shaving : LUSENET : like sands : One Thread

For everyone on the west of the atlantic, where there has been a lot of uproar over women not shaving underarms. why this degree of antipathy if someone does not visibly shave ? i have heard that the cosmetics companies have done an excellent job of inculcating within the north american people ( and now increasingly in all urban areas worldwide ) that shaving armpits is necesary for aesthetics and HYGIENE !!! any thoughts ?

-- Anonymous, November 30, 2000


You're so right--I read in a magazine ad once about the deadly armpit infections which have been felling unshaven European women left and right!

-- Anonymous, December 01, 2000

Hairlessness IS more aesthetically-pleasing, and I think you'll find that you're not just fighting the mighty cosmetics industry on this one - nor (as you suggest) is it confined to the US. Without having considered this too deeply, I'd be inclined to argue that people tend to find smooth, hairless skin more pleasing because it is suggestive of youth, and I'd also be inclined to argue that although there have been regrettable recurrent bouts of accepted feminine hairiness throughout history, the hairless model is more prevalent.

However - while, as in most things cosmetics, women have a heavier burden to carry, men are also expected to have smooth skin to an extent. While women vary in their taste for body hair on men, I'd suggest that the number of women who find hairy shoulders (for example) attractive, is pretty small.

The cosmetics companies are only serving to reinforce strong cultural preferences. Clearly, these preferences aren't shared around the world, but where they are strong, I think the roots (ahem) go back a little further than the birth of the ergonomically-shaped underarm razor.

-- Anonymous, December 04, 2000

Thank you both for your thoughts! Aesthetics being subjective in nature, I shall not go into that. However, Pale Blue, I do not know if one can be that sure of hairlessness as being an ideal in most cultures throughout history, unless one were to consider history as being the last few decades, and cultures as Madison Avenue and Hollywood. There are references to hairlessness in ancient Egyptian ceremonies, I agree. Now i did not live in the 1950s, but from advertisements in that period ( and a few decades before ), the cosmetic firms seem to have stepped up the campaign to buy their products. Of course there is nothing wrong in someone buying their products. But what is weird is the extreme polarization of people on this issue, some pro ( branded as feminists maybe ) and most anti ( again, in the US and other cities worldwide connected to mass media ). A man may shave or keep a beard, but either does not generate strong reactions.

Many people have been influenced into believing that underarm hair is unhygenic, and therein lies a classic case of a marketing success. If indeeed if that is true, women from most other parts of the world, and most men would be suffering from axillery infections.

Anyway, thanks again. This topic really is not that important ! Cheers !

-- Anonymous, December 04, 2000

"I do not know if one can be that sure of hairlessness as being an ideal in most cultures throughout history"

Yeah. I just can't recall seeing any paintings or sculptures of hairy women. Mail me back with examples if you have them. Also, I think the leverage used by cosmetics companies is entirely about aesthetics, rather than hygiene: as you point out, no-one raises an eyebrow about male underarm hair, and I don't know anyone who thinks that women suffer from gender specific ailments brought about by hairiness.

I can't believe I'm discussing this.

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2000

I think this is a very important subject to discuss. I think body hair is completely natural and beautiful on woman. I do not understand why there is so much pressure on women to shave, wear make- up, be thin, etc. Well, I do know it is really about the media and popular culture trying to have control over womens' bodies. Cosmetic companies are very persuasive in their advertising and it all really comes down to the almighty dollar by making women and men feel insecure so they will buy their products. I find this extremely sad. Men that choose not to shave rarely get any negative feedback but a woman (at least in the USA) that chooses not to shave her legs or underarms or both....are treated with disgust and unfairness by alot of shallow minded and ignorant folks. I just feel that what is good for men is and should be equally good for women. Simple as that. I feel the shaving is simply a preference....I respect women that choose not to shave just as I respect women that do shave and I just feel that folks that view not shaving as disgusting or "dirty" should keep their thoughts and verbal opinions to themselves. I think people that do have a problem with women not shaving are most likey very insecure with their own sexuality or they may have been extremely socially conditioned over their lifetime by their families and the media and so they refuse to accept anything different----or even to think for themselves. I find it very silly that some folks make such a big deal about women that choose not to if that fact alone takes away from their natural beauty or makes them less of a person. This just blows my mind. Body hair on a woman is a beautiful natural sign of maturity and not uncleaniness...God did not invent razors....Big Corporations did. :o) Thanks for bringing this topic up as I feel it is very important to have open discussion on such sensitive issues.

