Shaving - Society's Scraping FIxation

We enter adolescence and we are suddenly faced not only with periods, hormonal changes, and body-image insecurities, but also with a societally expected shaving ritual that now has to be practiced for seemingly the rest of our lives.

To shave, we use razors, which are basically the modernized, user-friendly version of stacked knife blades that remove all the unwanted hairs naturally growing from our bodies. As we grow older, we begin to remove hair, not just from our legs, but also from under our arms, the arms themselves, the face, the stomach, and other intimate areas — all of which must be wiped clean. Practice makes perfect, too, because with one simple mistake, we’ll be bleeding all over the shower!

So now lets investigate a little further as to why we, as young women, are expected to shave. Our society, dominated by popular culture, places indisputable value on smooth, hair-free skin, no matter the consequences. Realistically, removing the hair with a razor not only increases the growth rate and the thickness of future hair, but also opens up the pores to bacteria, in-grown hairs and rashes! But smooth skin is totally worth it right?

Now, think about it this way, when we shave our legs we, in a way, appeal to society’s obsession to create, and ultimately to typecast all women as soft, smooth, and polished in nature. In shaving the hair from our body, we’re unconsciously trying to eliminate any naturally occurring “rough and hairy” qualities. Our definition of beauty is instilled upon us by popular culture growing up, and that ‘beautiful’ female possesses polished, smooth and unblemished skin. So by possessing those qualities, we are one step closer to becoming “beautiful” inside and out.

In society, shaving is so widely expected and understood as normal that we rarely ever question the practice or take a moment to consider the real reason for its value. Ultimately, there really is no value to shaving except for this: it brings us one step closer to acceptance within popular culture — and societal acceptance is basically the most valuable achievement, am I right?

So ladies, I’m not telling you to stop shaving because I know I haven’t (eek!), but just think about, and be aware of, this complex phenomenon the next time you're shaving your legs.