Fifth Period Lunch

Trading carrots for chocolate pudding since 2012

Hairy History of Hair

(By CaffeineFiend)

I’m going to take this in a direction that you guys might not be ready for.

I cut myself.

No, not like that. Shaving.

For the third consecutive time, I somehow managed to slice my knee open this morning during my shower.

Stop picturing me in the shower.


Anyway, there was blood. I was pissed. No bueno.

And I know it’s my own fault for reenacting “Fast Five” in my haste to get out the door — but that’s beside the point.

My near amputation got me thinking, “Why do we shave our legs? Why can women in Europe get away with going all ‘au naturel’ and crap?”

And who’s the genius who decided it’s actually a good idea to drag a sharp object up your shin? — Repeatedly.

I mean seriously, people.

[NOTE: I find it beyond strange when dudes opt for the hairless arm/leg look. Natural is much better. Just sayin’. I don’t care if swimmers/bikers or whatever random whackadoo says it makes them more aerodynamic — it’s weird. All I ask is that you keep your mane of back hair at bay. ’Cuz that’s gross.]

Consider this my examination of the origins/cultural norms surrounded leg shaving and exactly why we do what we do for you guys.

As it turns out, innocent creatures that we women are and highly susceptible to good advertising, it started with a heck of a marketing campaign — the assault on armpit hair! — around 1915.

Thanks to a May issue of Harper’s Bazaar (where the snobs led, others will follow), we were somehow convinced that the old way of extra follicles was no longer chic nor feminine.

According to an article on Askville — yes, I did hardcore research for y’all on this — the first ad in the magazine was a waist-up photo of a chick in a slip/toga thingy with her arms up over her head and — drumroll, please — NO PIT HAIR. Then it said something along the lines of “Summer Dress and Modern Dancing combine to make necessary the removal of objectionable hair.”

Ah. “Objectionable.” That’s what we’re calling it now.

Well, with all the catch-up shaving they had to do and the fact that the average skirt had enough material to house the Russian circus, that kept ‘em busy for a while.

Enter WWII and Betty Grable and the legs that go forever.

From there on out, according to Askville, “Showing off one’s legs became a patriotic act.” Throw in “shorter skirts and sheer stockings, which looked dorky with leg hair beneath, made the anti-hair pitch an easy sell.”

And there you have the hairy history of leg hair … or at least what I read before my attention span went — “Oh, look! Squirrel … ”

About Caffeine Fiend

Smitten wife. New mom. Former reporter. Coffee junkie. Shutterbug. Foodie. Guitarist. Roadtrip enthusiast. Adventure seeker.

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