All Articles Tagged "shaving"
In order to be the most beautiful version of ourselves, we women have to go through some pretty rigorous beauty routines. Now, when you’re in a relationship, do you want your man to know how much work you put into yourself, or do you want him to think you were born with it, no Maybelline needed. We checked in with our Facebook followers to see what they had to say.
Jacque: The cellulite cream. And YOU know why, ugh! But he said I look good.
Mommy Needs Alcohol: Girl bye. I don’t hide crap. 16 years together 5 married with 2 kids. He done seen my insides cut open (c-section) so seeing me exfoliate my pores etc is really not a big deal.
November is no shave month, or “Movember,” which is suppose to encourage men to not shave and rock the grizzly look for the entire month. There is some minor controversy about how women are being excluded from the celebration, I guess because nobody likes a hairy woman.
A few summers ago, I was standing around after this film screening event, chatting with some folks when a blonde haired white woman in a tank top, raised her arms and revealed what could be best described as two wooly animals coming out of her armpits. If I had pearls on at that moment I would have clutched them. According to social standards, women are not supposed to walk around with that much visible fur underneath their arms – or, at least women are not supposed to want to walk around like that. Yet here she was, talking and wildly gesturing as if she didn’t even care about the cast of Meerkat Mansion filming in her armpits. I went home that night mildly disgusted. Fast forward a few years later, and I now think that it is quite admirable that she had the furry gonads to publicly assert something that I, along with many women, have been feeling for a while: shaving sucks.
I hate shaving. It’s annoying, messy and sometimes a painful experience. I don’t even know why I do it. Maybe because it’s what we as a society tell people is a necessary ritual, and probably also because my mom does it. Through our cultural conditioning, we have been told that long body hair is dirty, repulsive and the sign of unsophistication. Therefore, shaving has become the rite of passage into both modern womanhood and manhood. Of course, this is in total contrast to my grandmother, who said of women in her generation that only w***es shave their legs. “Just like stockings. It was just something that a lot of women I knew frowned on.”
So when did the presence of hair on a woman’s face, legs, arm pits, and groin area come to be considered as repulsive?
Although there are some religious and practical reasons behind our obsession with being hairless (i.e. biking, swimming and other sports), there is very little evidence to suggest any real hygienic purposes for our increased interest in going bare. In fact, it was in the ’80s when surgeons began denouncing the practice of shaving patients before operations, due to cited evidence that skin damage from preoperative shaving leads to increased rates of infection after surgery.
And according to one article, entitled Caucasian Female Body Hair and American Culture, advertising culture in women’s magazines, particularly Harper’s and McCall’s, spurred a hairless revolution to help sell razors to a new demographic – women. That became a slippery slope of body hair conscious movements about the amount of skin to hair ratio that we all of a sudden felt was acceptable. As the skirts got shorter, so came new places to shave, and the use of different techniques, including Brazilian waxes and eyebrow threading to remove unsightly hair. Now there is an entire industry created solely around catering to our desire for smooth and bare skin.
Over the years, my own regimen of body hair removal and maintenance has resulted in some redness, bruises, abrasions and painful ingrown hairs. However, I still do it. Sometimes, like in the instance of my eyebrows, I like a more trimmed look. However, other instances of shaving, including bikini and leg areas, is done purely out of social courtesy for others. If it was up to me, I would walk around looking like Harry from “Harry and the Hendersons,” but people aren’t ready. I’m not ready. I don’t ever want to be in the position of having someone clutch pearls and make faces at me, much like I did that blonde-haired white girl at the film-screening event.
So that’s why I have decided recently to split the difference. I no longer shave my legs. I figure the hair is so light and thin anyway it shouldn’t matter. And I promised myself to never – and I mean never – try to remove the very faint shadow of a mustache above my upper lip. That decision is based on a cautionary tale inspired by a girlfriend of mine, who made the mistake of going to the electrologist to have her faint five o’ clock shadow removed. Not only did the hair come back, but she said it came back thicker and more pronounced. “Girl, I should have never touched that hair. Now I’m looking like Beanie Sigel,” she told me. Message received. However, I still take the razor and get the wax on my armpits and bikini area–but only in the warmer months and/or in the chance that I go to the beach. But as for right now, it’s winter time, and that’s my time for my body to hibernate and relax from the razor.
