A content series that dissects the personal, social, and political issues that matter to our Yellow Beauty community. This week, we're talking about body hair
Everyone has body hair. Many of us spend hours and thousands of dollars removing it. While hair removal is a personal choice, it’s often influenced by gendered beauty standards. There are problematic norms we’ve accepted like, women are supposed to be hairless and men are supposed to be hairy. This way of thinking is exclusionary, simplistic, and downright inconvenient.
But, before we go there, let us take you on a furry journey and answer common questions about body hair.
Why do we have body hair?
Millions of years ago, our ancestors were cloaked in hair. Eventually, they adopted a more active lifestyle. That, in combination with the heat of equatorial Africa, led them to gradually evolve into the less hairy beings we are now.
But, body hair continues to serve various practical purposes. For example, the hair on your head keeps your brain from overheating, whereas underarm and pubic hair might help diffuse odor molecules. Scent dispersion is important in communicating our attractiveness and reproductive status to potential mates. Eyebrows, on the other hand, help us express our moods non-verbally.
If someone asks why you haven’t removed certain hair, you can clap back with, “Well I’m just trying to maintain a cool head, attract mates, and become a better communicator.”
When did we start removing it?
So, you might be wondering, if body hair helps us why do we remove it? Yeah, good question. Hair removal can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt, where women used sugar-based waxes and tweezers made from seashells. Many Elizabethan women followed the Queen’s example, plucking off their eyebrows and shaving back their hairline to create a larger forehead. A higher forehead was associated with the nobility.
In modern times, hair removal has been encouraged by the beauty and fashion industries, and magazines. Over time, we seem to have decided: women should be smooth and men should be rough.
Thankfully, these ideas are changing. People are tired of these rigid ideas of masculinity and femininity, and body hair is becoming normalized. Social media has even given us a platform for celebrating our body hair.
We think the most important thing here is making a decision that feels right for you and isn’t all about pleasing others, or fitting into one idea of beauty. For a lot of people, hair removal still feels important. If it brings you confidence, we say go for it. Just remember that there isn’t a right amount of body hair; there’s just what you grow.
Waxing, shaving, tweezing, laser, and electrolysis are all popular methods for removing unwanted hairs. But, be advised: gender-based pricing, also known as the “pink tax”, often makes women’s hair removal products more expensive than men’s. Infuriating, right? More on that to come in our series.
In the meantime, we have a natural, turmeric-powered suggestion for all genders: Use our favorite yellow ingredient to naturally lighten facial hair. Just apply our Glow Dust Facial Mask and chill. No pain, pulling, no harsh ingredients involved. The natural chemicals in turmeric are also linked to slowing and stopping hair growth over time. That’s what we like to call getting to the root.