Let’s get one thing straight; a smooth body with hair confined to a long silky mane at the top of head and a well placed curly triangle at the top of the vulva is not something innate. A more or less hairless body is a culturally created ideal that takes a lot of work to keep. Hair is naturally growing on all parts of the human body except for our palms and soles of the feet. From our head to toes we grow hair - upper lip, armpits, nipples, thighs, and whatever other part of the body you can think of. And even though body hair might seem unnecessary, it does serve a purpose. Hair helps us keep warm or cool down and it keeps dirt at bay. Different parts of the body come with different types of hair in texture, colour and length. And just like the hair at the top pubic hair can be curly, straight, coarse, smooth, full or more sparse. How much hair we grow and the ooks of it can vary in different phases of life, and is determined by both the hormonal balance and our genes.
So, we have established that hair is all natural and serves a function. But since the beginning of, well, the beginning, womxn have gone to all kinds of lengths to style and remove body hair. For aesthetic reasons and live up to changing ideals of femininity. Ancient Egyptian womxn shaved their heads and used a simple form of sugaring for intimate hair removal. During the renaissance a smooth body looking like Venus de Milo was the ideal also for more practical reasons too: shaving pubic hair meant getting rid of lice and crabs, and some even used a wig down there. Leg shaving became increasingly popular during WWII when shortages of nylon and silk meant that womxn showed bare legs with a painted black line imitating stockings. And we all know how second wave feminism sparked a fashion of leaving the armpits all au naturel.
In the early 1900s the safety razor was introduced and marketed towards womxn as a new, accessible and easy way to remove hair - it also introduced advertisements that displayed “the perfect womxn” as someone pretty much hairless and silky smooth. But one thing these ads forget to mention is the often extensive use of perfume and endocrine disruptors in foams, razor heads, wax, creams, and all kinds of hair removal products. And not to forget; a lot of the razors are made for single-use and in plastic.
We believe that shaving, plucking, waxing, depilating or whatever method you use should be done carefully and gently using products that do not mess with your body. And whether you remove hair or go au naturelle is entirely up to you. No one should dictate your hair style. But if you choose to shave, do it gently for yourself and the planet.
By Augusta Scheving