I have an answer to all your epilatory woes. Stop shaving. Granted, this method of dealing with body hair is new and unorthodox

So, something that every woman didn\’t do before, what, 1950* or so, and many women haven\’t done since the late 1960s, what with hairy feminism and the hippies, is now new and unorthodox if you don\’t do it now?

The idea that pudendas should remind of pre-pubescent girls is new and odd but not shaving hardly is.

* I have no idea when female depilation really started but surely it wasn\’t entirely commonplace before the advent of safety razors….which does predate 1950 agreed.

21 thoughts on “I have an answer to all your epilatory woes. Stop shaving. Granted, this method of dealing with body hair is new and unorthodox”

  1. Depilation goes back into the mists of antiquity.

    Go (re-)read the Lysistrata — part of the women’s preparations to get themselves sexy for the returning men was plucking their pubes. And that was an idea the Greeks got the idea indirectly from the Egyptians.

  2. Armpit shaving goes back specifically about a century, to when clothing styles started to regularly reveal their armpits. General depilation (of men too) is commonplace throughout history. All those Roman oiling and scraping each other, you know. Smoothness is associated with bodily beauty since it makes one less “beastly” literally, so particularly women then. There has been some significant evolutionary pressure on general body hair reduction, and not being hairy all over thus seems to have a general beauty merit.

    Modern female deplilation has largely followed clothing styles; when it was finally revealed less than a century ago that women had in fact had legs all along, and didn’t simply glide on skirts, they started shaving their legs. Armpits, as discussed above, when armpits became regularly viewed. This is particularly true of the Puritan Anglosphere; cleanliness is next to Godliness, and hair has an association of harbouring filth and lice.

    There is an increasingly popular Feminst conspiracy theory doing the rounds at the moment that pubic shaving was started by the demands of men who want to fuck little girls, and promoted via pornography. Boot-faced harridan Gail Dines is a particular promoter at the moment. This is the normal Feminist nuttery that (a) sex is a patriarchal invention (b) all men are really paedophiles and (c) women are poor victims who have to do everything their oppress0r-male tells them to do. The latter being particularly ludicrous, since anyone who has actually been a man in a relationship with a woman knows precisely how short the shrift he would get by saying “I want you to look like this porn star”. The spare bed beckons…

    In fact, female styling and grroming- clothes, hairstyles, makeup, depilation, etc- are transmitted via female networking (informal conversation, copying, womens’ magazines etc) and women in general inherit these fashions from high profile alpha-females in the media. The “Brazilian” is named after a beauty parlour in swanky Manhattan that was run by Brazilian sisters; its clients were not pornstars, but socialites who, not wanting stray pokey hairs from their diminishing 1990s bikinis, went for ever more drastic depilation. It diffused into porn from mainstream modelling to glamour modelling to porn, due to crossover effects. It has nothing to do with “looking pre-pubescent” and everything to do with “neat and tidy”.

    Indeed, many men, including very much myself, wish women wouldn’t do it. Bush is sexy. But women don’t listen to men on these matters, so, fat chance of that. Sadly it has now become a matter of “good grooming”, so even men are coming to expect it, at least in Puritan America; much the same as expecting armpit shaving. The whole thing then becomes a positive feedback.

    Here’s a young and lovely Shere Hite showing what a woman ought to look like in the buff. Some things about the Good Old Days really were Good.

  3. I prefer hairless myself, but then I prefer hairless *on* myself so I can hardly be accused of double standards. Like all fashions, body hair has waxed (sic) and waned throughout history. So it has always been, so it will ever be.

  4. The ancient Egyptians used to wax it off.

    There’s a public health aspect too. Young Russian men generally shave armpits and pubes. I’ve been told this is due to the Red Army shaving conscripts to combat lice, so with time they all got used to it.

  5. I personally think there’s something particularly grotesque about a shaved male. There are some nudists calling themselves “smoothies” who shave off everything including of course head hair. They look like unfinished Poser models. Ghastly.

  6. So Much For Subtlety

    It is common in Middle Eastern culture for women to use pastes to remove all hair from their bodies. I always assumed this included public hair.

    So these critical women are clearly Islamophobic.

    I would think that there is a vaguely paedophilic vibe with the Brazilian (which would go with the whole Muhammed and Aisha thing) but it is more likely that it was just the leg waxers looking for a larger market. After all, how many leg waxes can you do? So the male market must be the next target because they have probably buffed every beaver that wants to be buffed. So keep an eye out. If heterosexual men get targeted, it is a vast capitalist conspiracy.

