looking back: why women started shaving?

hey tribe!

has it ever happened that you wanted to wear that sexy skirt with a slit to the bar but then decided not to because of some stubble or hair on your legs? have you ever wished that wasn’t the case so that you can wear whatever you want just like men? so let’s take a deep dive into the history of shaving and why women today feel shunned if they decide to not follow the norm.

the imposition of false standards of beauty

men are usually very unafraid to show body hair, whether it is on the arms or legs. it is acceptable and hardly something that turns heads. but as women, the experience with body hair became completely different because of the beauty industry’s deliberate push to make beauty coincide with smooth hairless arms and legs.

the beauty industry urged the modern metropolitan women of the 20th century that this was the new normal and forced the “pink” razor into the hands of all women who wanted to be seen as beautiful. advertisements with women showing off smooth armpits with articles that associated body hair with bad smells and embarrassment. strange how men were never subjected to that.

using advertising to convince women

in 1915, Gillette launched the first razor and advertised it as something that is necessary to buy just like a pair of gloves. it was part of the latest fashion, and the fashion catalogues marketed the razor together with clothes with sheer sleeves. shaving would then become a necessary act to be prim and proper in the upper echelons of civilized society.

the advertising aimed at not giving women what they needed but to tell women that they needed this to be acceptable. so, now these razors will be used by “women of refinement” to remove “objectionable” hair which was an embarrassing personal problem. Once women were sold the idea of keeping their underarms smooth and groomed, Gillette moved to create the same urgency for legs.

the rest, as you can say, is history.

so, the next time you decide to not wear a sleeveless dress because you forgot to shave your underarms, think of the way the beauty industry has deliberately led you to hate a natural part of yourself. reject the notion of beauty set by them.

whether you decide to wear the dress or not, there is no aspect of you that is anywhere near embarrassing. you are gorgeous. revel in it.
until next time, live aastey.