Ahem – Can We Talk About – Y’know – Hair?

Since the pandemic has forced us all to forego trips to barbershops and salons, the relief of going ‘natural’ has made its way into fashion discussions. Women are reclaiming the dignity of age by letting the grey shine through. And men celebrate the relief of not having to shave every day. It’s like a communal push-back on society’s demands, saying ‘You aren’t really the boss of me. I don’t have to comply. I will finally be the real me.”

To some degree.

I would like to offer up a perhaps impolite challenge. Men, now freed from shaving, are seen as manly men. As they go back to work they could still be sporting their new facial hair. But – uh – last I knew, women too have felt a bit liberated from shaving. I am just wondering how much the culture will celebrate more womanly women – if you know what I mean. Which dress best compliments legs with newly returned hair? Perhaps there can be a new make-up line celebrating unibrows.

Obviously this topic isn’t on the same level as world peace, but it has the potential to help us all see how acculturated we are. Our biases have become so ingrained that some might actually be repulsed by a ‘natural’ woman. (You know who you are.) Where does this come from? The article below traces the evolution from the introduction of newly revealing fashions and new shaving technologies to relentless advertising campaigns aimed at women. The more everyone, men and women both, were exposed to messages linking shaved underarms and legs with hygiene, the more we just accepted it as true.

It became a requirement for access to highbrow society. Any sign of untamed wildness must be eliminated. The rules became very clear – and are still guide us today.

But the news isn’t all bad. The truth is that we all hunger to participate in our societies. Learning the rules and being able to give evidence that we ‘get it’ expresses our social IQ. Connections are key to social health. It doesn’t matter if those connections are with high-volume soccer fans or with touring Mariachi bands, we learn the expectations of the group and happily comply.

We will always have trendsetters – people who bend curves and challenge what is currently in vogue. Below you will see an article about a few brave women sporting – a new look.

How the beauty industry convinced women to shave their legs – by Phil Edwards
Why women feel pressured to shave – by Marianna Cerini, CNN

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