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mamas who don't shave~ what will you tell your dd and will you/do you allow shaving? - Page 6

post #101 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Shaving is not about mere hygiene or men would be the ones to shave their bodies. They make more hair generally and have a stronger smell. Not buying the hygiene argument!
My husband shaves his pits, because he hates the smell.

My ex shaved "down under" to keep it cooler (he was a chef and it got HOT). Male bikers and swimmers shave to be more aerodynamic.

When I was pregnant, I lost all my leg hair. I don't know if it's a normal occurrence with pregnant women, but if so, it could toss out the shaved legs=childlike theory.

After all, there are a lot of secondary traits related to pregnancy that men (and women) like (ex- big boobs, full thick hair, etc...). The first "sex symbol" (the Venus of Willendorf) is a pregnant woman.
post #102 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamieCole View Post
So I am genuinely curious...

Do those of you who feel that shaving for women is conforming to male ideals of beauty and infantilizing, oppressive, etc, how do you feel about other grooming issues that can be lumped into the "beautification for others, not ones self" category?

Do you feel the same way about trimming fingernails? Painting fingernails? Removing ear wax? Cutting hair on your head into a style or trimming it at all for that matter? Coloring your hair? Wearing clothing? Wearing deodorant?

Do those of you who do not shave do any of the above? If so, how is it different?

All of those things are "changing" the natural way our bodies look or smell. Where is the line between shaving vs. other grooming?


Sincerely just curious.
I think some of the things you listed are about hygiene, others are about enhancing attractiveness.
Removing ear wax I'd put in hygiene side.
Trimming fingernails, I think that's a mix of hygiene (if they're too long they can collect more dirt) or practicality if long nails get in the way, but fingernail painting, I'd put in attraction category.

Cutting hair for ease of maintenance is different than styling for looks. Coloring hair is not in any way a hygiene issue.. it's all about appearances.
Wearing clothing can go on both lists, depending upon why an individual chooses their particular clothing.
Deodorant may be simply about odor control, either for the wearer or to spare those around them who have sensitive noses.
Deodorant sprays/perfumes I find intrusive and allergy inducing and repulsive, yet others find them pretty smelling. I'd prefer a clean, sweaty smell than a chemical concoction, personally. (Yes, I think a person can be clean and sweaty simultaneously ... especially if they are healthy and haven't polluted their body with toxic elements).

What was my point? I forgot. Oh yeah, some things are done for hygienic reasons, other for appearances ...ETA: ... or personal physical comfort.
post #103 of 416
i watched a documentary once about how lips, breasts, butts, knees etc all look the way they do b/c the butt (i think it was the butt) is the most alluring part of the body ... something about hips, butts, and child birth...breasts... and well.. i forget i was like 12 when i saw this on tv while we were on vacation .... but anyways it was the post about fertility that made me think of it.

apparently the physical things that men look for in a woman are all signs that she is fertile and able to reproduce.

and noo mags... goodness! I am not trying to say all men are pedophiles (and i hope no one else is either) i think men probably look for the same things in a woman that they have since whenever people started looking at each other. i don't think a cultural ideal can change the things that have been a part of our species for millennia. and actually there are people and groups who are trying to get our media and culture to let go of the super thin curve free 'ideal' and embrace the many different types of bodies most women have... curves and all.
post #104 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
And again I really take issue with body hair= all grown up. Not every man or woman has noticeable body hair. What does that say about them? Men who don't grow much or any facial hair get enough flack for not being "manly" from society, IMO. I'd rather not add to it by insisting body hair is an indicator of woman/manliness.
If I remember right, I think there are parts of Asia where women actually buy "wigs" for their pubic regions.
post #105 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
This is so flipping me out! By 12 I had forgotten what I looked like without pubic hair. :

But yeah I do feel like a child when I shave down there. It also isn't comfortable to me. I do keep it well trimmed though. Though honestly the women I know who shave down below whom I have asked all said it was gross not to to them what with everything else going on down there.
yeah i had pubic hair way before i was twelve. i don't understand the trimming thing.. i have heard people say this before but i didn't want to ask about it at the time. i don't really get how you trim it. if i shave it is all the way....how do you get an in between?
post #106 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
and noo mags... goodness! I am not trying to say all men are pedophiles (and i hope no one else is either) i think men probably look for the same things in a woman that they have since whenever people started looking at each other.
Yes I agree with your latter statement but come on when one says that women are pushed to shave to look like a little kid to be more attractive to men it sounds like we're calling them pedophiles at heart, does it not?

