A survey by the Stylist UK website indicated that 83% of young women feel compelled and even pressured to remove body hair. Leading the move for the total removal of ‘unwanted’ body hair is the vibrant cosmetic beauty industry. Although the statistics show a decline in the UK’s hair removal market among older women, it continues to be an upward climb on the global scale. Therefore, why do women feel tremendous pressure to shave? Below is a discussion on some of these reasons.
- Conforming to current beauty standards
The craze for smooth skin in current beauty standards is the primary reason most women feel compelled to remove body hair. Many 21st-century beauty advertisements uphold hairless women (except for eyebrows, eyelashes and scalp hair). It explains why a majority of beauty adverts targeted at women portray smooth-skin models. Without a doubt, the beauty industry thrives on selling perfection to consumers. For that reason, females from a very young age unconsciously subscribe to beauty standards they have been exposed to.
In recent years, the availability of advanced hair removal options has made it easier for women to choose from the lot. For example, while waxing and shaving remain notable options, ipl laser hair removal has gained considerable traction in the beauty world. Making it even more popular is the convenience of permanent removal options. Indeed, it makes sense to find a permanent solution to body hair instead of spending so much money on temporary options.
- Self-conscious reasons
The root of self-conscious acts dwells primarily on body insecurity. Most women fail to admit that they maintain hairless bodies to be a part of the majority. In other words, they refuse to belong to the minority who grow body hair and stand the risk of stigma. As already mentioned in the introduction of this article, older women tend not to pay critical attention to body hair.
However, body hair removal is a must among younger women, and there’s no argument as long as they’re concerned. This group is more likely to associate body hair with their self-confidence and self-esteem. According to The Guardian, some younger women admitted feeling less female when they keep these body hairs. Therefore, they’d much rather belong to the majority than the minority.
- The compulsion to stay attractive to their men
A survey by The Independent UK showed that 46% of men prefer to have their women with bare skin (pubic areas and all). Another 30% do not mind peach fuzz hair (not entirely visible to others) on a woman. In effect, 76% of UK men are particular about visible dark hairs on areas of a woman’s body, excluding head hair, lashes and brows. The stats are indicative of what most men in the country prefer. As a ripple effect of these preferences, women feel compelled to do whatever it takes to remain attractive to their men.
Indeed, the decision to shave or not is a personal preference. Therefore, if hair removal makes you feel good about yourself, nothing stops you from getting that super smooth skin. Societal pressures on beauty standards will always be around.