The stigma with women’s body hair


Zoe Viterbo

The definition of beauty doesn’t specify one’s opinion as beautiful or ugly.

Zoe Viterbo, Staff Writer

Body hair removal has been around ever since the Stone Age. Back then, it was seen as a form of protection against nature, but today, has become an unreasonable standard that women are being held to by society.

The History of Body Hair

Cavewomen and cavemen removed their body hair, not for presentation, but for safety. They shaved their arms, legs, and chest with sharp edged stones so that, during battle, their opponent would not have anything to grab.

Later in history, in Ancient Egypt, both men and women shaved in order to represent cleanliness and beauty. Similarly, the Roman Empire saw the lack of body hair as a sign of class and tidiness, however this standard was only applied to women.

Across these examples in history, body hair removal was a strategy turned into a fashion trend, but that’s not the case anymore. A woman with hairy legs or arms is perceived by society as unattractive and unhygienic, and yet these same standards are not applied to men, which is unfair.  

Benefits of Keeping Body Hair

Keeping your body hair might endanger you from getting grabbed in combat, but we aren’t living in the same world anymore. Additionally, body hair can actually have it’s benefits, so take some of these into consideration before you grab your razor.

  1. When shaving, it is known that we can knick our skin, and while these little cuts might seem rather harmless, they can be susceptible to infection if not treated properly. 
  2. People who have more body hair are less prone to sunburns and rashes. 
  3. Our eyebrows and eyelashes protect our eyes from dirt and bacteria. 
  4. Underarm hair reduces friction and absorbs sweat. This causes body temperature to regulate more.

In Terms of Today

In modern times when women are seen with body hair, strong opinions are present in the conversation. This becomes especially clear in the example of female celebrities, with some seeing the presence of body hair as a way to break away from beauty standards, while others find it gross.

To these people who tell women what to do with their hair, I say keeping or removing body hair is a personal preference, and therefore we should not be shamed by our choices. In the end, they are our bodies, and we should be able to choose what we do with them without worrying about what people will say.