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Have you ever considered the universal fascination we have with body hair?

Both women and men are susceptible to societal expectations, norms, and aversions about the hair that happens (or doesn’t) on our bodies.

I listened to a CBC Radio program recently about this and I was interested to notice what I agreed with and what I disagreed with.

What are your expectations around your own body?

What are your expectations for other women? What do you admire? What do you dislike? Why?

What do you admire or dislike when it comes to men’s body hair?

Let me pull a few triggers here:

  • the hair on the top of your head: as women, as men, long, short, bald, thick, straight, curls, dreads
  • facial hair: peach fuzz, beard, groomed, men, women
  • armpit hair: shave, natural, trimmed
  • pubic hair: natural, trimmed, Brazilian?
  • leg hair: natural, shave it all, shave below the knee
  • and the general areas that may not be as controversial: body, arms, feet







Now that I have you thinking, I have another question: where did your responses come from? Are they societal expectations, do they change depending on the gender, are they flexible?

Finally, could you change your own habits around your own hair management?

I found the interviews really interesting as the announcer talked with both women and men, and as I listened to people voice some expectations that were so different than my own.

I loved Emer O’Toole’s questions in response to those who say their choices are personal, not societal: “Could you choose the opposite?” “When you made that choice, what was the alternative?”

I don’t think there’s any right or wrong answers here… I really appreciated that it got me thinking about my own opinions about a feature that is, bottom-line, a genetic fact.