I'd be beastly. My grandmother never shaved her legs (born in 1914) and her leg hair was blond and then fell out as she got older.

Personally, I like to be hairless. I feel pretty gross (and prickly) if I don't shave for a few days.

0
De16b4be8c230fe524ba8690574dbbdd

on March 03, 2013
at 04:18 PM

I am a woman who has struggled with hair removal issues from 6th grade forward. So long ago in 6th grade my mother finally allowed me to start shaving my legs. I wanted to do this so badly because my classmates commented on how hairy I was and they were already allowed to shave. There was also a boy in my class who called me "The Hairy Bear". To my dismay after I was allowed to shave, he just called me "The Shaved Ape" instead.

I am now 36, have four beautiful teenage children, have a new husband and I think about the time and money I have spent over the last 20 years shaving. That is a lot of wasted resources. And now I also have to help my children develop their ideas about societal norms.

My entire family, including my children (3 boys and 1 girl) are of Eastern European decent and are very hairy. It is a battle that we can never win. We have very white skin and black hair. My second son has had a full beard since he was 14. Shaving equals rashes and you are only going to have smooth legs, pits, face, bikini, for a matter of hours. I have come to a point in my life where shaving is just not something I'm willing to spend time or money on any longer.

I personally prefer a man that is hairy. I think hair on a man is very attractive and a sign on masculinity. For a long time I also saw my own hair as being manly and therefore unattractive because I'm female. I've changed my view about that. I am hairy because females are naturally hairy. Just because other women are willing to jump in the shower daily and shave a large portion of their bodies doesn't mean that I have to. I have told my boys on many occasions that they are hairy because they are men and men are supposed to be hairy. Not to let anyone try to pressure them into doing silly things like shave or wax their chests or backs!

My husband does not care, and as long as he's okay with it I don't care what other people think. My children need to be able to look at social norms and be able to look past "well that's what every one else does" and look into the why, and maybe why not's for themselves. Critical thinking skills are necessary in life.

I have gone all winter (like every other winter of my life) without shaving and have made the decision not to shave for the upcoming summer this year. Life is too short to spend the phenomenal amount of time required for me to fight this particular losing battle. It's time to be comfortable with myself being the way I was meant to be....hairy.

For me it is simply a logical conclusion. I'm not a feminist or a naturalist, or anything else. I'm just a realist.

0
543ae0f06cde1a20a280ce3bdbc6a3de

on October 28, 2011
at 05:51 PM

I am an almost 40 year old male. When younger and full of social pressure from peers, I was attracted to shaved women. Thinking it was dirty, unkept and anti-social for a woman to be otherwise. I feared friends comments if the girl I was with had the slightest hint of stubble. I now can't imagine the fear a shaving woman with stubble has daily of just the rude comments they might get from their peers.

Around the time I was 34 I had been in a couple relationships and saw what women go through to be hairless. I also had learned that unkept women stink, hair or not. I also realized that, from a hygein standpoint, if it were unhygenic that either I should go hairless or live a double standard by making my wife put up with my hair while still demanding hairless perfection from her. All this, not to mention the expense of lady razors that wear out 5 times as fast as men's from all the shaving they do.

Another thing I noticed upon close stubble observation is that some women are just as hariy as the hairiest men; I mean hair everywhere you can imagine, in all the same places as men and while most pubescent boys are proud of getting that first sign of adult hair, girls are told to fear it and spend the large majority of their adult life hiding it while manly men get to do nothing but embrace it. In the end, it is the way our "creator" made us to be, both in men and women. Some hairier, some less but all of us who are healthy have it.

It is one thing to keep hair neat,clean and trim to task and to be proud of it but an entirely different thing to be so ashamed of who we are or who others tell us we have to be that we feel we have to erase contrary evidence all together.

I know all too well the evidence of the history of making shaving a widespead norm by razor companies in the early 1900's. I also know that most ugly shaven women love the chance to rip on a beautiful unshaven woman simply because they have hair where society say's they shouldn't. I would rather choose to see that a woman simply has everything nature dictates, some men may not, but I often wonder if they just want the illusion of having a prepubescent girl.

If people shaved all their hair, we wouldn't be able to recognize the OCD hair pullers that suggest deeper mental issues. This is the same as being blind yet able to smell the stinky person you would rather pass up! Smells and unclean, unkept hair are indicators of other, deeper issues. I would much rather have all of a potential mates indicators there for me before I find out the hard way. How one keeps their hair is just one of many indicators.

