by Leslie | 05.24.21
Hair removal is nothing new. The ancient Egyptians did it. So did the Greeks and the Romans. The Elizabethans were big fans and even the Victorians got on board the hair removal train. But why? What made women use primitive tweezers, commercial-grade chemicals and even radioactive treatments to achieve hairlessness?
The first official razor specifically marketed to women was created around 1915. Before this time women’s bodies were covered up so the big focus was peach fuzz and facial hair removal. This could be done with extremely harmful chemical depilatories or x-ray hair removal (yes that was really a thing – yikes!)
But in the years between WWI and WWII women’s fashion began to change (hello there bare legs and underarms) and a war-time shortage of silk and other materials meant tights and stockings were no longer readily available. Suddenly women’s bodies were front and center, in all their hairy glory.
Women who did not remove their visible body hair were considered dirty and infinitely more unattractive than their silky-skinned counterparts. The shaving industry took notice and new ad campaigns targeting women’s body hair began to appear.
These ad campaigns were found in all of the popular ladies magazines, urging women to remove “unsightly” and “unfeminine” hair from their bodies. Women were constantly told that body hair and facial hair was a sign of masculinity. And of course, if you want to be considered beautiful by men you must be dainty, well-mannered and hairless. Advertising agencies literally put it out there in black and white (see cover pic)!
Now let’s just pump the brakes for a minute and think about this. Way back in the early 1900’s, the businessmen who ran the razor companies teamed up with the ad men who wrote the campaigns to tell women that they should shave because men found their body hair “unappealing” and “objectionable.” And this male-centric thinking has continued for the past 100 years! Shave to be more attractive, shave to be sexier, shave so people will think you’re high class and smell nice…
No thank you – move along.
We believe women should shave if and only if they want to, not because it’s expected by society. At hanni, shaving is about much more than hair removal, it’s about skincare. Our single blade razor happens to exfoliate your skin better than expensive scrubs and peels. It’s like your own personal dermaplane device that you can use anytime, anywhere.
Now’s the time to change the way the world views shaving. Do it for yourself and do it for your skin. We’ve got your back – and all your other parts.