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Why Do (Some) Women Shave?

Hair grows on the average woman's head, armpits, brow, arms, legs, and pubic area. But, if aliens came to America, they'd probably have no idea — except for the head, of course.

Many women today feel the pressure (or preference) to be hairless, and society's dedication to this was evident on Sunday night when some seemed shocked by Mo'Nique's decision to expose her hairy legs. I'll admit I did a double take, but back in 2006 Mo'Nique herself explained why it's no big deal that she doesn't shave, saying: "I must show America what a real leg looks like ... because it’s too much in the morning, every morning, to shave, to cut, you got Band-aids baby." All this made me wonder: how did we go from naturally hairy to self-consciously hairless? I looked into it and put together this quiz. See what you know about the evolution of hair on women.

Why Do (Some) Women Shave?

When did leg shaving become popular in America?

Progress  
Image Source: Getty
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neonbible neonbible 6 years
I'm from Canada and have been shaving since I was a teen, but I agree with nevaeh1978 ... like her my family is not north american and most women dont shave and most women dont wear lots of make-up. For them being natural, in a warm climate is normal and sexy That being said, I still find hairy legs kinda gross
Angellie Angellie 6 years
I personally shave because I just feel better when I do. I feel cleaner and I like having smooth legs. I don't neccessarily shave every single day, but I could never let my leg hair get as long as Mo'Nique's. However, no one has the right to judge whether or not someone chooses to shave. To each their own.
Girl101 Girl101 6 years
The only hair on my body is on my head and I would have to say I shave for myself. I just think its sexier, feels more sensual and I feel cleaner. My husband likes me shaved to, but I did before I even met him. On him though I like some hair, well groomed everywhere but still I want some hair.
Cris1192 Cris1192 6 years
4/5 so close... I have shaving so I wax it off myself
Choco-cat Choco-cat 6 years
born and continue to live in the U.S. - don't shave my legs. don't care what y'all who think it's gross think...they're not your legs, they're mine.
Venus1 Venus1 6 years
Suziryder; my sentiments exactly.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 6 years
5/5 She can do what she wants. Ah, I see the Western ideal of beauty keeps on truckin'. While I shave my legs, I am not a slave to doing so. I give myself breaks.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 6 years
5/5She can do what she wants. Ah, I see the Western ideal of beauty keeps on truckin'. While I shave my legs, I am not a slave to doing so. I give myself breaks.
suziryder suziryder 6 years
I shave my legs every day, regardless of the season or if I'll be wearing a skirt or shorts that day. And it's not because I'm brainwashed or "a slave to our Western ideal of beauty." I do it because if I don't, my legs feel itchy and dry. Shaving exfoliates my legs and keeps my sensitive skin happy.
Venus1 Venus1 6 years
"What if our culture decided eyebrows were gross, and armpit hair was good?" We would smell more.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
I'm not going to act like I'm so above the beauty standards, because I shave too. But I understand it enough to know that deep down the whole thing is pretty much crazy. Janneth is right... one day we'll all admire something different and idealize something different.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 6 years
I'm not going to act like I'm so above the beauty standards, because I shave too. But I understand it enough to know that deep down the whole thing is pretty much crazy. Janneth is right... one day we'll all admire something different and idealize something different.
janneth janneth 6 years
5/5, I am a shaving genius.Funny how grooming rituals evolve. What if our culture decided eyebrows were gross, and armpit hair was good?
janneth janneth 6 years
5/5, I am a shaving genius. Funny how grooming rituals evolve. What if our culture decided eyebrows were gross, and armpit hair was good?
Venus1 Venus1 6 years
The only hair on my body is on my head! I don't feel pressured to shave, I do it for me and it's totally what I choose to do. For me it feels cleaner and more hygienic.Although not particularly hairy anyway, shaving is part of my daily shower routine. Tip; use hair conditioner for a smooth burn free shave.Most men shave there faces without comment so I don't understand why women shaving should attract negative comments.
Venus1 Venus1 6 years
The only hair on my body is on my head! I don't feel pressured to shave, I do it for me and it's totally what I choose to do. For me it feels cleaner and more hygienic. Although not particularly hairy anyway, shaving is part of my daily shower routine. Tip; use hair conditioner for a smooth burn free shave. Most men shave there faces without comment so I don't understand why women shaving should attract negative comments.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
Wow, I got 100% first time!
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
Wow, I got 100% first time!
jkat jkat 6 years
Every culture has beauty standards and grooming rituals. People freaking out about American women being expected to shave their legs need to just accept that that's what we do here. It's relatively harmless and men are expected to shave their faces or keep their beards well groomed in pretty much any professional context. It's not like it is some weird self-mutilation. It is just hair removal! It's the societal standard for appearing presentable. Not all standards are evil. This woman was at a professional event and should have been groomed accordingly. It's like when Julia Roberts "forgot" to shave her arm pits one year. I get the impression that it is just for attention. No one is putting on a couture gown and jewels valued at thousands of dollars, about to walk in front of millions of people, and is "forgetting" one of the basic female grooming rituals in this country.
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