Body hair removal is so widely accepted in our culture that it's more noticeable when someone doesn't adopt the practice. As a matter of fact, you'd have to date back centuries to find an era when some type of hair removal wasn't part of the beauty grind, and a great new article seems to point to Renaissance times as its genesis.
We'll let you read the piece here, but the long and short of it was that body hair on women back then was seen as an imbalance, and, well, manly. As 16th-century Spanish physician Juan Hurte put it, "Of course, the woman who has much body and facial hair (being of a more hot and dry nature) is also intelligent but disagreeable and argumentative, muscular, ugly, has a deep voice and frequent infertility problems." Meaning a hirsute chick would never be considered marriage material.
The article goes on to highlight a whole slew of ancient body-hair-removal remedies that make a basic Brazilian wax seem like a trip to the ice cream parlor. The next time you're screaming at your aesthetician, think of one of the combinations: a pint of arsenic and an 1/8 of a pint of quicklime. Survey that wax again and be grateful because that concoction would go all medieval on your lady bits.
It's an interesting piece because it brings up the fact that art, popular culture, and social mores have always played a huge role in the perception of beauty. All that said, your individual preferences are more important — just because there are a million hairless cats running around doesn't mean you have to be one of them. That's between you and your grooming regimen. The times, they are a-changing. (Jill Burke's Blog)
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