  7. Go (re-)read the Lysistrata — part of the women’s preparations to get themselves sexy for the returning men was plucking their pubes.

    Eh? What did women have to do with sex and returning Greek warriors?

  8. “I would think that there is a vaguely paedophilic vibe with the Brazilian”

    I think you’re getting your Brazilian confused with your Hollywood, there.

    Pedantry aside, I prefer things to be trim because, well, there’s a time for flossing.. and a time for not flossing.

  9. Ian B: I personally think there’s something particularly grotesque about a shaved male.

    Don’t worry, I’ll get you nice and drunk first. That should get rid of any pesky consent issues too.

  10. Downstairs shaving is part of Islam too. So these femonazi harridans are definitely islamofobic and should take their congnitive dissonance out back and give it a good talking to.

    ““Ten (actions) are part of the fitrah [natural inclinations of man]: trimming the moustache, letting the beard grow, using the siwaak (tooth-stick), rinsing the nose with water, clipping the nails, washing the finger joints, plucking the armpit hairs, shaving the pubes and washing oneself with water after relieving oneself.”

    Zakariyya said: Mus’ab said: And I forgot the tenth but it may have been rinsing the mouth with water.

    Narrated by Muslim, 261 “

  11. “Downstairs shaving is part of Islam too. So these femonazi harridans are definitely islamofobic”

    In fairness to them, most feminists I know do have a rather strong dislike for the treatment of women under Islam.. so they would take issue with religious pressure to shave a thing just as much as they take issue with social pressure to shave a thing.

    Lefty feminists are, in my experience, way more likely than lefty anything elses to be openly and loudly critical of Islam.

  12. most feminists I know do have a rather strong dislike for the treatment of women under Islam

    You haven’t read Naomi Wolf’s odes to the burka obviously; purdah actually fits rather well with feminism, as it shields women from male lusts. You have to take into account that Feminism is simply the extreme of the Victorian social purity movement; women whose rejection of sexuality led them to despise even marriage and procreative sexuality, as indeed Victoria herself did.

    Lefty feminists only object to Islamic attitudes to women because those women are still required to perform sexual and procreative services for their husbands. Other than that, the two strands of sexual puritanism are largely similar. The Feminists are simply more extreme than the Muslims, since their ideology was birthed (haha!) by ultra-religious women like Jane Addams and Josephine Butler.

    The primary thing here really is that both puritanisms- that of the Islamic world and that of Christendom- provide justification for miserable boot-faced old bags to restrict the behaviour of younger, more attractive competitors.

  13. Frances Coppola

    Ian B

    Erm, everything I have read about Victoria suggests that she had no objection to sex, just to the consequences of it. And your link rather supports that – her wish that her 17-year-old daughter should have time to enjoy life with her husband before becoming pregnant? She would no doubt have been delighted by the invention of reliable contraception.

  14. “You have to take into account that Feminism is simply the extreme of the Victorian social purity movement”

    I was talking about the feminisits I know. They drive me crazy at times, but they’re clearly way better than the ones you’ve encountered. They’re really into booze and drugs and men and fucking and all that stuff.

    I don’t know how widespread the sort you’re familiar with are, and I’ll just be thankful that I’ve managed to completely avoid them.

  15. Philip Scott Thomas

    @IanB

    I personally think there’s something particularly grotesque about a shaved male.

    Watch much telly lately?

    You know how you can tell a programme’s intended audience by the type of adverts it shows in between? Over the past few years there has been an increasing tendency in programmes aimed primarily at women (and gay men, it must be said) for men to take off their shirts. It’s surprising how many of those men have absolutely no chest hair. This is especially noticeable in American programmes.

    My completely untested, unproven hypothesis is that this is somehow related to some Anglo-Puritan ethos wherein body hair is somehow ‘dirty’ or ‘sinful’.

  16. So Much For Subtlety

    Philip Scott Thomas – “My completely untested, unproven hypothesis is that this is somehow related to some Anglo-Puritan ethos wherein body hair is somehow ‘dirty’ or ‘sinful’.”

    My theory would be that it is an objection to any display of secondary male sexual characteristics. Men should look like boys. Women should not even look like boys. That way men work more easily in corporations – they will take orders and obey them more if they feel (and other people feel) they are still children.

  17. Story has it that Ruskin was so perturbed on his wedding night that his bride had a muff that he never consummated the marriage.

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