Why did women start shaving their bodies?

Despite the fact that the modern world is already showing its willingness to support the bold decision “to say NO to shaving armpits, legs and intimate parts of the body, most women just can’t part with a razor and leave their body in a state of natural “shaggy”. But who became the progenitor of the shaving chip and made the whole world believe that “unshaven” is shameful and vulgar?


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Background Oddly enough, the history of body hair removal goes back to the very beginnings of human civilization. So, a brief historical "shaver driver":

  1. Stone Age - Primitive men and women shaved their heads and faces with pointed cobblestones in order to distinguish themselves from animals.


  1. The inhabitants of ancient Egypt and India (about 3000 BC) got rid of the vegetation on most of their bodies using a method close to waxing.
  2. Roman women from wealthy classes used tweezers, pumice and depilators to remove hair.
  3. The twentieth century forced American women to remove body hair - a kind of tribute to fashion trends.

We will not go into the deep past in order to understand what made the body of women of ancient civilizations shave. But, we will not bypass the twentieth century and try to find the culprit of the tradition, which for decades has been forcing women to shave their legs and armpits.

Is Gillette

Most of our contemporaries attribute the popularization of shaved legs and armpits to the American inventor King Camp Gillett. But few people know that to a large extent, Charles Darwin, who wrote the book The Descent of Man in 1871, contributed to the appearance of the era of hair removal.

The publication mainly popularized his theory of natural selection. And in one of the chapters, the author emphasized that it is the absence of excess vegetation on the body that is one of the main differences between man and his predecessor, the monkey.

He believed that the appearance of a person practically devoid of vegetation on the body of a person is associated with a kind of competitive selection. Partners who were less "shaggy" considered each other more sexual and mating with each other, became the ancestors of mankind. Because of such reasoning, by the early 1900s, among white American women from the middle and upper strata of society, the opinion prevailed that smooth skin was the main sign of femininity.

Further development of the trend to shave hair

Despite the fact that many took Darwin's theory seriously, the beginning of the 20th century, due to its modesty and relative chastity, did not allow women (and men, by the way) of that time to even pronounce the word "armpit" in public. And only with the advent of sleeveless dresses that quickly came into fashion, the then-fashionable Harper's Bazaar magazine delicately expressed the need to remove unwanted hair. 1486565687_57fcbee0-a2a2-0133-b339-0e438b3b98d1

And then, as they say, it started. By the 20th year, the tradition of shaving the armpits had become mandatory. In the 1940s, with their short skirts and the trend to wear them without stockings, it became mandatory to shave your legs.

It was during this interim period (1915) that King Camp Gillette, immediately after the men's disposable safety razor, released an innovative product - the first women's safety razor. It was she who became the beginning of the problem - body hair began to be considered indecent.

At this stage, Her Majesty Advertising took the baton of promotion of naked clean-shaven skin. She was fully helped by the much more frivolous fashion.

Milday Decollete Gillette - the innovative invention of the king of razors was promoted by advertising slogans saying that clean-shaven armpits are an integral part of good manners. One of the main key phrases of advertising slogans was "women of the world."

So she then brought with her at first thousands, and then tens of thousands of ladies who did not want to disgrace themselves, appearing before society with unshaven legs or armpits. After the Second World War, Betty Grable and her clean-shaven legs became the ideal of beauty. 1453964_900

Who is guilty

The planted seed grew very quickly. All the fashion magazines of the time joined the advertising campaign. They urged their readers to always stay on trend and protect themselves from embarrassing situations. Under those meant the appearance in public unshaven.

Developing and improving advertising slogans were replaced one after another. They alternately talked about the fear of not being recognized and being alone, then about the impossibility of finding personal happiness, then about a decrease in sex appeal. And advertising called unshaven legs, armpits and intimate area the cause of all these troubles.

So, whatever one may say, but women began to get rid of excess vegetation precisely because of the hypnotic effect of advertising slogans designed to increase the fortune of the largest razor corporation - Gillette.