why do we shave our legs?

by Emily on March 30, 2012

I’m going to start a new series on this blog called “when I become ruler of the universe” that explains how I would change things I perceive as silly if, in fact, I ruled the known universe.

The first thing I would change is the custom for women to shave their legs.

image from NYTimes.com Grow, Julia, grow!

Seriously, who started this silliness?  Wikipedia doesn’t point any razor blades, but a little research reveals leg shaving began in the 1930’s, as an extension of removing other unwanted hair, namely from underarms.  Apparently, women’s shaving stemmed from a May 1915 article in Harper’s Bazaar calling underarm hair “objectionable” since sleeveless dresses were becoming popular.  By 1922, it was the norm for fashionable ladies.

Clearly shaving our legs and armpits can’t be for hygienic reasons, or men would do it too.  And any post I find asking why women shave is flooded with answers such as , “it’s gross if you don’t”, and “it’s sexy to have smooth legs”.  Obviously these people are unknowingly the product of their culture, without questioning the reasons behind it.  I, however, think it’s silly, especially for busy moms.


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