In fact, a person who insists on eradicating or masking their indicators would tell me a lot about them. No way around it, if a person insists on tons of makeup, nose numbing perfume, surgery or hair removal from 95 percent of their body it tells me they must be trying to hide something and fool people. More to the point, fool me!

To wrap this up, I told my wife she could stop shaving if and when she wanted to. The first year it was just in the winter time, now she is more comfortable and secure. She knows I love her just the way she was made, that I would take up for her is someone ever said anything ( which hasn't happend yet) and she actually thanked me after the verdict was in over time.

I think if a person feels they must do something they'd rather not do to keep or please another, they should have tried being themselves before choosing the crowd or person they want to be around. If you like doing something to please another that is ok until you can't or don't want to anymore while those around you become cold to you for stopping.

I guess it all comes down to personal choice and those you want to attract by your choices.

0
8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

on July 19, 2011
at 09:00 AM

Just to offer my personal experience.

I shaved from age 12-16 because it was the thing to do, meant you were becoming a woman and all that. Stopped when I was 16 'cause there were a bunch of us in High School that thought it was stupid -- mostly stupid to do something so unnatural to supposedly attract boys. I had two further bouts of shaving -- one due to direct pressure in a professional setting and the second due to indirect (that is, made up in my head) pressure professionally (both were times when I had to wear skirts for work -- I'm old). Then I discovered that if you wear pantyhose, which I had to do anyway, no one looked at your legs closely enough to even know if you shaved.

When I started dating, not a single guy I dated asked me to shave my legs or wanted me to, most of them said they preferred it unshaven -- no rash!

At times, I felt uncomfortable -- but then I realized that I didn't personally feel uncomfortable, I was just "afraid of what people would think". Then I decided I didn't particularly care what other people thought and those close to me either didn't care or liked me the way I was naturally.

BTW, It's actually a pretty small percentage of the women in the world who shave, BTW, though several races barely have any hair to on legs to begin with.

Me, I'm hairy. My whole family is hairy.

At any rate, I haven't shaved anything for 20+ years. Sometimes people make a comment because they are used to seeing white women with shaved legs (I live in Africa), but that's it. I've also never noticed any difference in smell shaven or unshaven. I thought there was a difference, but it turned out to not be true in my case.

0
8f48d334642f7f6f32c54610bdf7f10e

on July 19, 2011
at 04:22 AM

If you do your research, women shaving their armpits didn't start until 1915 when Harper's Bazaar had a photo of a woman with no pit hair. Leg hair wasn't much of a deal until sometime in WWII, because of some picture of a model with shaved legs and the fact that shorter skirts were becoming more popular. Basically, companies want money.

I mean, women got along just fine having leg hair for thousands of years. Than again, sex wasn't first priority.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

This is simply incorrect. Maybe white European and American people didn't removed hair prior to that time period, but body hair removal has a very long history in many cultures. Muslim people have traditionally removed pubic and underarm hair for centuries - it's part of Sharia law! Threading has been practiced in India and the Middle East for many generations. Body hair (and selective head hair) removal was common in many Asian cultures, as well. Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians often removed body hair.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 29, 2011
at 04:16 AM

Personally I think hair is fine. I used to think it was gross but somewhere down the road I opened up my mind and realized that cultural conditioning was the reason I thought something insane like that.

8f48d334642f7f6f32c54610bdf7f10e

(0)

on July 19, 2011
at 04:23 AM

Really, so would you been seen with your GF sporting leg hair?

0
93b27fef0784f107867e022570bb1e9e

on May 28, 2011
at 10:05 PM

Wow, what a discussion! And a coincidence - I just learned about paleo on lance armstrong's site, and then did a search for "laser hair legs or armpits" and found this paleo site! Isn't it something.

So I went to get a laser removal for a couple of stray facial hair that was bothering me a lot, even it was just a few, literally, hairs. I also have a tiny bit of soft not-so-dark hair on my big toes and I do not like how it looks with a pedicure which is something I started to do just recently. So because I needed removal of very small of small areas, which is all done very fast, I was offered a deal where I pay regular price for a large area and nothing for the face-and-toe bits and pieces. Incidentally, the clinic I went to is reputable, in downtown area, and, I checked them on Yelp.

