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Female body hair - yes or no?

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uzma View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 02 2003 at 1:45pm
Why is hair on female bodies (eyebrows, lashes and scalp apart) so undesireable?

Is a women in her natural state repulsive? Or is she more desireable if she exaggerates her difference from males?

Why does the media/culture send strong messages for women (and increasingly men) to depilate body hair?

Is the cosmetics industry seeking to make us develop a negative body image in order to create a market for its products?

I have removed my body hair since puberty. Most of my girl friends in the U.K have done the same. However, I have family in Germany and Italy, who do not have the same depilation drives as we do.

I am thinking of letting my body hair grow this winter and see what kind of responses I get from people. Will I turn men off? Will I be subjected to ridicule?

What do you think about this issue if you are a woman what do you do? If you are a man are you disgusted by hair on womens bodies?
Why?
Uzi

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BaldJasmine View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaldJasmine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 02 2003 at 7:11pm
Hello Uzma. Great topic!

Of course there is a commercial aspect to women shaving their legs, or people removing hair elsewhere on their bodies. Someone is making money off of all of these shaving gels and creams, razors, hair removal products,etcetra.
I don't begrudge them advertising and selling their products however. They have that right in a free society.
Look at it this way; there are really only a few things humans need to survive; food, clothing,shelter, some medical care, we need some transportation, a few other things, that's about it.
Much of what people purchase we really don't need to exist.
Do people really need to buy tickets to go to concerts or sporting events? Do we need VCR's or DVD's. Do we need jewelry or candy or hair products or razors and shaving cream, or even for that matter much furniture? The answer is no.

But what if people quit spending money on the many things that we don't really need to survive. The economy would go under and unemployment would be over 50%. Society would be plunged into poverty. Then social chaos and violence would occur.
So of course the beauty industry, including getting women to shave their legs, is a bit of a scam, but since it creates jobs and keeps the economy going, I don't think it is a bad thing in and of itself.
I don't mean to be a mindless advocate of consumerism but I've lived in neighborhoods with high unemployment as a child, and it was not a good environment and there was far too much idleness, drug use and violence.


Having said all of that Uzma, to me some of it is custom or culture.
Why do women in some parts of Africa shave their heads but not their legs, where as those of us ladies in the western countries usually do just the opposite?
Why, until the 20th century did most men in the western world grow beards, and that is still true in some parts of the world, but now most men shave their face in the western world?
Cultural norms or fashion trends explain part of it I'm sure.

I actually like shaving my legs and underarms. To me it is not negative at all, just the opposite! It is to me a little ritual I do, the same with putting on my makeup and earrings. To me it is a little feminine ritual. I like shaving after I take a shower. The years I shaved my head I enjoyed that too. I like the ritual of shaving and the feel of smooth skin.
I don't mind men with beards if their beards aren't too harsh and bristly, but I don't like stubble on a man's face. I prefer that he have smooth skin.
Smooth skin is nice to the touch, whether on a man's face or a woman's legs.
It's a good feeling.
Am I brainwashed by commercial culture? I don't think so because I've thought about it and choose of my own free will to shave my legs.

Thanks for the topic Uzma.
.
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Brent E from San Francisco View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brent E from San Francisco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 02 2003 at 9:46pm
Uzma and Jasmine:
I agree, terrific topic.
I personally prefer a woman with shaved legs, not because I am attempting to promote the buying of those products that have to do with the removing of hair but because to me smooth legs on a woman is sexy and sensual.
I don't really care if I have been culturally conditioned to think like this or not.
I in fact like it. Smooth skin is very sexy and sensual on a woman.
I just happen to like smooth skin on a woman. Jasmine is right, it is nice to the touch.
I am shaving my face at the moment but I have worn a beard before and might again. If a woman wanted me to have a beard I would consider it. If she wanted me clean-shavin I would consider that. It really isn't that big a deal with me one way or the other. Most places of employment now-a-days accept men with beards if they are neatly trimmed. So I can really do it either way, as can most men.

