Last month, while the world was laughing (and some people were outraged) at the antics of an Iranian TV network showing Michelle Obama wearing a digitally altered dress to protect the sensitivities of its people, I was wondering why bare shoulders and underarms were even considered so sexy that it had to be covered up.
Back in the day, a glimpse of the calves was considered erotic and bare thighs were just scandalous. But today with hemlines, necklines and sleevelines yoyo-ing up and down, a woman in a short chic dress evokes nothing more than a ‘Lookin’ good, girl’.
Shaving predates history but it was the early Egyptians who really established shaving and hair removal as a regular part of daily grooming, a custom which continues today for people all over the world. Egyptian priests believed that body hair was unclean and its society shaved their heads bald. They wore wigs which were preferred over a natural head of hair for protection against sunburn on the scalp. Being hairless kept the people odour free, bug and lice free.
Men first starting removing body hair by using flints which was the equivalent of prehistoric disposable razors. In 4000 – 3000 BC, women began removing body hair with depilatory creams made from some highly questionable ingredients such as arsenic, quicklime and starch. Copper razors and other razors made from metal made its debut soon after. By around 400 BC, the average woman from India and Greece were shaving, tweezing and threading their legs as well. Egyptian women paved the way for modern day waxing with a method called sugaring, which is still available as an alternative to waxing. Needless to say, the practice of shaving the eyebrows, underarms, and the nether regions came much later.
Today’s societal acceptance to being hair free all over the body has been widely attributed to an American magazine photo of a model in a sleeveless dress showing off her smooth underarms in 1915. This hair free look caught on like wild fire and spread rapidly to Europe. Paradoxically, the bikini wax was found to have been a common practice for hundreds of years among the extremely modest Muslim women. In much of the Middle East and North Africa, brides-to-be remove all their body hair before their wedding night.
I wonder how the XXX got started?