My mother was very hair on the inner thighs, close to what is called the "bikini zone". She had some mediterranean roots, I probably have them too, they are just more "dissolved" in my blood :). So I thought that I was blessed with the pubic hair growing strong but strictly within the swimsuit line, nothing poking out. Well, here comes the age factor - how I have tiny pubic hair going a little bit outside of the swimsuit's crotch and into inner thighs. I wanted that removed, so we added that to the todo list, and armpits.

I had one session so far. The RN who does it suggested that we try one session without the numbing cream. Good suggestion - I was able to tolerate the pain, and the cream would have just added to the total price. If you breathe through the pain, it makes it easier.

Hair grows in stages, which is way, as was explained to me, you need multiple sessions - basically, you get to treat only a portion of all hair each time - the portion that was in the right stage of growth at the moment of laser beaming. Laser can cause discoloration, I have very white spots in my armpit area.

After all of that, and being told that I am a good candidate, having dark hair (not black though - dark chestnut) and light skin, I began doubting my decision. I thought about it a lot and reading through this thread of a discussion helped me formed an opinion:

Armpit hair serves a sexual purpose. It helps retain the original musky smell of a person. The smell is different from person to person, and to me is an important part of attraction, similar to how voice qualities for me are more important than looks. As I think about it, the permanent removal of something that important looks dangerous for me. What if I change my mind when it is too late? I probably need at least more time to make a decision.

Leg hair has no purpose. I regret starting to shave it, which is what I did after first moving to US from Europe. I had soft hair, with shaving it became coarse. But now there is no going back to soft hair. I am not good at shaving, hair grows back soon, and I do not feel comfortable showing that hair. I am not into shorts but I do like long, flowing skirts that hit about the middle of lower leg. I do want to wear them and without leg hair, I will wear them more.

Pubic hair (in the usual triangle area, not more) also seems important and with purpose. See, for an entertaining image, the folowing from Beardsley:

http://www.vandaprints.com/image/212662/lysistrata-haranguing-the-athenian-women-by-aubrey-beardsley

So all things considering, I decided that from now on I will have leg hair treated, not armpits, and think more about doing the armpits.

0
27e79ef3308bb5f2d7bd04ee7eea7b79

(2038)

on April 29, 2011
at 12:41 PM

I usually just let my leg hair go for a while, but there is one thing that always makes me reach for the razor:

Whenever it's long enough that it starts waving in the breeze, making me feel as if I'm walking through a grassy field, I mow it immediately. At times it feels ticklish and at others it's just plain annoying. I don't know how others put up with long leg hair that constantly brushes against their legs.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 27, 2011
at 10:31 AM

All I can say is this. I am unshaved, hairy, furry, or how ever you would like to put it. I love my body hair. It is soft, feels good when my hubby touches it. I really love being out side in the summber and having the wind blow on it. Feels like the wind is kissing me. I also have done a lot of reading about the shaving creams and deoderents that we use. Cancer causing agents in them. That is a small, but another reason I stopped shaving about 7 years ago. I am just glad that my hubby is really into the unshaved look. He told me, that when I did shave, I looked like a little girl and he wanted me to look like a woman. So, there is my little penny to your wonderful writing. Mistress Jazmin http://hairyjazmin.com

0
39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on March 14, 2011
at 06:27 PM

I think it has zero to do with being Paleo and everything to do with what you want to do. If one is in the re-enacting school of thought, they might want to consider cutting the hair on their heads with a sharp rock and getting a uni-brow. Being a product of my society, I personally find armpit and leg hair extraordinarly off-putting and unattractive.

There are lots of comments here denigrating men for being attracted to their culture's vision of beauty. Well, many parts of the world and in many times in world history, people consider(ed) womanly figures attractive that we would consider obese in today's western societies. I've read that an Northern European woman in the 17th century was considered attractive if she had "a bosom that could fill a barrel and a bottom that could fill a bathtub." Should we today have to consider that attractive, or should we be allowed our own definition of beauty?

I personally can think of a number of areas on the human body that ought to have no hair.

0
9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on March 10, 2011
at 05:36 PM

I shave my pits because I find it uncomfortable not to, it pinches! Everything else though I leave pretty much as is. If someone has an issue about it, maybe they should stop staring at my legs!

I'm also of northern European descent, so my hair is very fine and blonde. No one notices about my legs.

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