Women too have the option of shaving or not shaving their legs. Women can allways wear long dresses too if they so desire.
I would never insist on a woman shaving her legs but I do admit I prefer a woman with shaved legs. I prefer a woman with short hair too but only if she wants to wear short hair. It has to be a mutual thing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote samira Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 03 2003 at 5:12am
Hello,
Interesting topic. My first reaction was to say well of course the media cultivates beauty 'ideals' to sell us stuff, but then i thought of the cultures that have long used methods like sugaring and threading in their own homes to remove hair. Surely noone profited from that? I think that woman have tradtionally removed body hair to emphasise the difference from men and thus their femininity. I can't explain the recent trend of male body hair removal, perhaps that is an example of media manipulation. Being in my early 20's I have grown up with the "remove hair!" message and I like the look of a man with his chest waxed, while my mother can't get her head around the phenomenom and thinks its 'unmanly'. The era of Elvis Presley suits conjures up images of men with chest hair sticking out of their open shirts, so perhaps it's just changes in fashions?
I religiously shaved my legs throughout my teens but now don't bother as my legs are always covered and I am not married, however I would not consider displaying unshaved legs in public and if I had a partner I imagine I would shave them again.
As for femininity, I think women have got many attributes that make them feminie, besides I can't imagine men thinking "oh I won't sleep with that woman as she doesn't shave her legs". But I think we are conditioned by the media and our societies into accepting certain definitions of femininity and masculinity and we then often seek them in a partner to show that our own sexuality is "normal" becasue we picked a partner meeting societal definitions of feminine or masculine. Most of us are far too desperate to conform, insecure and appearance-oriented and I think the media harnesses and exploits this to sell, sell sell, rather creating it.
Ciao.
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Jenna View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jenna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 03 2003 at 4:07pm
I've noticed the trend among men is also gradually becoming more hairless. It's common for a lot of men, especially younger, to shave their chests, and some even their legs or private areas. I find this interesting, because men aren't pressured by the media to be hairless and smooth. My boyfriend likes to shave his chest even though he knows I prefer chest hair. Perhaps there are personal desires that have nothing to do with the media or popular culture, and I wonder what the explanation for this would be.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whitney_brett Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 03 2003 at 5:11pm
I personally shave all body hair just because I don't like the feeling of it. Plus I feel cleaner when I have no body hair, as smells don't get caught in the hairs. I have noticed that men are gravitating towards this too. I guess it's just a personal thing!
"Honey, I've always said if your genitals are on the outside, you're hiding something on the inside!" ~ Karen Walker ...~*Whitney*~...
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BaldJasmine View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaldJasmine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 03 2003 at 5:24pm
That's a good question Jenna, why are the men having their chest hair and even other body hair removed, since most women are not demanding it of men or even asking them nicely to do it. (I would assume, I never have asked a man I've been with to do that anyway)

Don't you think part of it is that men like to go to these fancy salons where they give them body waxes and get pampered by pretty women who do this for them. I mean we all like to go to the salon. (I love going to a salon, getting my hair cut, my nails done and then a relaxing massage, not that I have all of that done all of the time).
So maybe some of it is just a little pampering for papa!

I believe though that smooth skin can be so nice, maybe that's part of it. It's nice to touch. I don't need to have a man have his chest hair removed, I like some chest hair on a guy, but I can see how some women might like their man smooth, just like some men love us ladies smooth.

