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How drunk were the men who sat around several (hundred? thousand?) years ago and said “Hey, Sparticus, will you take your knife out and run the blade over my face and neck and remove all the hair?”

And perhaps more interestingly, how high were the women who decided it would be a great idea to re-enact such measures on their legs … underarms … nether regions?

Let’s face it: we all have body hair. Some more than others. But over the years, I have observed some curious responses to body hair:

  • from my bff, circa 2nd grade: “My mom shaves the top of my toes for me… I have hairy toes.”
  • from an ex-boyfriend, early-30s bodybuilder: “I go over to my Mom’s once or twice a week and she waxes my back for me.”
  • from another ex-boyfriend, Italian heritage: “I never buy soap; I just use shampoo. When you’re this hairy all over, you can just shampoo!”
  • and of course, everyone has an opinion on cho-cha maintenance.

But in all seriousness, how did Gillette, Schick, and Norelco come into being? And who thought it a good idea to run a (literally) razor-sharp blade across very delicate and sensitive body parts? Okay, sure — the thigh can take it, but let’s be honest: a guy’s jugular is pretty vulnerable there!

And how did women’s shaving habits become de rigueur? Who set the naked-leg and hairless-arm pit standard of beauty? Unless you are Michael Phelps, there doesn’t really seem to be a functional aspect to this practice.

I would like to (jovially) pin this one on the French, but part of me thinks they are more comfortable than most with furry limbs.

So, as I allocate 5-minutes/leg in my next shower routine, I continue to ponder who suggested such practices for beauty, and simultaneously curse him as I nick my ankle for the 768th time.

~M

Retro re-post of the day: When Enough is Enough (or, Giving Too Much).

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One thought on “The Cutting Edge of Fashion (or, A Hair Affair)

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