The Very Strange and Surprising Reason Women Began Shaving Their Armpits!

image via –

Ok, so this is not a big statement to get women to stop shaving or waxing.  That is a completely personal choice, but the point of the video you are about to watch below, opens up a discussion and historical perspective on attitudes towards women’s body hair.  I found it particularly interesting since I have my own esthetic reactions to women with long underarm hair.

Shaving underarm hair wasn’t even a notion at the turn of the 20th century.  For that matter women having their God-given leg hair was just as normal.  However, when the fashion changed for women to wear sleeveless dresses, the media, which dictates what is acceptable, began promoting ads that were shaming of underarm hair.

An example of an early ad that created shame around armpit hair said: “The fastidious woman today must have immaculate armpits if she is to be unembarrassed.”  It sounds shocking to hear such rhetoric now, but if you really think about it, this was just the first of a long line of fashion marketing that shamed women about their natural state of being.

It seems somewhat obvious that women have body hair in many of the same places as men, because nature meant for it to be there for adaptive reasons.  I think it can be said that we all hate the shaving or waxing process, yet we succumb to the social pressure to do so.

We actually feel gross when we are hair-laden and sexy when it’s gone, because that is the social norm that we have completely internalized. It takes a lot of courage to counter the social norms for what makes a woman feel attractive and sexy.  Going against the social norms is really hard to do, but if you are a woman who hates the hairless social norm, it can really be empowering to do your own thing.

There will always be societal fashion and beauty standards that are idealized; following this ideal or not should allow for freedom of expression.  The more people show individuality, the greater will be the spectrum of acceptability, which will promote healthier self-esteem and body image.

This video is really enlightening about the evolution of how shaving armpits became “mandatory”.  It highlights current celebrities who are brave enough to counter the social hairless norm “loud and proud”.  I hope you enjoy watching the following footage and that it will open up a consciousness about the choices we make as women.

It has given me food for thought, but I don’t think I’m quite ready to grow my underarm hair just yet!  What do you think?

Please SHARE This With Your Friends and Family