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To Wax . . . Or Not To Wax? June 14, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Mindfulness, Nature, People.

I just read a fascinating article on body hair . . .

And how we are doing more and more to have less and less.

But the article addresses the larger issue of how we conform to the norm even when what is considered “normal” is not:

That we have to do more work to create “normalcy” or “nature” is obvious. If we are to banish hair from our bodies, we need more shaving, plucking, waxing and lasering. (Meanwhile, when it comes to our heads, our hair must be abundant, and we dye, style, weave, extend and implant in our quest for luscious locks.) This level of “de-fluffing” is demanding, constant, repeated almost daily. Yet that it is demanding — and just how demanding it is — is little recognized. Instead, it is normalized.

As the hairless body becomes the only acceptable body, a dramatic shift happens. De-fluffing stops being a beauty practice, and becomes redefined as a hygiene practice, as part of so-called “routine” maintenance. Hair removal becomes something we have to do, a requirement. It is not an option to refuse — like teeth-cleaning, but without any of the health benefits. Beauty practices are indulgent and optional; hygiene practices are necessary and required. You don’t have to do a beauty practice; you do have to do something that is required to meet minimum standards, just to be normal. Once the shift to routine is complete, the fact that this is a demanding beauty practice becomes invisible.

To read more:  Body Hair is Natural.  Society Thinking Otherwise is Dangerous.

To conform to the norm, or not?  THAT is the question!

Aah . . . that’s better!



1. Tippy Gnu - June 14, 2018

They say European women don’t shave. I don’t know if that’s really true, but I also don’t understand why women on our continent shave. A hairy woman’s leg doesn’t bother me. I won’t admit that I like it because then I’d just look like a weirdo. Wait, did I just admit to something?

As a man, I’ve only shaved when my employer required it. And then very grudgingly, with suspicious stubble encroaching at the boundaries of the policy limit. But I mostly was able to avoid those employers. Hirsute suits me fine. Besides, I’m lazy and don’t like to spend all my time chasing whiskers.

nrhatch - June 14, 2018

Beards and mustaches may be acceptable exceptions to our quest for hairlessness.

I cracked up when I read about the rising popularity of the “back, sack and crack” waxing technique for men.

I take it you haven’t signed up for that degree of “whisker” removal.

Tippy Gnu - June 14, 2018

No I haven’t. Fortunately, my wife doesn’t want my nether regions to look like a plucked chicken.

nrhatch - June 14, 2018

Smart! Plucked chickens are terribly unattractive.

2. Jill Weatherholt - June 14, 2018

Confession… I rarely shave my legs during the winter months.🐑

nrhatch - June 14, 2018

Smart! After reading this article, I may decide to become a non-conformist and shave only when/if my “hairiness” offends me.

Jill Weatherholt - June 14, 2018

Now the underarms…well, I can’t skip on those. 🙂

nrhatch - June 14, 2018

I agree ~ I feel better bare under there. 😀

3. Ally Bean - June 14, 2018

I confess to the same thing as Jill. I remember when I was in high school and seeing a dermatologist for acne, he remarked that he was so surprised that girls my age were shaving their legs above the knee. He saw no point to it! Cannot even imagine what he’d think of today’s obsession with hairlessness.

nrhatch - June 14, 2018

He’d imagine . . . “MAD, they are all MAD.” 😀

4. Val Boyko - June 14, 2018

I conform to summer exposure! If I was in Florida I think I would embrace the new normalcy more 😎

nrhatch - June 14, 2018

Fortunately, I only spend about 5 minutes a day on my beauty regime . . . not counting my beauty sleep of course. 😀

Val Boyko - June 14, 2018


nrhatch - June 14, 2018

And speaking of beauty sleep ~> I’m off to the land of Nod.

5. Rainee - June 15, 2018

Think of all the money we would save!

nrhatch - June 15, 2018

And time.
And time is money. 😀

6. JOriginal Muse - June 15, 2018

Now here’s a topic I can let my hair down for… As an Italian woman, I’ve basically inherited the Hair Everywhere Gene. In my early teens, all it took was some teasing from a boyfriend about my dark “mustache,” and that was when I declared war on all unwanted body hair… Starting with bleaching, then Nair, then waxing, I made sure I made my facial, arm and leg hair become less obvious to potential mates. However, all of the methods I used came with a price… time-consuming pain, rashes, raw skin, etc…

Fast forward to 1995, I was given my very first epilator. Once I got past the initial shock of 20 little rotating tweezers pulling out every last follicle of unwanted body hair, I decided this was my one must-have for my weekly grooming routine and for the effect I really wanted… Silky soft, smooth skin and low maintenance. Yep, you read that right. Ever since 1995, I’ve upgraded my epilators about five times to the one I use now, which I absolutely love.

It takes about a week to two weeks for the hair to grow back. When the hair does, it’s finer than before, not stubbly like you get from razors. And there are no toxic side-effects like from bleach or other chemicals. So, whether or not this is “normal,” I still like the look and feel of less facial and body hair, and the added hygiene I feel I have from removing unwanted Hair Everywhere… even where the sun don’t shine 😉

Joanne Sisco - June 15, 2018

Amen. I’m in the same boat as you. As a pre-teen sprouting dark hair everywhere, it didn’t take long before the ribbing of “friends” resulted in drastic action. As a result, it became a lifelong practice.

nrhatch - June 15, 2018

It sounds like you found the perfect solution, Jo, Like you, I like the feel of no hair under my arms and smooth lower legs so I doubt I’ll stop shaving any time soon. With more hair or darker hair, I might be tempted to upgrade to an epilator.

The guy who wrote the article is probably concerned about men having to match women in the maintenance department. 😀

nrhatch - June 15, 2018

@Joanne S. ~> Here’s to suiting our own sense and sensibilities. We need to decide how we want to live . . . even if the initial motivation was to avoid ribbing from “friends.” 😀

7. da-AL - June 15, 2018


nrhatch - June 15, 2018

Sometimes “good enough” is better than “perfection.”

da-AL - June 17, 2018


8. roughwighting - June 16, 2018

ACK – the norm gets more and more ridiculous, does it not? Now it seems to be the “norm” to wear ten tattoos, not one; to have three eyebrow rings, not none; to puff up lips with some weird solution, instead of smiling with your own mouth. ACK!

nrhatch - June 16, 2018

YES! Those puffer-fish LIPS = ACK!!! They look like Salvadore Dali got asked for input. 😀

roughwighting - June 17, 2018


9. anotherday2paradise - June 19, 2018

Yes, I’m an epilator gal. It’s so quick, safe and painless. I have bare legs almost all year round, living in Florida. I have to confess that it’s always a bit of a shock to glimpse a hairy female armpit. 😅

nrhatch - June 19, 2018

Yes! It’s a “did I just see what I thought I saw?” moment. 😀

anotherday2paradise - June 20, 2018

I remember once seeing a photo of Julia Roberts raising her arm. The paparazzi don’t miss a trick. 😅

nrhatch - June 20, 2018

No they don’t ~> nosy parkers!

10. Gibber - August 23, 2018

I fully agree and it’s frustrating.

nrhatch - August 23, 2018

Here’s to suiting our own sense and sensibilities ~> from the size of our house, to the clothes we wear, to the cut of our gib (or gibber).

Gibber - August 23, 2018


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