-- Anonymous, August 18, 2001

"God did not invent razors..."

This is the weakest argument ever. Did God invent bras or underwear or condoms? Did god invent automobiles, telephones, or computers? Unless you are completely amish this argument does not work for anything. Stop using "God" to back up your position and start thinking for yourself.

-- Anonymous, August 28, 2001

I just stopped shaving two weeks ago. Though I was always mildly intrigued by women who were confident enough not to shave, it was the remark of a 16-year-old girl that really made me think about it. "Why are you rejecting your body?" Now, there are a TON of things that the media/pop culture/advertising moguls/etc. put out there regarding what people, male and female, "should" do. Shaving is one of them. This girl's comment made me wonder why a woman's natural state is regarded as dirty and unacceptable, and I simply decided that I liked my body and didn't want to reject its natural state any more. I'm not a raging militant feminist, nor am I lesbian, and I'm lucky enough to be spending my life with a man who thinks it's great that I'm not shaving any more. I still have the self-consciousness thing to work through, but all in all, I view it as simply another yes/no decision in the face of all the pressures we all face each day. Yes, it's a very important topic, but I think it's one w/in the larger topic of submitting to external, capitalism-induced pressures.

-- Anonymous, September 06, 2001

i shave my armpits and i think boys should shave their armpits too. it helps the deoderant penetrate. too bad my bf doesn't agree.

-- Anonymous, September 07, 2001

Laura wrote:
I simply decided that I liked my body and didn't want to reject its natural state any more

you stopped bathing then?
and you walk around nude?
and you never cut your hair?
or your fingernails?

-- Anonymous, September 07, 2001

Geesh Debbie....calm down. I was simply making a point and I do think for myself. :o) I agree with, factories, guns, bombs, etc are all made by the hands and minds of people and some things made my people are positive and others are not so positive. Too bad we all couldn't live more like the Amish folks...I think the world would be alot healthier environmentally. I do agree with you very much, Debbie. :o)

Dave----dude! I think you are missing Laura's point all together. Perhaps you should read her post again?

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2001

Ja, this topic has suddenly come alive again ! I agree with Leash and Laura in what they say. Lan, shaving/absence of axillary hair does not help deod. penentration in any big way. And Dave, your comments of not taking a bath is not analogous to not shaving. Humans have always taken baths, primarily to cool off. Animals do it too. And one feels fresher and clamer after a shower, and thats the reason why we havce arrived at a shower a day routine. Of course, hygiene plays a part of that too. Unlike shaving. Its an absolute myth being propagated by Gillette et al, that shaving is hygenic. How utterly absurd. Most of the world does not shave -- europe, asia, much of the rural world. Are they any less healthy than their urban counterparts ? Show me ONE disease that is caused by having natural underarms. It is a fact that women in the US have been brainwashed by decades of commercials and peer pressure, to the point that their mouths drop if they see a woman with pits. Aesthetics is a different issue. The militants shavers reading this are of course entitled to their sense of aesthetics, but what was Leary 's point is that they should learn to live and let live, and not regard natural women as some freaks. Until that happens, they just show their immaturity, like the pre-pubescent state they try to achieve. saludos, hans

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2001

Show me ONE disease that is caused by having natural underarms.

Um, lice?

-- Anonymous, September 25, 2001

Thats a good one, haha ! well, I have never heard of women or men getting lice in that region... and by the same token, i suppose then all american chicas should do a persis khambatta.. shave their heads too..

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2001

You certainly can get armpit lice.

But also, I do think Lan is right about the deodorant thing--deodorant/ anti-perspirant works by being dissolved into your sweat ducts. Having hairy armpits is going to inhibit the amount of contact between the deodorant and your skin.

Of course, that doesn't mean that not shaving is "unsanitary," but it probably is less sanitary. Not that there's anything wrong with that-- I'm pretty unsanitary myself, sometimes.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2001

Ticks also. Body hair is the resort area favored by lice, ticks, and fleas. Ask any dog.