re: pubic trimming- ok this might be TMI so let me try and phrase this veeeeeery carefully, for women who have a lot (*raises hand*) it's like trimming the hair on your head. Take the extra length and cut it.
post #107 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
i don't think a cultural ideal can change the things that have been a part of our species for millennia. and actually there are people and groups who are trying to get our media and culture to let go of the super thin curve free 'ideal' and embrace the many different types of bodies most women have... curves and all.
I seem to remember seeing some documentary where they did a study that showed that, when shown women (or drawings, I can't remember) of various sizes, women chose ultra-thin physiques as ideal, but men chose curvier physiques as ideal. So I think you're right -- eons of evolutionary preference can't be toppled in a couple of decades by societal shifts. Thank goodness!
post #108 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
yeah i had pubic hair way before i was twelve. i don't understand the trimming thing.. i have heard people say this before but i didn't want to ask about it at the time. i don't really get how you trim it. if i shave it is all the way....how do you get an in between?
Well, according to my husband, women are just as different in amount, length, coverage of pubic hair as they are in other ways. I really had only my own body as a base of reference. It was enlightening to me to find out that some women have so much hair they can actually trim it with a scissors, or even brush their pubic hair. I truly had no idea. I remember trying on bathing suits and figured if hair was escaping from the bottom of my suit, the suit was faulty, not I and I chose a different, more modest style. It never occurred to me to trim my pubic hair. I had a boyfriend who commented on and suggested I trim my pubic hair while in a bathing suit and against my better judgment, agreed to it. I regretted that almost immediately when I got razor burn and couldn't imagine how anyone would purposefully, repeatedly give themselves that level of discomfort instead of buying a better swimsuit. But then later I learned not everyone gets that kind of reaction to shaving.
post #109 of 416

thanks for starting this topic!

I don't shave my legs or armpits but I do get my chin waxed because I get very dark hair there and it makes me very self-conscious to have a mini-beard... And that's essentially what I plan to tell my daughters - if it's something that makes you very uncomfortable and you can't find another way to regain that comfort, than do what will help you feel good in your own skin. I know, it's not perfect. I struggled with the decision myself - and I beat myself up for the longest time for having done anything at all with the white fuzz I had on my chin to begin with! So, I will tell them that too - if you start shaving or waxing, the hair grows in darker and thicker, regardless of what the pros tell you, I can vouch for it with my own experience.

We do live tv-free but my sisters and mother shave, and my girls are around them... some day, they'll ask my why I don't...
post #110 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
WThe feminist view of shaving has also been around a lot longer than the trend to shaving or otherwise depilating the genitals. When I was younger, when people talked about women shaving, there was no doubt they were talking about armpits and legs...not the genital area. This is really quite new. I've also been shaving my genitals for...almost 30 years, and they've never looked anything like the genitals of a pre-pubescent girl. That's not why I do it. (It's also not why I prefer less/no pubic hair on my partner...although it's obviously his choice, just as shaving is my choice.) In fact, the first time I did it, I'd never heard of it being done at all - I just thought I'd like it, and I did/do.
Yeah that. I shaved myself entirely in tenth grade, well before I'd ever seen another woman's genitals, aside from my mother's (definitely unshaven). I wanted to and also found it much easier to manage AF that way, pads or tampons.

As a sexually active adult, I definitely think it enhances intercourse (and oral sex) for me.

I'd agree it is a newer "general public" trend. I once read a stash of men's magazines and the models were unshaven well into the nineties. My own Mom had never even heard of it in 2004 when my sisters and I had a particularly intimate discussion with her.
post #111 of 416
Quote:
And again I really take issue with body hair= all grown up. Not every man or woman has noticeable body hair. What does that say about them? Men who don't grow much or any facial hair get enough flack for not being "manly" from society, IMO. I'd rather not add to it by insisting body hair is an indicator of woman/manliness.
My DH just today said he wished he had more hair on his legs, so he could feel more comfortable wearing shorts. That is sad. I think is okay to push societies comfort levels on manliness/womanliness. The other day I saw a business woman, all dressed up, nails done, hair coloured, well tailored suit jacket with cleavage, and lovely hair legs!

To me it boils down to being comfortable with who you are, however you choose to dress it.
My hairy pits do make a statement, and I want them to. I want people to see them and think, right, women also have hair. I want under arm hair to be more 'normal', or leg hair, or any hair. We are humans, we grow hair. Some a lot, and some a little. At the end of the day, we need to be happy with how we present ourselves to the world.

I feel MOST womanly with an arm pit full of beautiful hair, long leg hair and a beautifully somewhat bushy bush!

As for hygiene, oh man, I smell when I shave. Really badly.

Thanks for listening, just had a little chat there
post #112 of 416
Very interesting discussion - made me & dh think a bit.

My mom didn't/doesn't shave. I still chose to shave (much to her disappointment) when I was a young teen. I do kind of think that regardless of what you say or do she will at some point want to experiment with shaving. Whether she sticks with it or not will probably depend more on what she feels is right for her.

Personally I only sporadically shave my underarms & legs (never my pubes). But honestly I MUCH prefer when dh shaves his face & quite frankly I'd be pretty happy if he ever chose to shave other areas (although that will never happen & that's fine too).