I like a man to have a smooth clean shavin face. A man should either have a nice beard (not too bristly) or be clean shavin, one or the other. I hate the in between stubble stage when a man doesn't have a beard but hasn't shaved for a few days. Not nice to the touch!
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BaldJasmine View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BaldJasmine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 03 2003 at 5:26pm
I've shaved all of my body before too Whitney but I don't shave my private area now. Some guys like a woman to do that though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote demodoll Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2003 at 11:37am
I think there is definitely a trend toward hairlessness, even among men. I find this puzzling coming from a generation that measured masculinity by how hairy a guy's chest was. My daughter even shaves her arms and her boyfriend did too. I found this disconcerting but then I saw a show in MTV talking about removing body hair and how rock stars and models were doing it and it showed guys getting everything waxed away so maybe that is where it is coming from. There is a lot of talk about Brazilian waxes for women and it seems that everyone expects some kind of "grooming" down there. I am not sure how healthy that is, I mean we were given that hair for some reason and I find that ingrown hairs can be a big problem in bathing suit season. It seems it isn't just for wearing bathing suits anymore though. I have always shaved legs and armpits and will continue to do so as long as I am physically able just because that is what I was conditioned to do. A wax or two during bathing suit season and that about does it for me. I guess it is all personal preference though. As long as no one gets hurt get rid of any hair that makes you uncomfortable.
"It is better to look marvelous than to feel marvelous" Billy Crystal
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KathyAnn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KathyAnn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2003 at 8:55pm
*I haven't shaved my armpits or legs for the past several years. I quit shaving my armpits first, then eventually quit shaving my legs.
It's not a problem at work because I usually wear long dresses or pantsuits.


The thing is though I prefer that the woman that I'm with shave her legs and underarms, which Tina in fact does.
It's much more important to Tina to be a feminine woman than it is to me. Considering the fact that in America part of being considered feminine is to have smooth shaved legs and armpits, it's understandable why she shaves on a regular basis.
*I'm not complaining about it. I'm glad she does.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kuroneko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2003 at 6:11am
I don't bother shaving my legs or underarms or anything, but I don't wear skirts, shorts, tank tops, or anything that would necessitate shaving. If I wanted to wear something like that, I would shave, though-- it looks pretty gross when anyone, male or female, wears tank tops or shorts or whatever with all the hair showing!
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uzma View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uzma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 06 2003 at 5:23pm
Thanks for your insightful responses everyone.

Kuroneke wrote:
it looks pretty gross when anyone, male or female, wears tank tops or shorts or whatever with all the hair showing!

Ha ha well thats exactly what I intend to do. Im on a serious fitness-kick at the moment and intend to let my body hair grow out until a grand un-veiling in shorts and tank next summer.
I have unproportionally large breasts and a womanly face (Im told), so all this stuff about femininity = depilated will be suitably challenged.
Itll probably be ugly to 99.9% of the population but it will be me as the woman Nature made me.

KathyAnn the m/f (butch-femme? Or is that too extreme to describe you and Tina?) role-playing aspects of your relationship are fascinating to me.

Obviously its a personal thing that you may not want to discuss on a public forum, but I do wonder (a) how far you take it physically and behaviourally (b) how it impacts on you both personally in terms of stereotypical modelling vs being yourselves.

I have discussed this kind of thing previously within the bdsm community, so perhaps I will take this to a specifically gay internet board.

Thanks to you all for your comments.
Uzi

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote allie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2003 at 4:43pm
I hate body hair. I don't know why but it just feels gross. I think that if most of us women really didn't want to shave/depilate/wax/tweeze most of our hair off then we wouldn't. There's something about feeling smooth and soft that's distinctly feminine.
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KathyAnn View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KathyAnn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2003 at 8:50pm
Well since you asked Uzma, I'll explain it the best I can in a few paragraphs.

* you're right Uzma, it's not as simple as "Butch/Femme", both Tina and I are more complex than that ,
...but there is a Butch/Femme aspect to it, I can't deny that.
*I'm taller and bigger boned than Tina.
I am athletic, work out often, and I'm into sports; playing and watching sports.
I have a trim and somewhat muscular and toned body. More than most women.
Tina is short and petite.
I work full time, I'm the major breadwinner.
Tina works part time.
I have never been pregnant and have no desire to be.
Tina has had one child already and is pregnant with another.
*If you saw me at work you would never guess I'm a lesbian. I dress as other women do. Usually around the house too.
But we sometimes go out to g/l/b clubs and I dress in men's clothing. I often wear men's underwear to bed.
You couldn't pay Tina to wear any piece of a man's clothing. She dresses only in female clothing. She is very much a "Femme", a girly-girl, a very feminine woman.
I was a bit of a tomboy as a kid and really looked up to and in many ways tried to emulate my oldest brother. Tina was into barbie dolls, and everything girly, a fashion girl. She emulated her older sister.
So in all of those ways, yes I'm the Butch, she's the Femme.

