What Does It Mean When Women Are Hairy?

The New York Times wonders about the inside on the sordid details of what it means to be an unshorn woman, but really, it’s not that hard of a question to answer, especially in 2010.

The Times feels that when celebrity women appear on the red carpet au natural that it’s a usually a horrific accident and an obvious oversight, but according to Mo’Nique’s latest red carpet debut, this is clearly not the case. Their other assumed MO is that these same women are “making a statement.”

However, the paper phoned an expert on the subject: Amanda Palmer, former singer for the Dresden Dolls, who also recently showed up in the Hollywood public eye sporting normal, natural body hair. When asked if she was making a big, bold statement, Palmer stated that she was not, despite the fact that some celebrities do give it the whole gusto and claim that women shouldn’t be tied to a Bic and soap-on-a-rope just because culture sees it as fit.

While many men (and women) are taken aback at hair growing where … well, where hair just grows, is considered something of a turnoff, I think the only thing perpetuating the aforementioned fact is the people who are consistently asking themselves and others whether or not their natural body hair will turn others away — and off. My advice? Don’t even question it and do what you feel is truly comfortable.

So, in response to the headline: What does it mean when women are hairy?

It means the exact same thing as it does when a man is hairy: it’s their choice, their very own personal prerogative shining through, and it’s these same women (and men) disconnecting themselves from allowing society to dictate each and every decision that they consider during their short time on this planet.

And good for that.



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45 thoughts on “What Does It Mean When Women Are Hairy?

  1. I just think it means that the non-shaver doesn’t feel like they need to shave, whether because they don’t like it for comfort reasons or because it is a pretty strange social norm for women. Personally, I need to shave frequently to feel clean and groomed and stuff, but that doesn’t mean other people do. Although personally, hairy armpits on women creep me out. But then, so does chest and back hair on guys, and I certainly don’t expect all men to wax for my viewing pleasure :)

  2. Bah I shave when I want to, mainly in the summer, and anyway if I have a bit of hair here and there, meh, my boyfriend, or whatever he is, doesn’t care. I remember clearly my dad shouting at me when I was 13 and all worried about waxing and stuff: “FOR FUCK’S SAKE MIREIA, WHEN A LAD’S GOT YOU IN BED LAST THING THEY WORRY ABOUT IS YOUR FUCKING BODY HAIR!!”. And since that is a universal truth, unless you are fucking Mario López or some retard like that (in which case you have shit for brains), I am not fussed.

  3. I am not a very hairy person but when I once let my leg hair become scratchy (you still couldnt see it) I was asked my my husband to never let that happen again, and go shave immediatley. So I did because I expect him to shower regularly and shave every day too.

    I have a couple of friends who don’t shave, it doesnt bother me at all, but it severely seems to limit their choice of lovers of both genders.

  4. For myself, personally, I am pretty anti-body hair. I always make sure my legs and pits are shaved. I even shave those annoying little hair around my nipples (weird, huh?). And, of course, the nether regions are neatly groomed–not hairless, just nice and trimmed.

    • It’s not weird. I have them, too, and so do a couple of my friends. (we were pretty drunk for that conversation…)
      Completely NOT awesome, though…

      • I pluck them too. If I had the money for laser hair removal they would be gone, along with my mustache. Grrrr stupid hormones. I’m not really sure why I have the hair issue, it just started in the part year. I thought it might be hormonal but finding out for sure would involve lots of expensive tests, so I just pluck and Nair and shave and deal.

        • Excess hair can be a symptom of PCOS and it’s very common. If you have any of the other symptoms like irregular periods, weight gain, or ovarian pain then it might be worth getting checked out. Treatment can be as simple as going on the pill.

        • Painful??? Really? :( UGH.

          The women in my family have massive amounts of dark, coarse hair all over their body, and unfortunately, I seem to have inherited that lovely trait. Electrolysis may be painful (especially for me who has a very LOW tolerance for pain), but if it keeps me from having to pluck these bastards out every other day, sign me up.

        • I have a polycystic ovary syndrome and as a result I get a hormonal imbalance. That means I have hair growing on my face, as if it were a beard but of course nowhere nearly as bad. I did electrolysis because it’s the only of getting rid of the hair and I dreaded the sessions, it hurt so much I cried every time.

  5. If people don’t want to shave that’s their business but personally I think it looks nasty. Hairy pits in particular look really bad IMO. It totally grosses me out when women wear sleeveless tops without shaving or when guys wear sleeveless tops at all.

    • Same here/

      The worse was when the woman who was cutting my hair once had super hairy pitts. And they were, like, all up in my face.

      • OK for me, I guess the exceptions to “I could care less” would be people working in the beauty/grooming industry and anyone who would have that area in my face at any given time.

  6. I really dislike having body hair. I shave my lower legs and underarms, veet (or nair or whatever it’s called now) my upper legs and forearms, and wax the ladyparts. If I’m going on holiday I will wax everything so I don’t have to do anything about it while I’m there (also it makes applying suncream SO much easier).
    However – I don’t do it religiously. If I’m gonna be stuck in my house writing essays for the next few weeks then I’m not going to be obsessing about my forearms.
    I like to be smoothy-smooth in general simply because I like the way it looks and feels. And yes I expect a guy to keep himself groomed as well – I don’t mean a body wax, just some neatness is appreciated.

