To ask what cultures you're from and you're attitudes re: body hair?

(200 Posts)
BettyCrockerLover Wed 17-Jul-13 23:25:38

Hey everyone smile

I know this is a personal question, but I was wondering about beauty/body hair issues and if these attitudes are different within different cultures around the world and if so, how

I am from North Africa but I was raised in a lot of places and I think the only places a woman should have hair are on her head and her eyelashes and eyebrows, anything else seems a bit...unhygienic to me.

What about you all?

escape Wed 17-Jul-13 23:28:25

I can't speak personally - but removal of most is the norm with Arab women - HOWEVER, I have no idea about the bikini area with them.
They are getting their faces, arms, stomachs etc waxed/threaded due to their hair being dark, thick and more noticeable .

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 17-Jul-13 23:30:35

Personally I dislike body hair on both men and women. As far as I know this is personal preference.

Bogeyface Wed 17-Jul-13 23:30:46

White british born and bred.

I will shave my legs in summer, shave my pits if I am wearing short sleeves and everything else can grow as it pleases. I have trimmed my bikini line a couple of times but it was such a PITA that I have never bothered since.

I work on the theory that if we weren't meant to have it then we wouldn't have it.

I have a big hairy bush and see no need to remove it.
I shave under my arms though and legs.

iloveweetos Wed 17-Jul-13 23:31:51

Hi I'm Indian. Out culture says we're not supposed to remove hair. But I hate body hair. Have had my underarms, face and bikini lasered. Shave legs and arms. I agree with hygiene issue. I used to feel so gross on period but now it's not so bad.

Darkesteyes Wed 17-Jul-13 23:32:19

OP what is the difference beween the hair on a mans body and the hair on a womans body? Its all hair Why is the womans unhygenic and a mans not?

Offler Wed 17-Jul-13 23:34:39

I'm white British and shave my pits, trim bikini but leave my legs hairy, have never shaved them.

Darkesteyes Wed 17-Jul-13 23:34:41

Wholet im the same as you. Never touched my bush with a razor or wax or hair removal cream etc. But have my underarms and hair waxed.
Because its a social construct not because its dirty because it isnt.

Darkesteyes Wed 17-Jul-13 23:35:35

Sorry that should be underarms and legs waxed.

LastOrdersAtTheBra Wed 17-Jul-13 23:35:41

White British

Shave legs and armpits if I'm wearing something where they will show.

Pluck eyebrows so they don't form natural monobrow.

I really CBA with anything else and resent the norm that hair-free = beautiful (probably largely because it's one I'd find so hard to achieve if I tried).

Betty - what are your attitudes to body hair on men?

steppemum Wed 17-Jul-13 23:35:50

interesting as I was thinking about this today.

I shave legs and arm pits in the summer
It would never occur to me to shave arms etc.

But the interesting one is the ladygarden.
I have never shaved mine. i used to remove the edges when I was younger but found my skin got irritated easily
I am frankly astonished as I have come to realise that these days most women seem to remove ALL their pubic hair
Why? I just can't get my head around it at all

allaflutter Wed 17-Jul-13 23:39:17

it's a feminist issue - generations of women where dictated by men to do it, so now it became ingrained (excuse pun) and women think they can't go out with unshaven legs. Nothing much can be done for now.
Aesthetically I prefer no hair on any gender, though shaven chests on men looks silly imo unless they are toned and tanned - and even then can be a bit yuk, no oil please at least!

BettyCrockerLover Wed 17-Jul-13 23:40:30

Darkesteyes I haven't said there's a difference between my feelings on men and women's body hair!

Actually my feelings are pretty much identical, I think men should have no hair on: armpits, privates, back, shoulders and the rest is up to him....

my personal preference for men is no hair but on head, chest and forearms as it looks more masculine.

allaflutter Wed 17-Jul-13 23:41:35

Offler- but d you go out in slirts with bare legs? and is your hair blonde? I;m curious what reaction you get if any, if your hair is noticeable? maybe it's now seen as more socially acceptable than before? I'm not brave enough to try for myself grin!

Darkesteyes Wed 17-Jul-13 23:42:01

OP You said this

I am from North Africa but I was raised in a lot of places and I think the only places a woman should have hair are on her head and her eyelashes and eyebrows, anything else seems a bit...unhygienic to me.

Darkesteyes Wed 17-Jul-13 23:43:02

You said the only places a WOMAN should have hair are..

Lj8893 Wed 17-Jul-13 23:46:26

White British.

I shave my legs and armpits sporadically. So either when I can be bothered, or when I'm getting them out!
Same with my bikini line really, shave around the edges and trim the rest.

I'm quite obsessed with plucking my eyebrows though and they get done as part of my daily make up routine!

HotCrossPun Wed 17-Jul-13 23:46:32

Shave underarms and legs.

I used to get a Hollywood on my bush as well, but since reading the Feminism boards on MN I've decided to let it grow for a while.

BettyCrockerLover Wed 17-Jul-13 23:46:57

I am a woman and MN is mostly women, nothing about one rule for women another for men!

musicmadness Wed 17-Jul-13 23:53:00

White British (with very dark body hair).

I epilate my arms and legs, shave my armpits and either trim or shave my bush depending on what I feel like doing at the time.

As a general rule I prefer no/minimal body hair on men and women.

cantreachmytoes Wed 17-Jul-13 23:53:37

White, blonde.

I started shaving my lower legs and pita aged 14-15 and then whole legs and trimmed bush by the time I finished school. In my early 20s I started shaving my pubic hair, first a bit, then all. I lived in North Africa for some time and had halawa on my arms to try, but it just broke my hair (too thin) so I ended up with stubbly arms. To get rid of it I started shaving my arms. I didn't stop! In the end I had less hair than my friends who removed it all monthly because I couldn't stand letting it grow back at all, so just shaved every day.

After the birth of DC I suddenly realized that I had no idea what my body really looked like, so I let it all grow back. I started shaving my pits again, but none if the rest.

White skin and blonde hair make it almost invisible. If I get a tab though, the skin is darker but hair lighter so it becomes more obvious. It might make me shave again if I were back in the sun!

lessonsintightropes Wed 17-Jul-13 23:54:19

White British too, I remove excess eyebrow hair, underarms and shave legs to the knee (due to Muslim upbringing, don't bother above as I don't wear anything that shows above it, and DH isn't bothered). Don't do bikini waxing but am not very, erm, endowed and it doesn't show with a regular swim suit.

DH has a beard and has a little bit of chest and back and upper arm hair, along with everything else where it should be hairy.

I really hate the new cultural norm in British society that all women should be hairless apart from our heads. It's not natural and as far as I can tell from my (11 year old!!!!!) niece is driven by some pornified version of what women should look like. But that is a very personal view: if I met a man when single and he didn't like hair in my personal regions from my perspective that's as reasonable cause for dumping as it would be for him that I smoked (i.e. life choices which others aren't positive about, but which really bother some, and don't bother others).

Mum was raised in a Muslim environment and taught me to rid myself of down below hair from an early age. Got very pissed off with itching and ingrown hairs, and am very happy that she chose her way, and I chose mine.

Pawprint Wed 17-Jul-13 23:55:19

White British.

Never waxed but shave armpits, legs and trim bikini area.

BettyCrockerLover Wed 17-Jul-13 23:55:55

After the birth of DC I suddenly realized that I had no idea what my body really looked like

Hi cantreachmytoes, I'm curious - what do you mean by that?

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