Monday, May 29, 2006

The Summer Shave

At a party last summer, a discussion began about leg hair – pro or con. Specifically, the topic was whether one could go natural and still wear a skirt in the workplace. Miss Bender sits up straighter when sentences end with “in the workplace.” The salon reached no conclusions – no good salon will – but we did agree that if your workplace can absorb it, don’t change yourself just for them, that women who go natural are rarely the same women who wear business suits, but one should always be mindful that one’s visiting client may be distracted.

I went to college with a German woman who wore white stockings. I don’t remember a single thing I learned in the class we shared.

I am against it myself, but I have a general aversion to body hair on anyone.

It’s a little too Lower Primate for my tastes; I like the Space Age atom-o sort of hairless human with jumpsuit and moon boots

There can be no health reason for needing to shave, and it does stop growing at a certain point – these are the arguments for the defense made by the women in our discussion. I don’t argue that with them. I would not be surprised at all to discover this was one more thing invented by advertising, like diamond engagement rings and a woman’s right to smoke.

Count on the good people at The Straight Dope to track down the American introduction to smooth underarms in 1915, when Harper’s Bazaar showed a smooth model with her arms over her head. Flapper alert. Here comes the Modern Age.

By 1922, Sears had ladies’ razors in its catalog. The social requirement of leg hair removal seems to have come later for American women, but Nair appeared as early as 1940. You can’t get butter or sugar, but you can get Nair. Deeper research may uncover that this foul-smelling nonsense is run off from manufacturing jet planes, and riveters found that when it splashed on them, their hair fell off. In fact, let’s just start telling that story as if it is true. Rosie got short-shorts.

The Fab Five are constantly berating their Straight Guy for shaving against the grain. I do not know of a woman who shaves with the grain. Firstly, it is physically awkward to do so (and imagine the freak look of hair that grew up towards your knee. Yeesh). Secondly, the leg is so pliant that the skin just yields under it, and all you do by going down your leg is comb it.

I can not comment on waxing. I have never waxed. My observaton is that it hurts like holy hell and itches while it grows back. Pass, thanks. When they come up with a one-time ever, painless, doesn’t smell, cheaper than a razor method, I will bathe in it.

On the other hand, maybe if we spent more time in a circle picking things off of each other, we’d have a more cohesive troop.


  1. You left out the most important aspect of shaving - cutting yourself with a new razor!! And how can you not use a new razor every time if you don't want to leave some behind! One can always hope for just enough hypothyroidism to slow down the growth to a manageable level (or old age, whichever comes first!)


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