Why is it not socially acceptable for women to have body hair?

It's natural and completely normal for women to have hair on their legs, arms, armpits, right? But society says otherwise.

Most of the time, we hear that body hair is gross/wrong/unnatural. Women who simply choose not to shave and let their bodies grow naturally isn't welcomed. How/and why did this type of thinking started?

I've asked some guys around campus and some admitted that they wouldn't like a girl who chose not to shave (I asked their legs, as an example) because it was gross, others said they didn't care. But it's the type of mixed/uneasy approach for women to just let their bodies stay natural is that confuses me. Why is this? Shaving shouldn't be mandatory but a choice, I think. If some want to, fine! But for those who choose not to - they're met with hostility.

(I'm also working a project for a class about this topic since it isn't one that is talked about frequently. So hearing some opinions would be great!) Thanks


Most Helpful Guy

  • I know you asked this almost a year ago, but I thought I'd answer anyway: I agree with you, it's peculiar that humans are the only species in the animal kingdom that try to remove their own naturally grown body hair with strange products like shaving cream, wax, and so on. I'm in a tiny minority here, but...I actually think it's sexy when a girl doesn't shave her legs, pits, vagina, you name it, never plucks or waxes, and just lets her hair grow out everywhere. I always pictured myself with a woman who has all of her natural hair, and wasn't ashamed of it, either, meaning she wore shorts and tank tops to flaunt her leg hair and armpit hair because it's a natural part of the human body. Only thing is, she would in return have to be okay with the fact that I don't shave anything, either. Which means, yes, I have a big long beard.

    And I agree, it should be a choice, and also I noticed that guys like me are thought of as weirdos. I have a weird combination of things I like: Girls who are natural and girls who look/act guyish like major tomboys. And it may not be that weird since a tomboy is less likely to shave.

    • Oh and I forgot to mention, I think upper lip hair (the slight thin moustache that some women grow) is ESPECIALLY sexy

Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 1

  • Oh, shaving body hair isn't mandatory.

    But we as men are attracted to women with minimal body hair.


    I don't know. Probably because we just want to watch the world burn.

    But Just as women have a choice as to whether or not they'd like to shave their body hair,

    Men have a choice as to who they'd like to give any of their attention to.

    And the facts seem to speak for themselves.


What Girls Said 2

  • Shaving hardly ever even occurred until the 1920s, when women began having a bit more freedom to show their legs and arms, but companies jumped at the opportunity to make more money by making women think certain things are objective flaws (not just body hair but cellulite and stretch marks as well) and then offering them products that would "fix" those flaws they were convinced to be self-conscious about. Advertisements began portraying smooth hairless skin as the feminine ideal.

    Might be of some help to you: link

    Also this story: link

  • I've heard a lot of weird stuff about guys opinion on hair, really surprised me, some like it in specified places [[like only on armpits or God forbid stomach- have actually heard that one before]] so it's just like anything. I think women react to it far differently- I've heard more women being bitchy about hair than I have men.