      • I do my forearms as well. I’m Spanish and like most Spanish women even though I’m fair-skinned I have dark hair. It had never been much of a problem basically because like 90% of my friends had the same amount of hair on their forearms as me; I know girls with a lot more hair. However, once in Britain, I noticed that some people looked at my arms like “wowza”, and that no British girls of an, erm, white background had such hairy arms like mine; and I started worrying about it. I then got a British bf, and he once commented on my hair but not in a bad way, just saying it was dark, but it made me feel really conscious and I shaved it all, just to be more like the other British girls. It made me feel prettier and less conscious. Now I’m back in Spain but I still do it from time to time.

  7. I think it’s absolutely a choice. I like to shave because it makes me feel clean and less sweaty, somehow. But I am definitely not obsessed with it, and if I have a little stubble on my legs or in my armpits, I just leave it. My boyfriend doesn’t care either way… he thinks it’s cute when there’s a little bit of hair here and there. As for the forearms thing, I grew up in South Africa and I remember going to a new high school where that was very much the norm- some girls definitely thought I was weird because I didn’t do it.

    The only place I’m really self-concious about hair is right in between my boobs. When I went through puberty, it started growing, and it was pretty dark so I started shaving it. It doesn’t really grow back anymore, but I still have to take care of it once or twice a month.

  8. I have more body hair than any of my friends, and I hate it. HATE IT. I also don’t have money for waxing and whatnot. I have to use this super-sensitive cream on my lip once a week, or that gets noticable. I Nair the ladyparts about once a month. I bathe at least once daily and stay very clean; to me that’s more important than a little hair.
    That being said, I don’t wear skirts or sleeveless shirts unless I shaved. I just feel more comfortable that way. But if other people want to flaunt body hair, I could care less.
    I’m never going to shave my arms. I don’t care what anyone says.

  9. I feel that it’s a personally choice. I’ve never really felt that much pressure to shave at all (although I am from Vermont, how’s that for stereotyping?). One of the interesting historical facts in the article is that the only women who shaved originally were prostitutes.

    What irritates me more is that people are always up in arms about female grooming habits, but there is little talk about male grooming habits. Why do we care so much that women are perfectly coiffed, but men can look like they live in a cave and there are rarely comments?

    • “Why do we care so much that women are perfectly coiffed, but men can look like they live in a cave and there are rarely comments?”

      Agreed. There ought to be some standards there, too. I’m not saying, like Metrosexual or anything–just reasonably clean and well groomed.

    • Because ‘women’ don’t have hair, you see. They have flawless complexions, even skin tone, perfect hair, red lips, defined eyes, smooth curves, small waists, large-ish, yet perky breasts, and no hair on their body.
      What, you’re something different? How inferior.
      This is the ‘natural’ woman of the times, didn’t you know? This is simply the base that any person can expect of the women around them.

  10. Do you ever wonder if this hairless trend promotes pedophiliac impulse. Seems that we don’t want women to look like mature women anymore. Kinda weird.

    • I don’t know about the pedophilia thing, but I definitely feel more womanly with some hair down there. I shave my legs/ underarms, for myself. But when I stopped being mainstream-body-image-obsessed, I realized that I didn’t enjoy looking like a prepubescent girl. I stopped shaving it all off, and asked my boyfriend to re-analyze his preference for hairless nether-regions. So many men grow up on porn now, rather than the natural appearance of a woman’s body, that hairless-ness is what they equate with sex. You know?

  11. I don’t mind if other people choose to have body hair. It makes sense. However… I personally suffer from Trichotillomania, so any hair on my own body is either shaved or I pull it out without realizing it. Lol.

  12. I hate shaving. I hate hair removal creams. It just takes so much time, but I do it anyway.
    I tend to go days/a week between shaving because I ‘m lazy. Also, I only really shave my legs and pits because when the hairs get long it gets really uncomfortable. It’s much easier to apply deodorant on hairless pits, and I love feeling my smooth legs.
    As for seeing hairy women, I don’t mind at all. If anything, I admire them for going with what’s comfortable.

    I never got the whole “hairless vagina” thing with guys. I actually find those hairelss things to be creepy. It’s just not natural. Thank god my boyfriend adores my womanly shrubbery; I wouldn’t shave for anybody.

  13. I’m constantly pulling out my head hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes. I used to have awful bald spots, but I’m doing a lot better lately. I have no idea why I do it…

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  15. I love ladies who do not shave under their arms – they’re so sexy! Let’s have more lovely ladies who do as Julia and Drew did.

  16. well I wasnt particularly before but just shaved some of the light, translucent hairs on my stomach and boobs and after stopping after a couple of months the hair grew back, thicker and darker. Now I know they say it doesnt actually grow back darker or thicker but It looks like it. I dont really mind it much but it just kinda sucks that I cant wear bikinis and stuff because of all the hair. I was thinking of maybe waxing but I dont know if that would irritate my skin because I think your skin on your boobs is more sensitive so yeah. i also have a mustache but I wax that off yeah. I think it might be because of my teenage hormones but I have no idea really yeah ughh help

  17. If some women are comfortable with not shaving, good for them. I am not. I shave everything every day. For a long time I even shaved my eyebrows because I couldn’t stand them.

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