Spend time in a smoky bar, and other than your clothes what's more likely to stink? Your hair. Hair in your nose aides in blocking irritants. Hair is about as hygienic as the filter in an air conditioner.

Arguing that hair is hygienic is different than arguing it is making people sick. Hair is not hygienic, though it might not make you sick as you're likely to get use to what you're exposed to all the time.

But don't let it stop you from having it or not, as I don't think it matters that much.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2001

Well, I should add that having nose hair probably promotes better health. Swabbing your nose hair and contaminating the edge of someone's drinking glass probably doesn't.

-- Anonymous, September 26, 2001

Hans---Your reply was completely right on, bro!!! I enjoyed reading your wonderful comments and I agree with you 100%

Jennifer and Cory---I have never heard of lice or ticks invading underarm hair before....I did, however, click on the link you provided about armpit hair lice and from what I refers to the lice as pubic lice (better known as "Crabs") which is mostly transmitted through intimate/sexual contact....although it did say it could be transmitted by sharing towels, clothing, etc. but still what are the chances unless one is very sexually active with multiple partners or sharing personal items with other people... which, of course, could increase the chances of picking up crabs. Head lice is way more likey to be transmitted (the statistics of head lice epidemics from public and private school reports each year are staggering) and I definately agree with Hans.... Does that mean we should all start shaving our heads? I don't think so. And as far as body hair being unhygenic....I think that is just another incredibly ridiculous twisted misconception to get women (and men) to shave. If one showers or bathes with soap and water on a regular basis I don't think one has to worry too much about offensive body odor. Body hair is natural and it is there for a reason but popular culture and big corporations would love for us to believe otherwise and they have been very clever and successful in doing just that. Peace, Leash

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2001

---from some of my current reading -related enough to post here.

"The Messenger (S) declared that the women who change what Allah (T) has created (such as removing the hair from their faces or filing their teeth or tattooing their bodies) seeking by that to improve their appearance, are accursed by Allah (T). [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The hadith mentioned women in particular because they normally seek to beautify themselves more than men. But the warning surely applies to both sexes, because the condition for the curse is declared, and thus the curse applies to anyone who satisfies such condition.

Shaving the beard falls under this warning, as it is much worse than the Nam (removal of facial hair) practiced by some women. It involves obeying Satan who said:

And I shall tempt them until they change what Allah has created. [An- Nisaa 4:119]"

-- Anonymous, October 07, 2001

hygiene? If i wash my legs i can't help but wash the hair on them! So it's clean hair! at least reasonably clean. i think soap is more for smelly parts and dirty spots. groans and hair and armpits and whatnot. i don't quite get why people have to slather it head to toe daily. a good wash-down with a wet rag works wonders. mankind got along okay before soap was invented, didn't it?

-- Anonymous, January 19, 2002

We in southern part of India with it's sultry climate shave our armpits and trim/shave silky smooth our pubes .It's unbearable and dirty to have fur under there in such a sultry climate .We can harvest body salt and meet the requirements for the prandials.

So ..those of you near the coastal regions ,please shave regularly your underarms/pubes and use common salt for the prandials.

I donot know about European and Yankee culture .If you are sure to use the salt synthesised by your body ,please carry forward and grow amazon forests. Bye 4 now.

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2002

Real Women Don't Shave Their Underarms!

-- Anonymous, June 21, 2002

Ok I had to get in on this discussion. First of all I find women who choose not to shave to be very sexy and very erotic. If you want to call it a fetish, fine then that is my fetish. I think we all have some type of fetish, be it butts, boobs or feet. A fetish does not mean you are some physco or someone who lurks behind bushes. I am very normal and from looking on the internet in the last few years I have learned there are many men with this preference.

As for hygene and cleaniness. I have always argured weather you are male or female and you prefer unshaven armpits, if you bath on a regular basis and stay clean in general it makes no difference if you have unshaven or shaven armpits. You will be clean.

most men don't shave their pits and most are clean in general.

NOW for the next contribution from me and it may stray off the subject some. But in general I find womens armpits be them shaved or not to be very erotic and a sexual turn on. I have always found them very erotic and the women I have been with I always make sure I show their armpits attention. So with me I guess, first its the armpits and if they happen to be unshaved thats just a bonus. Don't ask me why that is the part of the female body I like I just do, and again many other men, and possibly women have those feelings.

