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There's no point beating around the bush here (pun intended); beauty is a trait adhered to in our society. You can become a global superstar with the right surgeon… and the right sex tape. Claws out.
But it's true. Our glossy magazines are filled with those celebrities who can afford to spend the majority of their day exercising their butt, until that and everything else defies the laws of gravity. By the way, if you're picturing a slightly bitter blogger chewing on a biscuit, oh-so-enthusiastically punching each letter on the keyboard as she writes this, you'd be pretty much spot-on.
Back to body hair. Heaven forbid a woman should have pubic hair, fuzzy pits or leg stubble. We are elusive creatures of beauty, free of fur and perfectly formed (I do hope the sarcasm is filtering through). But in terms of body hair, do we care about it on a day-to-day basis? It's not like many of us are plagued by the fear of missing a bikini wax, but what role do the fellas have in this? And more importantly, do we even care what they think?
A recent survey by beauty magazine Get The Gloss asked males what they think a woman's body hair should entail, and, perhaps surprisingly, men were vocal and unaccommodating.
I say "surprisingly" because, whilst the media encourages women to conform to smooth fur-free skin everywhere but on our scalps, many average, everyday males I've encountered have been casual and reasonable about a woman's body hair. After all, we've all gone through puberty; we're bound to have some fuzz here and there. Having to spend a significant amount of our time de-fuzzing whilst men get to chill out is hardly fair. However, this survey suggests excess hair is a massive turn-off for some chaps. One man stated that he would ideally like a woman to have no hair below the eyebrows. Heck, that must mean eyelashes included…
The Daily Mail article we've sourced below compiles the best answers in the survey, including "as long as the lawn's manicured, it's all good!" and "I'd rather she has laminate flooring" which can seem chauvinistic, but to counteract we have one fella who summarises "if a woman's hot, I'll get down and dirty whatever's going on down there!". So it seems views are mixed, with strong opinions on both sides.
A man's opinion is all well and good, but ultimately it is down to you and what you feel comfortable with. One subtle thing to notice in this survey is that these opinions seem to materialised from the fella's own insecurities, and some were bold enough to point that out themselves; "…I'll probably feel emasculated (it took me a month to grow a beard!)". Good grief. Why should you have to consider another person's anxieties, as well as the potential damage to their masculinity, when deciding whether you should shave your own pits?!
Meanwhile, the Huffington post compiled some figures based on a similar survey by AskMen. Only 15% of respondents claiming they had no preference regarding a woman's pubic hair, she should do whatever makes her feel comfortable and sexy. Just 15% took into consideration the female point of view over their own.
Whilst this 'hair shaming' is common, and men have their woes as well (especially if you have trouble growing a beard, or have the wrong chest hair), the argument can still be fairly one-sided. This can have an extremely detrimental effect on women who have hirsutism. Hirsutism is a term describing excessive hair growth in certain areas, often including the face. The psychological effects of such a condition in a society that places so much emphasis on beauty ideologies can be life destroying. Women with hirsutism are at increased risk of anxiety, depression and stress as well as developing a lack of self-worth and esteem. Whilst hirsutism isn't curable, it is manageable with shaving, creams and even laser surgery if you're so inclined. Or you could embrace your facial hair like the inspirational Harnaam Kaur; the 23 year old who has been growing her beard for seven years after being diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Whilst men can be opinionated about a woman's body hair (84% said they had a preference), only a very small percentage would end a date or stop sex because of it. Luckily, it's none of their business! It's your hair, and what you do with it is your choice. So whether you prefer to flaunt the fuzz or show off smoothly shaven skin, just be yourself!