*But in terms of our personalities, she can be just as aggressive as I am.
She can't be very argumentative and hot tempered.
She can, once in a while not too often thank goodness, be very demanding.
She doesn't back down from a fight, she can be feisty, stubborn, and obstinate. Maybe you can see a little of that here, the way she has argued and fought with some of the people in the chats here.
In bed sometimes she is the assertive one, sometimes I am.

So you see, it's not that simple as me being the dominant "butch" and Tina being the submissive "femme". Not at all.

*I hope that explains at least a little of it Uzma.
Every lesbian couple is different than another one I'm sure. Some really get into the "Butch/Femme" thing, others get into it somewhat like Tina and I do,
but I have met lesbian couples where it is impossible to discern who is "Butch" and who is the "Femme" in the relationship.
There are no hard and fast rules to it, but each hetrosexual couple I'm sure is unique as well.

You mentioned that you have chatted on the bondage and S/M boards before.
Tina and I aren't into that at all really.
That world is totally alien to me, like people from another planet. I'm just not into any of that. Tina did a little of that stuff, nothing too heavy I understand, during her Escort days but she really isn't into that stuff either.
If you are into it Uzma I don't judge you. I don't judge what other consenting adults do, as long as it's consenting and they really don't hurt each other too badly.
But really, I don't know much about that world.
I must say I'm not that interested in it.

If you want to more more detail about our relationship Uzma or more about the sexual nature of it, please feel free to write me on my BMAIL.

Thanks for your interest Uzma.
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uzma View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uzma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2003 at 6:43am
KathyAnn

I really appreciate your openness. Thanks for taking the time and trouble to respond to my query.

I have 4 gay friends - all male - and they are heavily into the bdsm lifestyle, so I know a fair bit about that scene from the outside in.
I have flirted a bit with the non-scene stuff in a past relationship. Had to stop it because it tapped into a very dark place that interfered with the love.

I am interested in the psychology of relationships. How people organise themselves within a couple and how they perceive their "role" as individuals within a two-some.

Humans are complex and creative. Each person, each couple develops their own pattern of interaction and intimacy.
Personally, I have only had two serious relationships in the past and both times there has been a power struggle that over-rode any gender-differentiated roles.

Anyway, I just want to thank you for sharing.

It's been great conversing with you.

Uzi

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KathyAnn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 08 2003 at 9:52pm
You are very welcome Uzma.
I'm happy to share with a quality person like you.
It's so nice chatting with you too.
Take care.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Young L da Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 16 2004 at 11:36pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kengibson2001 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 29 2004 at 7:55pm
I''m a guy who took all the hair off of his legs 4 weeks ago to see what it feels like to have smooth legs. Hey don''t knock it if you haven''t tried it. Since then I haven not allowed myself to go within 3 days of not shaving my legs I loved the smoothness feel on my legs as I jump into my pants after a shower. Whenever I go in public with shorts the females go up to me and ask If I shaved my legs so it is an attention thing too.
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lol
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote joec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 11 2004 at 10:46pm
Interesting question I dont think the cosmetics industry is behind it though.Industry always acts on the demand of the consumer,then they market the prouduct,and other suppliers then compete for market shares.
As for women removing hair or triming hair on their lower parts,I want to ansewer that without being crude.
I work in an all male shop,men between the ages of 21 to 60 years of age.When this subject actually came up.The men beetween 20 to 30 were talking about how they made sure that their wives trimed or in some cases shaved that area.
The men 35 and over were absoultely astonished!
The younger men were astonished to find out that the older men did not require this,and laughed at this notion.
We then figured out the ansewer wich was Playboy magazine.It's true,and the reason was that a young man will always see a picture of one before he ever sees a real one.Men who where boys in the 1940s to the 1970s saw centerfolds with women all natural in the lower reigions.Men after that period saw the less natural version,and assumed it was natural so when they finally got their 1st peek they may have been a little shocked to find a big crop.
Whats funny is that when the older men heard the younger men talking,the older men thought they had an entire generation of Pediphiles on their hands.
Anyway thats how I see it.
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