The desire to keep pubic hair neat and trim is usually sparked by either the need to keep things intact in a bathing suit (no one wants to get busted out like Samantha did Miranda in Sex and The City) or pressure from one’s sexual partner who prefers his lady simply keeps things polished, has a landing strip, or is as bald as a pre-pubsecnet girl (suspect). Whatever the motivation, family practioner Emily Gibson, MD, says it must stop.
Writing on popular physician blogger Kevin MD’s site, Dr. Gibson explores the origins of the cultural trend, then states plainly “The war on pubic hair must end.”
“It is a sadly misconceived war.,” she wrote. ”Long ago surgeons figured out that shaving a body part prior to surgery actually increased rather than decreased surgical site infections. No matter what expensive and complex weapons are used—razor blades, electric shavers, tweezers, waxing, depilatories, electrolysis—hair, like crab grass, always grows back and eventually wins. In the mean time, the skin suffers the effects of the scorched battlefield.”
Going into the biological justifications for pubic hair, she added:
“Pubic hair removal naturally irritates and inflames the hair follicles left behind, leaving microscopic open wounds. Rather than suffering a comparison to a bristle brush, frequent hair removal is necessary to stay smooth, causing regular irritation of the shaved or waxed area. When that irritation is combined with the warm moist environment of the genitals, it becomes a happy culture media for some of the nastiest of bacterial pathogens, namely group A streptococcus, staphylococcus aureus and its recently mutated cousin methicillin resistant staph aureus (MRSA). There is an increase in staph boils and abscesses, necessitating incisions to drain the infection, resulting in scarring that can be significant. It is not at all unusual to find pustules and other hair follicle inflammation papules on shaved genitals….
“Some clinicians are finding that freshly shaved pubic areas and genitals are also more vulnerable to herpes infections due to the microscopic wounds being exposed to virus carried by mouth or genitals. It follows that there may be vulnerability to spread of other STIs as well.
“Pubic hair does have a purpose, providing cushion against friction that can cause skin abrasion and injury, protection from bacteria and other unwanted pathogens, and is the visible result of long awaited adolescent hormones, certainly nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.
I was with Dr. Gibson before I even saw her medical credentials. I always figured pubic hair must be there for a reason, if not, being the evolved creatures we are, our bodies would have done away with it by now. Nothing’s wrong with a little maintenance every now and then I imagine, but making yourself susceptible to disease and irritation for the sake of keeping up pubic appearances is no bueno.
What’s your take on maintaining or eliminating pubic hair?
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Father’s Day is Sunday and if you’re in search for a last minute Father’s Day gift,we have some splendiferous (no, that’s not a real word) options for you, and they’re all in the beauty category. Who says dad doesn’t need to take care of himself and try some pampering? Without much frill, here are four awesome gifts that will show the great man in your life some appreciation.
1. Shave Kits
This may seem passé, but shaving for men isn’t as simple as it looks, even if they do it every day. This is especially true for men of color who deal with coarser, curlier hair textures that are prone to ingrown hairs and razor bumps (and those little bumps are not cute). Gifting dad a quality shaving kit will go a long way with keeping his skin smooth and moisturized. You can keep it all natural with Shea Moisture’s Men’s Shave Collection, which is easy to find at any Target or Walmart. Or go luxurious with the Art of Shaving’s Professional Shave Bundle, available at Macy’s and Sephora.
Yes, skincare is different from the shaving kits. In between shaves dad still needs to take care of his face, even the low-maintenance Dial soap man. Carol’s Daughter Acai Hydrating Face Butter is a quality addition to a gift bundle for dad. It’s a great moisturizer (I’m a big fan) that doesn’t leave the face shiny. Dad can simply apply it to any dry patches on his face and keep his face manly and moisturized without the shine.
