Should women shave? Are they less attractive if they don’t? Are hairy legs or armpits or even private regions a dirty secret that needs to be gotten rid of? The main arguments are debated from two extremes. Some men and women feel that it is imperative that women shave, especially any facial, armpit and leg hair. On the other end, people are of the opinion that the “all natural” look is the only way to go. These two views tend to be more on the extreme ends of the spectrum, but both have valid reasons to back their position.
Those that believe women absolutely need to shave often reason that a woman with a “pelt of fur” visible to the public is unattractive. According to researchers clean shaven has been a sign of attractiveness even as early as the ancient Greeks. Ancient statues and pictures depict women as having no hair anywhere except on their head. Some have come to believe that a women’s natural state is suppose to be hairless anywhere except her head. Many argue that seeing a woman with a “bush” anywhere, but her head is “unsightly”. Another argument used is that shaving is just another necessary part of a women’s grooming process. The same as taking care of bad body odor or brushing their teeth. They cite that women should shave for hygiene reasons. They claim that the hair traps sweat and causes body odor, especially in the armpit area. Deodorant clumps in the hair, becoming virtually useless and is very unpleasant to look at. Removing extra body hair has become the “norm” for our society. Some people believe it to be an obligation to shave so that those around the woman are spared the sight of “unattractive” body hair.
The other extreme in this debate is mostly considered the “feminist” side of the argument. This is mainly due to “hardcore” feminists believing that women should not shave anything. That shaving is somehow “un-feminist”. There is more to the argument than just feminism though. One of the main reasons that people argue against the claim that women need to shave is due to cost and maintenance. In order for women to remain hairless, a lot of time and money needs to be invested. An average woman spends about seventy-two days of her life shaving. This is a lot for a “seemingly” tiny task. Money is another issue, especially with the decline in the economy these past couple of years. Another major contention point for non-shaving advocates is conformity. One of the reasons this viewpoint is considered a feminist argument is because one of the main ideas is that women and men are socialized by our patriarchal and misogynistic society to find clean shaven women beautiful, anything else would be “gross”. By not shaving women feel a sense of empowerment and a chance to “stick it to men”. They are shirking society’s expectations and doing as they please. Many women feel that the pressure on them to shave is oppressing and feel liberated when they say no.
Personally, shaving should be a choice. If a woman wants to shave, then that’s okay. If she doesn’t want to shave, that’s okay too. She is beautiful either way. It has only been in the last century that whether or not to shave has become such a big issue. If women shave because they are afraid that society will find them unattractive, this is false. It’s a matter of personal preference, some people feel shaven is beautiful, while others find unshaven beautiful. In the Vagina Monologues, it preaches to love your body anyway you like. Empowerment doesn’t only come from the power to not shave, but the power to shave as well. Shaving makes most women feel beautiful and sexy, however, if a woman feels the same way without shaving then more power to her. Shaving should be about personal preference and not a necessity or a must not. She should not do it because she feels obligated to shave, but because it is her choice to. If money is the issue that can be easily cleared up. There are many places that sell razors and other shaving products for cheap, such as www.razorsdirect.com. Some feel that shaving makes them feel fresher and cleaner, while others feel that the hair is a sign of a woman and wear it proudly. Shaving should not be an oppressive task because both men and women shave and groom themselves. More and more men are going to the same extremes as women to groom and look good. Shaving should be the same as wearing make-up, if a woman wants to she does it, if not then she doesn’t. It is that simple.
I’m interested in everyone’s opinion. This is a major debate topic that a surprising amount of people have a solid opinion on. Sway me to your way of thinking. xP