Women often feel pressured to remove body hair and the practice has benefits to personal life and health.
For 22-year-old Tanisha Kirby this stigma is true.
Kirby has been removing her body hair since she was 13.
At age 15 she began removing pubic hair and removing other body hair became a normal part of her everyday hygiene routine.
Kirby feels that individuals should have the right to make the choice on whether or not they need to remove their pubic hair.
“Sexual partners and society should have no say in the matter,” said Kirby.
As for comparing women’s body hair and men’s body hair Kirby says that the expectations are different.
“I think women are definitely expected to shave their hair more so in comparison to men. It seems to be almost frowned upon to be a woman and have armpit hair or leg hair,” said Kirby “For men it seems more acceptable because they’re men and men are hairy.”
Kirby finds it interesting that women are expected to not be hairy especially because women naturally grow hair the same as men.
Society has strong influences on women and hair removal.
Kirby believes society has created an expectation that women are supposed to be basically hair free everywhere except their heads.
Kirby removes hair both for personal reasons and because she has a significant other.
Women typically don’t remove hair if the don’t have any reason to, explains Kirby.
“Personally I shave my vagina for the sake of my Mr. My armpits because I find I perspire more with hair, but my legs… well they haven’t been shaved since September; I am not joking,” said Kirby.
Melanie Whitehouse, 33, of Calgary Alta, works in a salon where there is high volume of women getting all sorts of body hair removed.
Whitehouse sees many women daily for sugar waxes.
The sugar wax is preformed in the salon in a room secluded from everyone.
Whitehouse believes that men are beginning to have similar stigmas to women and hair removal.
“It’s not clean and can be very dirty and full of bacteria, there is more men nowadays removing hair like women,” said Whitehouse.
Whitehouse feels that removing leg, armpit, and pubic hair is sexier, cleaner, and personally more comfortable.
She agrees that it is very much a sexual thing to remove pubic hair; however, she removes her hair for more personal reasons.
Whitehouse has a skin disease called Psoriasis and using a sugar wax helps prevent the disease from having flair ups.
Using a sugar wax prevents razor cuts and for Whitehouse that’s really beneficial.
If she gets a razor cut she risks a major infection from her skin disease.
For Whitehouse hair causes her to have breakouts that are hard to clear up.
Removing her pubic hair and other body hair helps prevent frequent flair ups; it removes problem skin and allows skin to heal, she explained.
Whitehouse says she definitely promotes the act of hair removal.
“Hair removal is a great thing, once people start they wont stop,” said Whitehouse.
According to The Doctors website, removing your pubic hair can lead to positive outcomes such as a decrease in STD’s and odors.
The website also encourages women to be “proud of their betties” meaning pubic hair.
*Article published in the Weal (SAIT news paper)*