The History of Why Women Shave Their Body Hair

Ancient Egyptians gave us the pyramids, but they also started a trend in the midst of all that massive stone block-stacking: completely hairless women for aesthetic reasons only, from the tops of their heads to the tips of their toes and all points in between.

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The ‘aesthetic’ label is important here, since there are theories that our ancient caveman and woman ancestors did what they could to get rid of their body hair, but that was for a legitimate reason: it was one less thing for an enemy to grab them by.

Double the sales overnight

We know that money talks. In this particular case, women with hairy legs or armpits could take a walk. In more modern times, it was razor manufacturer Gillette that realized selling their products to women could double their sales overnight.

That’s when the marketing departments stepped in, and by the early 1900s women were being told that hair in certain places on their body made them undesirable and unappealing. The rest, as we now know, is hair-free history.

Women have been victimized by nonsensical social standards for centuries. Through strategic marketing strategies, young girls are fed unrealistic images of what defines beauty.

Way, way, back in the day

In the early 90’s women sought out to be severely thin; often starving themselves in the process. Now, modern women spend thousands of dollars on plastic surgery annually to create a curvy, more robust appearance.

What’s the connecting factor between these two extremes? Advertising. Dating back to 3,000 B.C. ancient Egyptians depicted the ideal standard of beauty through primitive paintings grazing the now, ruined walls.

European artists showcased women with pale skin, dainty features, and round stomachs as model figures. Although there weren’t carefully crafted advertising agencies like there is today, women were still expected to uphold a certain standard of beauty.

Shame on you, shame on us all

One of the most underrated, yet infinitely debatable beauty trend amongst women is shaving. Some women can’t go a day without it while others haven’t shaved in a year. Society places great emphasis on making women feel ashamed when those first signs of stubble appear.

Shaving of the legs is generally reserved for first dates and important events. In fact, certain brides will require their bridesmaids to get full body waxes prior to the wedding date. Although these societal standards may seem normal, the deeper message behind hair removal in women is quite oppressive.