The pubic shaving does kind of creep me out & I do feel it is more to do with all the oversexualized images we are constantly bombarded with. Really, even 20 years ago it was not often done & now it is oddly mainstream.
post #113 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Eh, in parenting I think it's okay to be and offer myself, as a person, to the job.
Kind of OT (not very), but WOW I think I need to write this down & hang it on my fridge!
post #114 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
It simply isn't true that body hair = gross in our society. Women are the ones who shave underarms and legs, not men. It is highly gendered.
The specifics are highly gendered, but the "body hair = gross" thing does exist, in both directions. I've heard women express disgust - loudly - when a man with a hairy back or shoulders, or even an unusually hairy chest or legs, walks by them at a pool or on a beach. I've heard all kinds of jokes about the "gorillas" with "too much" body hair. I even heard a girl brag once - and I hope she was joking - about subsituting Nair (or Neet - something like that) for a guy's sunscreen at the beach, because he was "so disgusting". Do guys get treated as if they're filthy for not shaving their pits? No - it's not something most men do in our culture (personally, I kind of wish they did sometimes...having wet pit hair on my cheek when I try to snuggle up is kind of gross). But, they definitely run into the idea that body hair is disgusting in other ways. On the other hand, they also run into the idea that not having body hair makes them less manly...because a lack of body hair is considered feminine...not infantile, but feminine.
post #115 of 416
RE: trimming.

Same for your nose hair, the hair on your head, or your armpits. Sometimes the feeling of the hair being too long can becoming irritating (the back of my neck, yuck!) and you choose to trim it back a little.

Every few months I trim my pubic hair and armpit hair back a little bit. Maybe an inch or so.

Every week or so I trim my bangs, because they grow so quickly!
post #116 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by seaheroine View Post
Yeah that. I shaved myself entirely in tenth grade, well before I'd ever seen another woman's genitals, aside from my mother's (definitely unshaven). I wanted to and also found it much easier to manage AF that way, pads or tampons.
That was exactly why I did it, in 8th grade. I was so grossed out by the hair at that time of month. Once I tried it, I found it was much more comfortable that way, and I never went back.

Quote:
As a sexually active adult, I definitely think it enhances intercourse (and oral sex) for me.
Likewise.

Quote:
I'd agree it is a newer "general public" trend. I once read a stash of men's magazines and the models were unshaven well into the nineties. My own Mom had never even heard of it in 2004 when my sisters and I had a particularly intimate discussion with her.
Yeah - I was quite taken aback when I suddenly realized that shaving the pubes had becomes some big "sexy" thing. I had no idea the custom had becomes so...mainstream.
post #117 of 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone_kneegrabber View Post
I used to color my hair but only "crazy" colors to subvert the dominant paradigm
What does that actually mean?
post #118 of 416
I am not a very hairy person. I still like to shave every once in awhile, but only after I let my leg hair or pit hair grow out a bit (which takes a long time for me). I really don't care what men think (I'm obese so a lot of appearance-oriented guys wouldn't be all over me suddenly if I was smooth as a baby's butt anyway), I just think it's fun to cut off the hairs! I like popping zits, squeezing blackheads, and digging out ingrown hairs too! My favorite hairs are the ones that grow back under the skin but not coiled up so it's just a line under your skin that you can squeeze and then pull out the stick straight hair and then yank it out!

So for me, if I am smooth it's because I just was having fun grooming. I do tend to trim the pubic hairs a bit right before my period (with an electric razor with an attachment that keeps me from shaving too close) because I get HUGE clots and it HURTS if I have to pull them out of long hair. Maybe if I didn't have the belly roll I would do that more often, it's kind of meh for me because I don't get the same visceral/visual pleasure of grooming an area that I have to bend over to see well as opposed to my legs or pits.

How's that for a weirdo answer! I am a feminist, I enjoy men...but to hell with either of those categories of folks who get between a Groomy Girl and her grooming pleasures!

ETA: I was so excited to find that I had a few dark hairs growing on my upper lip (at the corners of my mouth, maybe when I'm an old lady I can grow a moustache like you see on old Chinese Imperial court paintings!). I LOVE waxing that, it's so FUN to see the little hairs on the wax afterwards, unfortunately I only get to rip them out every few months.
post #119 of 416
This is all so interesting (the wondering of why red lips are more attractive than pale ones etc).

I wanted to add that it took me a long time to grow pubic hair and my mom doesn't have any. After two pregnancies I finally have a bush! So now I trim it for bathing suits and comfort. Just take scizzors, pull out the hair and trim it. Be careful when close to the bits!

My mom who doesn't grow pubic hair (hi mom!) also never shaved her armpits or legs. The legs didn't mean anything as they were almost hairless but she always had furry underarms. Never wore a bra or makeup either. I chose to shave my underarms and I wear makeup (and a bra). So while I chose differently, I also didn't think it was a requirement to being a lady.

I like how people can choose what is right for them. For kids, they should be able to choose what is most appealing for themselves as they get older.
post #120 of 416
Oh, I got so excited talking about grooming I forgot the other part of the question.

My DD seems to have inherited her dad's hairness instead of my non-hairness. However, she loooves grooming as much as me. So I hope that she will have fun with it. Assuming her love of picking and grooming continues as she gets older, I wonder if she will enjoy it as well. My mom got me my own electric razor and grooming kit at 12, not because I was hairy but because she was tired of my stealing her tweezers and other implements to tweeze my knees/arms because I liked doing it, I think she was grossed out knowing I was pulling hair out of my legs and armpits with the tool she used for her face!

So anyway, I hope that my DD's interest in shaving, if any, will be from that more enjoyable perspective instead of "I will be gross if I don't."
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