A thread Unshaven body hair. Would you dare to bare? about body hair got us talking this week, sparked by the appearance of a young woman called Emer O’Toole, who lifted her arms on This Morning and proudly showed the world her (extremely) hairy pits. Cue a wide range of comments from Netmums members – many of whom thought it was disgusting, others who thought it was entirely up to her, but not for them, and some (though not so many) who said they were happy to be hairy, too. Only one fella commented – a member called David who posted, reassuringly: ‘I never worry about whether a woman shaves or not. The more body hair, the warmer we’ll both be.’
Although not your average staffroom conversation piece, it did prompt some interesting admissions from Team Netmums about how we feel about our body hair and what we do with it. Most of us, it seems, do quite a bit of waxing, plucking, epilating and depilating. And most of us begrudge it.
Hollie described herself as dreadfully hairy, and confessed that – despite being a fully paid up feminist – she is constantly, obsessively trying to remove the excess. She claims to have tried every method of hair removal going over the years – and has even forked out a fortune for laser treatment in a bid to tame her ‘wild’ bikini line. Jill says she always shaves her pits, if only because it makes them smell less, occasionally tackles her bikini line, and, when pushed, will pluck her eyebrows – although she reckons it’s almost as painful as her three C-sections. As for Donna, well she’s glad of the extra covering in the winter months, but prefers to whistle it all away when her body’s on show in the summer – usually with a razor, although in the run up to a holiday, she will submit to the torture of the epilator. (She adds that she can’t wait until the day when she doesn’t have to care anymore – although she’s not saying when that’s likely to be.)
Facial hair is another bugbear. Mandy was most upset to discover her first chin hair after turning 40 (although Hollie pointed out that she’s fortunate to just have the one), and Lynn tentatively raised the subject of her ‘tache, and the many hours she spends trying to remain whisker-free.
And what of the modern trend for removing all, or virtually all, the foliage in one’s ladygarden? Perhaps understandably, most of the team were keeping schtum about what they’ve got growing down below and what they choose to do with it, but some were upfront – including Jo, who pleaded a fear of pain in the region and claims she’s sticking with her ‘seventies-style bush’, and Laura, who pointed out that, since she had a full complement of pubes when she met her OH 20 years ago, she sees no point in getting rid of them now.
On a more sober note, some of us with daughters feel distinctly uncomfortable about them growing up in a culture where zero body hair is the new norm. It seems the pressure we all feel to rid ourselves of something that’s entirely natural is ever increasing.
Maybe we should say sod it, and throw away our razors, tweezers, wax strips, and Epiladies. Maybe Emer’s got a point.
If you want to de-fuzz and are bemused by the array of options read our handy Netmums guide to hair removal and our page of top tips to make home hair removal a breeze.