Beauty Trends • 06 Jun 2018

What's the Craze with Shave?

Though there’s plenty of evidence that ancient cultures shaved their bodies on occasion, most of that relates to men athletes. Modern society’s current infatuations with shaving legs, arms, and armpits is an entirely 20th century ‘fetish’ that seems to stem slightly from the changing expectations and senses of propriety about what women could and couldn’t wear. But even more so from the capitalist attitudes of men’s shaving blade companies. Wanting more customers, they began advertising to women about the benefits of shaving until it became an almost ingrained necessity to have smooth legs and armpits.

Once upon a time, a Brazilian wax would have been the height of scandal! But increased visibility of lady parts on-screen has led to changing attitudes and expectations. It seems that we all just can’t help imitating the things we’re seeing in the movies, even if those films are far from PG. Indeed, the recent movement to full-scale hair removal below the neckline is an entirely modern phenomenon that may have its roots in the popularity and availability of pornography.

Manscaping (the removal or trimming of hair on a man’s body for cosmetic purposes) has a long and ancient history. Egyptian priests used to ritually shave their whole bodies, every three days. Greek and Roman athletes also liked to stay all nice and sleek. But like with women’s make-up, outside these Mediterranean enclaves, male body hair was a symbol of virility and manliness – so the more the better for most of the rest of history. Until now. Manscaping has returned from a vengeance and isn’t just for priests and sportsman anymore. It’s indeed possible that up to 63 percent of American males between 18 and 50 have been waxed at some point in the past year!

Nonetheless, while it is now an undeniable beauty trend, the value of manscaping as a feature that enhances a man’s attractiveness to the opposite sex, remains questionable. Some women prefer it, while others don’t. With that in consideration, temporary procedures such as waxing or trimming appear ‘safer’ and more prudent, compared to more radical and permanent ones, such as laser hair removal. Oh, and of course more cost effective!