Don’t Want to Shave Your Body Hair Anymore? Social Media Says You can Let it Grow!
Even as cultural definitions of beauty change and evolve, women are still being held to restrictive beauty standards that are impossible for many to meet. Perhaps that’s why the body positivity movement has been embraced so intensely – society makes women feel like they have to be flawless (and hairless) in order to be considered beautiful, and some women aren’t willing to play the game anymore.
There have always been women who don’t shave their legs or armpits, but today it’s more visible. There’s a growing movement on social media encouraging women to post photos showing their unshaven armpit hair. Celebrities including Madonna, Lena Dunham, and Miley Cyrus are among those posting.
The message is clear: body hair is normal and some women don’t want to shave their body hair to meet someone else’s beauty standards. It’s that simple.
Who wants to stop shaving their body hair? Pick me, pick me!
The pressure for women to have perpetually hairless legs and armpits is real. This arbitrary beauty standard is even reinforced by razor commercials that depict women shaving already smooth legs and armpits. In fact, you’re unlikely to see any body hair on a woman in a shaving commercial dating back to when disposable razors hit the market.
To see for yourself, watch this Gillette Venus commercial from 2000. This Philips SatinShave Prestige commercial conveniently depicts a woman shaving her armpit with her back to the camera so you can’t even see her armpit or any hair. Some women’s’ shaving commercials don’t show women shaving at all, like this Norelco Lady Shave razor commercial from 1993 that only shows smooth legs.
You may not have noticed the absence of body hair in women’s shaving commercials, but the new women’s razor subscription service Billie definitely noticed. In a move to combat the ridiculous notion that women should (and do) have hairless bodies at all times, Billie’s marketing materials show women with body hair. Gasp! The company does sell razors, after all, but Billie’s customers appreciate the company’s stance that removing body hair is a personal choice and not a social obligation.
Give yourself permission to break societal standards on all fronts
Are you tired of adhering to societal beauty standards that feel oppressive? What about that pink plastic razor you’ve been using all these years? Have you noticed women’s razors cost about fifty cents more per package compared to the same razors made for men? Truth be told, there’s virtually no difference between razors made for men and women aside from the packaging, bells, and whistles. The actual razor heads are the same. Why are you still buying expensive pink razors?
While Billie is great for women who want a standard cartridge razor without having to pay the “pink tax,” there’s another growing trend within the sphere of women’s shaving that you may want to consider: the straight razor.
Traditional shaving is genderless (and cheap!)
Classic wet shaving tools are making a comeback, and it’s not just men who are using these traditional tools. Women are ditching disposable and cartridge razors for a straight razor. Why? Shaving your legs with a straight razor is guaranteed to be the closest, smoothest shave of your life. It’s also cheaper and more environmentally-friendly. With a straight razor, you won’t be contributing to the pileup of plastic razors in landfills across the world.
Ready to give it a try? If you’re new to classic wet shaving, pick up a straight razor, a puck of shaving soap, a shaving brush, a scuttle, and learn how to shave with a straight razor like a boss. You’ll also want to learn how to make proper lather and maintain your straight razor so it will last for generations. It’s not difficult to learn how to shave with a straight razor, but it does require patience and presence.
Body hair: shave it or leave it
Truth be told, all beauty standards – including body hair expectations for women – are arbitrary. You don’t need to subscribe to anyone else’s beauty standards to be unapologetically you. You don’t have to shave your legs, armpit hair, or any other part of your body. You can shave it or leave it – it’s up to you.
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