Society’s policing of female body hair is so strong that most women don’t question it anymore. That’s exactly why shaving, waxing, lasering and plucking hair from our legs, armpits to bikini lines and even our bum holes has become an accepted, exhaustive and expensive part of our beauty routine.
Here at GLAMOUR HQ, we are constantly questioning why it’s okay for men to rock up with body hair in its natural state OR with a back, sack and crack wax and no one really bats an eyelid? Whereas if a woman has armpit hair or untouched pubic hair, it’s commented upon or viewed as some kind of statement.
Need proof? Our musings have been perfectly captured in an image that’s going viral on Instagram.
Lainey Molnar, a feminist illustrator, posted this eye-opening illustration that depicts the disparity in views when it comes to men and women’s bodies:
The illustration shows side-by-side images of men and women’s bodies alongside society’s view. According to Lainey, if a man has chest hair, his chest out or armpit hair, it’s deemed ‘normal’ by society. However, if a woman dares to leave her nipple or underarm hair unkempt, it’s perceived as ‘disgusting’ and ‘unhygienic’ – and God forbid she bares her chest, she’s viewed as ‘promiscuous’.
The comments on the post, which has 99,000 likes, further cement our frustration at the situation. One comment pretty much sums it up: “The math here is called a double standard. The equation is designed to keep women stressed out trying to meet idiotic standards of beauty so men can stay focused on ruling the world and controlling women. Shall we talk about make-up? Why are women expected to put toxic chemicals on their face and men aren’t expected to wear make-up at all? How about High Heel Shoes? Could it be that the dominant paradigm wants women to hampered in their most basic movement: walking?
“Thanks for calling attention to this terrible expression of the inequality between men and women.
“Women, subvert the dominant paradigm! Stop putting toxic chemicals on your body! Stop altering your hair so that you look good to others! Do what feels good to you, in your skin, in your body, in your sense of well-being.
“Men- support women in being themselves by accepting their personal choices without judgement!” Hear, hear.
Of course, hair removal is nothing new. Women in ancient Egypt got rid of all their body hair, including from their heads. Beauty trends change throughout the years just like fashions. But we have to drop this idea that leaving body hair untouched is unattractive, dirty or shameful. We need to question why society has these expectations for women.
While GLAMOUR is not against anyone removing hair from their body, we believe it should always be a personal choice – and no one should be judged for that. We’re applauding Lainey for highlighting the double standard.