Maybe I find them attractive because, the armpit can grow hair, they can sweat there is something going on under there and since women can not pubically display other parts of their bodies, such as breast and pubic area in a normal public situation in the US, maybe the armpits are something thats always out there and can be shown in any public situation.

Don't get me wrong, I love all the other parts of the female body.

-- Anonymous, August 26, 2002

Underarm hair is a natural dessicant. That means it wicks away the sweat from the skin, thus drying quicker than hairless skin. Since bacteria needs a warm, moist place to reproduce, you shavers have some bacteria issues in your armpits to deal with... As far as aestetics goes ??? I've seen both Kate Winslett and Julia Roberts with hairy armpits....anyone care to boast that they would pass up on the chance to bone either one of these "hairy" angels ?

-- Anonymous, August 26, 2002

Hey B.~ The fact that you find women who do not shave to be sexy is simply a preference and not a fetish. :o) So you're not a weirdo or anything. LOL :o) The only reason why some people consider it a fetish, I think, is because here in America...mainstream society is obsessed with body image, outer appearances and immortality. Women not shaving is considered a taboo in many cultures (especially American culture)...shaving, I feel, is a form of control and to be quite honest...when a woman is expected to shave...that is pure sexism. Why is it that men are not expected to shave but women are? I truly have nothing against men or women that choose to shave...because I feel that it is a preference. What I am against is when women (and men) are ridiculed for choosing not to shave. In all reality, body hair is a healthy sign of sexual maturity and it also helps the body to cool down more quickly as John mentioned. :o) Why is it that with women, body hair is considered unclean and unsexy but not for men? Hair grows on women's bodies naturally just as it does on men's bodies. Body odor only becomes a problem when one does not shower or bathe on a regular basis not because they do not shave. To believe that shaving eradicates all body odor and uncleanliness is complete ignorance. I think that women get caught up (and men as well but in different ways) in the unrealistic beauty standards that are placed on them in American society. Women have to be extremely thin and unhealthy looking, buy and wear designer clothing, expose and exploit their body, shave, wear make-up, etc to be considered the ideal beautiful woman. If you don't believe time you go to the grocery store---look at the covers of all the model and fashion magazines. This is the message that is being sent out to women every day. This is an unrealistic, expensive and truly unnecessary way of life. I mean if a woman chooses to do this, to live this way...more power to her. That is her choice. But I think it would be healthy and refreshing to see magazines that have women of all different sizes in them, women of all different colors and from different cultures and countries, older and younger women, women of all different occupations and walks of life, natural women, women that are mentally and physically challenged, etc. I think sending out a new message to the women and men of our society is what is desperately needed in order to change these narrow minded views. And I think the world should wake up and realize that a person's true beauty comes from within. To B. and John: It was so nice to read your supportive posts on here. Thanks for sharing. :o)

One Love, Leash

-- Anonymous, September 05, 2002

I never thought about female body hair until I saw some pictures or found some web sites. I think it is incredibly sexy. Their is something so erotic and natural about it. It is so unfortunate this is not more popular. I don't understand the obsession with shaving-- it's really a pediatric look---and I don't find that attractive. I got my girlfriend into it and I'm very glad she likes it. Women with body hair look potent and womenly. Body hair may allow for more of feminine scent but that is equally erotic and natural. Naturally, there is difference between a natural scent and unclean.

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2002

I just shaved my arm pits today and must say that it is a wonderful feeling not to have hair there. Am 38 yrs old and work out regularly and seeing no hair while I work out is something to look forward to. Shaving the pubic region also is an incredible turn on and looks good too not like a jungle. Simply put a moisturizer on afterwards and it looks fantastic.

-- Anonymous, October 09, 2002

i'm a teenage girl and after a discussion with my friends i decided to stop shaving my armpits. i must admit that it was very strange to see armpit hair where there had never been any. however, i'm glad that i made the decision. for me personally, it's much easier to not shave because when i did shave i had a lot of irritation problems. so far everybody i've talked to thinks it's disgusting, but i don't care. i don't want to go back to shaving my armpits ever again.

-- Anonymous, October 30, 2002

well, i'm teen quy, and i really like hairy women.The are so sexy. Who said that women must shave? Women, u look sexy with hairy underarms, legs... etc.

-- Anonymous, November 01, 2002

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