- Gender and Relationships
Why Do Women Shave?
To Shave or Not To Shave...Ladies, that is the question
Inspired by a recent Hub question, I found the need to investigate a little further into the “hair removal phenomenon”. Why do we shave, what are we shaving, with what do we shave with and how often are we doing it? Being a female, shaving is absolutely routine, necessary part of life. I must admit it gets tedious and I wish hair would just go away and stay away. Why do we have to give up so much of our time to the art of hair removal? I figured if I shave my legs every other day at 10 minutes each session another 8 minutes for the other areas of the body; underarms and below the waist, and pluck my eyebrows or wax them every week at 5 minutes per setting; then I have given up at least an hour to just removing unwanted hair in my week, that’s at least 4 hours a month and a good 48 hours a year. Maybe that doesn’t seem like much but sometimes shaving seems like it consumes two days in one sitting. Shaving is obviously not the only part of our regular grooming process. There is bathing itself, tending to hairdos, applying makeup, finding an outfit, painting our nails; the list is never ending. Why are we doing this?
The art of shaving
Imagine if women didn’t shave their legs, I don’t mean skipping a day or two, I mean simply didn’t shave? We would look like animals and being that we have adopted this regimen as normal, it is something we could never turn back from. Obviously I like the way I feel when my body is smooth; who likes a prickly feeling? Yet, it’s tedious and even after finding that uncomfortable position in the shower where the soap or shaving cream is not being washed away and we are not being pelted in the face by water and give up a good 10 minutes to shaving, we will probably, more than likely have missed a spot. A spot of course that we will not notice until we are away from home where a razor is no longer accessible. Ladies you know what I’m talking about; you’re out in public and you look down to see the sun beaming a ray directly on that one hair or miniature patch that we missed. We have a minor panic attack and wonder if we can make it through the situation without bolting. Whatever is a girl to do; I’ve missed a spot, oh no, I’m so embarrassed, no one look at me, I’m hideous!
Shaving is not fun, don't even lie
That’s just the hell of leg shaving and I’m not even talking about underarms and bikini lines or the whole “thing” if you go that route; that’s an entirely different feat. If you’re anything like me you have to spend 10 minutes prepping before you can even get into the shower. I take my handy dandy electric/battery operated shaver and take care of most of the job with my sacred place. If I’m lucky and it’s a good day I will not snag myself in the process, that’s always enjoyable. Then in the shower I usually tend to the actually bikini line area and the underarms. Sure, there are methods to shaving, using warm water to open the pores and exfoliating to ensure the dead skin is out of the way, but I don’t care, I still end up with razor burn somewhere or another, quite frequently, especially when in a hurry. I’ve had flaming underarms, on more than one occasion, usually the result of a rushed shave job.
So many options...
Yes, I like these better than women's shavers; those are good for hitting legs or bikini area on a rushed day. These get the Big Jobs done!
Next quandary; what is it exactly that we’re supposed to be shaving? Is it a personal choice, is it a matter of societal norms, or is it up to our partner’s preference? At what age do we start shaving; what is too young and by what age should we be most definitely shaving by? Is there such a thing as too old to shave?
Do we shave above the knees; what does it say about us if we do, what does it say about us if we don't? Do we shave the outskirts of our bikini or behind them and what does that say about us? Is all this hair removal a "new-age" thing?
Legs: To the Knees or Past the Knees?
Myself I have been shaving from my ankles to arse since the first day I ever shaved. The first day I ever shaved; sometime after leaving the 5th grade and prior to entering the 6th grade. At that time we were just entering the 90’s and I knew that shaving was something that little kids didn’t do. I was terrified to ask my mother if it was okay for me to start shaving, but when my best friend shaved for the first time (due to her mother telling her it was time; her blonde hairs were sticking out through her black tights), that was it for me. I hid shaving from my parents; I was terrified that they would think I was too young and I didn’t have their official permission. I remember being up at our family camp and finding a razor left behind by another woman and actually saw that as my opportunity, yeah I know, what the heck was I thinking? What makes it even worse; I wasn’t aware of any shaving techniques and so I just ran the razor up my leg like I was on some kind of a mission and took off most of the skin on my left shin; a faint little reminder remains on my leg today, almost 20 years later. I concocted a story with my girlfriend that we were to tell my parents, upon inquiring about my bleeding shin, that it was the result of my fingernail gouging my leg as I pulled my dry sock up my wet leg, hey, they bought it. Anyway, I was simply under the impression that women shave all the way up and so that was what I did and put no thought into the matter. That is until about 10 years later my sister-in-law shared with me that she doesn’t shave above the knee and I was dumbfounded. I was thinking; “why on earth not?” I’ll tell you what; from that day on I never stopped looking at her thighs, and yes, I saw the hair. She was a few years older than me and her mother taught her that women aren’t supposed to shave above the knee, so she just never did.
Then there’s the when?
Okay, so as I mentioned before I shave every other day, that’s usually with a good razor, but sometimes I do shave daily. I live in Upstate New York, which means I’m wearing pants for at least 6 months out of the year. Uh why do I have to have smooth legs under my pants? I’ll tell you why, because I’m not a Nun! Sure, I like the feel of a smooth leg, but if I lived in a Convent I’m sure I wouldn’t find it necessary to keep my legs the way I would when frequenting the beach regularly. It is the man, what man wants to feel hair on a lady’s leg? Here’s the catch; they always want to roll around 28 hours after we’ve shaved, at least mine seems to. The next few hours after a shower I feel unstoppable, I’ve got the skin of a newborn baby; you won’t find a hair anywhere. I think to myself, “now is the time, get it while the getting’s good”. Of course not, it seems without fail he comes sniffin’ around when I’m starting to enter that prickle phase and no longer feel sexy. So what’s the big deal? I’ll tell you what the big deal is; we ladies will spend an insurmountable amount of time, pre-shaving, shaving, post shaving, going over every inch, in the event that our man will be looking for us, all the to-do for nothing? If I knew that I’d be snowed in, wearing pants and not rolling around the sheets for a couple of days, I might just skip the shaving routine once in a great while, but nooo, like good soldiers we must always be prepared.