Dec. 29th, 2004

keryx: (tummy)
[Poll #410124]

I've been thinking about the historical context of shaving in the shower recently. So, when the sleeveless dress (which was synonymous both with women's independence and SEX) came in style in the US in the teens/twenties, armpit shaving took off, right? But leg shaving didn't really hit it big until the fifties, as I understand it - even though hemlines shot up along with the right to vote. I think it had something to do with the beauty pageant and pinup thing. Anyone know what, exactly?

Those of us in the fat and queer movements should be reminded of the history of the beauty myth and its conjunction with feminist advances. Get the right to vote and stop wearing corsets? Sure, but you're also going to get shaving and sexual objectification and makeup. Start working in factories and wearing pants? No problem - also, let's step up that female-body-as-object thing a bit; and don't forget the cult of domesticity!

Shaving, then, is one of many backlashy steps backward. No big shock there.

As for me. I don't shave my armpits, but I shave my legs pretty much every day. I get eczema if I don't (and I would never have gotten it in the first place if I hadn't started shaving my legs, dammit). But for the longest time I thought body hair was just gross (regardless of gender), probably because some other 12 year old told me that ages ago, and I still think that a little bit when summer clothes are out in full force.

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