My main conclusion from watching this programme is that All Men Are Bastards. Moreover, All Men have been Bastards apparently since the dawn of time, as hairless women seem to be entirely a male construct. There are paintings as far back as Ancient Greek times where women are depicted as completely hairless other than that on their heads.
In the show, Shazia went to various places to do her research, and then decided, with the help of a London artist, to put on a fashion show in the middle of London Fashion Week of lingerie partly made using real, human body hair, modelled by hairy women. 99% of the models they asked to do the show point blank refused because it was 'weird', and they didn't want to grow their body hair out. One agreed. "It saves shaving it, doesn't it?" Quite.
Shazia went to Loaded magazine to try and get them to sponsor her fashion show, and the editor plainly refused. "We think our readers might be quite disgusted to see that". Well, yes, if you're going to show photos of hairless, shiny women. The most disturbing thing in this was an 11-year-old girl getting her first legwax, as though it was an important rite of passage. Apart from being unhealthily skinny, one also has to be brown and shiny to be beautiful these days, and unfortunately it's even getting into the minds of pre-pubescents.
She also mocked some women up with fake facial and body hair, and sent them speed dating with some rugby players. Unsurprisingly, none of them got a date. All Men Are (Apparently) Superficial, also. What was really rich was a stubbly Italian man saying he was put off by facial hair (in this case, a moustache) because of the "friction" when kissing a woman. Hypocritical, much? They were all disgusted and freaked out by the concept of bodily hair on women. A popular concept was that it was part of a woman's daily routine, and that hairy women "don't take care of themselves". Hairy = filthy, in these men's minds.
And then, she went on BBC Five Live to advertise her fashion show there, and the first influx of callers - of course - were from men saying how wrong it was. Then she got some calls of solidarity from hairy ladies who hadn't shaved in years, or ever, and were perfectly happy with their hairy bodies. She met up with women with problem, fast-growing facial hair; she met a beautiful woman with a beard. She had an influx of emails from hairy ladies who said they would do her fashion show (although at that point they didn't know what they'd be modelling), and appeared on Richard & Judy to promote it again. Richard Madeley is also A Bastard. ;)
The fashion show was a complete success and ended on a very high point of euphoria for all involved (lovely to watch), with a whole catwalk of 32 models plus audience members flicking Vs at the camera and chanting "FUCK OFF! I'M A HAIRY WOMAN!" with great authority.
I found myself getting incredibly annoyed by the opinions and attitudes of all of the men Shazia encountered in her investigations. All of them thought that body hair on women was the biggest social taboo in the universe. A lot felt physically sick at the sight of female body hair. Anyone would think she was asking them to eat their own excrement. I don't consider myself a feminist, as such, but it's things like this which really get my goat and makes me wholly understand why some women are. I get annoyed at Paul, even, because he demands I shave my legs regularly because he's weirded out otherwise. But obviously, it's okay for his face to look like a a porcupine. That's socially acceptable, and I think that looks far worse than a few stray leg hairs.
The fact is, if none of us ever shaved to start with, nobody would notice. Our hair would not have to grow back thicker than when it started, and hence we wouldn't have to keep shaving it off.
If I didn't have to shave, I wouldn't - by which I mean, if SOCIETY didn't expect me to shave, I wouldn't. As it stands I only shave my armpits regularly and my legs when I absolutely have to (and then regret it two days later when the g'damned itching starts up as the hair comes back), and that's just because I'm more comfortable with bare 'pits. If you ask me to shave anything else, the hair won't be the only thing I'm shaving...
So. A poll, if you will. There aren't many men on my f-list (and most of them have probably already run for the hills at the sight of the subject alone :P) so this is for the women on there, hairy, bald or otherwise. :)
First and foremost: do you shave, wax or otherwise remove your body hair?
What do you shave/wax/remove?
Okay. If you answered 'Yes' to question 1, how often do you shave/wax/remove?
If you answered 'No', tell me why:
If you don't shave/wax/remove, have you ever done so in the past?
Elaborate on your answer to question 4, please.
If you shave, why?
Do you think men should be 'socially expected' to shave off all of their hair as well?
Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to sit here and BE HAIRY and therefore a wholly UNSUITABLE WOMAN.