Entries in Waxing (1)

Thursday
Jun152017

Taking It Off

The warm promise of summer means it’s time to shed the werewolf leg hair we grew over the winter and enjoy the sun!  And hands up anyone who hasn’t revelled in that amazing smooth feeling you get when you rub your newly shaved legs together?  But that enjoyment is brief before we have to do it again, before the stubble comes poking through and blighting that sheer shine on our shins.

Waxing can last longer and save you time in the shower. It also means you can avoid potential razor slips that leave bits of toilet paper on the ankle.  Funny thing, waxing isn’t new. It even predates our grandmothers though it did seem to take a brief hiatus during their heyday. In fact, it’s practically ancient.

 THE ANCIENTS BARE ALL

When we say ancients, we mean ancients. Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens were scraping (yes, scraping) their hair off in an attempt to improve hygiene.  Anthropologists and archeologists have found primitive razors made from shells and sharp stones that they believe were used to scrape body hair off of our early ancestors in order to reduce infestations of body lice.

As early man evolved, so did his depilatory methods.  Which brings us to the ancient Egyptians.

 The EYGPTIANS START IT ALL

We all know of the ancient Egyptians’ mastery of making mummies but they also were the inventors of waxing.  While trying to deter body bugs from taking up residency, the Egyptians were also trying to stay cool under the hot sun as well as advertise their status in society.  Hairless meant hierarchy, it was also gender agnostic – both men and women preferred to remove their hair.

The Egyptians did pluck and shave with abandon, but their big contribution to hair removal was body sugaring.  Creating a paste made of sugar, water, and lemon juice (beeswax was sometimes added), it was heated and spread on the skin. A linen strip was rubbed on the applied paste and yanked off, taking the unwanted hair with it.

 OTHER CULTURES

Not to be outdone, the ancient Greeks and Romans took their beauty regimes seriously. These two cultures preferred tweezers for plucking bare their body hair.  Greek women even went a step further, singeing the hair on their legs to remove the unwanted growth.

Another popular method prevalent throughout the Middle East was threading.  A cotton thread was twisted back and forth around the unwanted hair, yanking it from the root.  Most popular for shaping eyebrows today, threading has also seen its popularity grow in recent times.

 POLITICS of PUBIC HAIR

The hair down there has gone through many phases of popularity…or unpopularity.  The ancient cultures mentioned above tended to remove it.  The Europeans of the Middle Ages tended to leave it alone except in cases of a lice infestation, then it was shaved clean and a pubic wig called a mirkin was worn – such was the fashion of the time.

Pubic hair was pretty much ignored through later generations who viewed such topics as taboo and only the lower order (that is prostitutes) had reason to remove their pubic hair. 

In the 1970’s the “bush” was back in full force with the rise of feminism.  Go natural because shaving was a patriarchal dictate. The 80s saw a swing of the pendulum.  While not complete removal, a taming and shaping of the pubic area was now the desired fashion.  With smaller bikini bottoms, rogue pubic hair was not thought to be attractive.  Then came the late 90s and the introduction of the Brazilian from…well, Brazil.  A complete removal of hair by waxing.

The pendulum has started to swing back again with no longer a defiant cry of “leave it” but more of an argument of “to each their own”.  Leave, grow it, style it, or take it completely off. It’s now a personal decision with no judgement on how you decide to groom.

 

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