3. Body Care
Never underestimate the care your father puts into his personal hygiene. We may think our father’s are simple men, but if you place something in their life they may use it and add it to their daily regimen. Men tend to be hard on their feet and every man doesn’t feel comfortable going to get that regular pedicure. So slide dad some foot powder or lotion, such as the soothing Carol’s Daughter Peppermint Foot Lotion. Sending that his way with a fresh pack of socks (and even some nail clippers) is a cute gift that will help the simple man take a step into better foot care. Kiehl’s Cross Terrain collection is another fab option that includes a dry foot cream along with a face cream and body wash, available at Nordstrom.
4. Hair Care
Dad’s hair line and hair health is just as important as our hair. Long before natural hair was the trend, our fathers were the natural trendsetters. So if you are super stuck for a gift just look at your own inventory of hair products, especially if you and your father have a similar simple hair texture. Dad still needs to keep his hair and scalp moisturized so customize a gift bundle including your favorite moisturizing product along with personal sentimental items (a book he use to read to you, music he likes, etc.,). The best gifts are ones that require some thought, and we’re sure he’ll appreciate it.
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This piece might seem a bit random, but I would love to hear opinions on hair hibernating in the winter…
A few months ago, like many other women, you could catch me in the shower shaving my legs every few days, my armpits every other day, and more (if you know what I mean) in the hopes of having hairless areas and those baby smooth legs that with the help of Shea butter, glisten in the summer sun. Any sign of stubble had to “get got,” and any and every sleeveless tank or top required a check up. Those shaving days required a bit more out of a chick in the morning and out of my morning routine, but when the weather was hitting 80 degrees, I wasn’t complaining about it.
I don’t know if you have checked outside recently, it’s colder than a polar bear’s toenail.
I’m talking cold even in places that are usually somewhat warm year round. I think I spend more time in the shower just trying to warm my bones and revive myself for the work day than I do worried about reaching for the Veet and doing some body lawn mowing. I’m rocking sweaters and jeans for the next few months, so I’ve decided to go on a shaving hiatus for the winter. I’m talking the whole nine yards. No razors on me, no more small nicks and cuts under my arms, just a trim in certain places, and I’ve heard many women say they opt out of the big shave during this time, too. So it so wrong of me? I guess it depends on who you ask.
I’m not trying to go for the Mo’Nique look or anything (though last I checked, she made a big leap and shaved), I’m just hoping to keep my legs from being any colder than they need to be as the temps hit 30 and lower. Not only can a good pair of thermals keep your limbs toasty, but so can a nice layer of womanly hair. And seriously, unless you’re talking about busting out some skirts (which I’m not–at least not without tights), going hairy for a month or two can’t really be that gross.
But there are negatives to doing such a thing also it seems. Some men don’t seem to be fans of Chewbacca chicks (go figure). I noticed when the question was asked on an answers site, a guy tried to claim there was nothing nastier than a woman with hairy legs. Really? NOTHING WORSE? It has always boggled my mind how a chick with a little bit of hair here and there can catch the ire and disgust of a guy whose pubic hair can resemble a wooly coat of fur for the nether regions. But as a single chick at the moment, I’m not too worried about any sort of backlash or reaction to it by a guy. If I have one coming to see me at house soon, the BIC will come out to play.
But on top of some negative manly attention, word on the streets is that shaving is supposed to help exfoliate dry skin that’s ever-present during the winter. If your legs are covered in hair, no matter what you put on your legs early in the day while you’re in get-ready-mode, they will probably feel and appear a bit more scale-y and look like they were dipped in powder after a few hours. And, as a friend of mine pointed out, a lot of hair can trap in heat, and heat can cause you to sweat, and sweating can of course, create must (or mustation as I would like to call it). I like to pride myself on smelling like a ray of sunshine thanks to my love for lightly scented baby powders and statement making perfumes, but it makes sense that the hairier, the funkier you could wind up. I can’t go for all that now…
I seem to struggle to get out of the house (and do so on time) more when it’s colder outside than when it’s warm, so despite the negatives associated with a hairy chick, I think I’ll let my hair grow for a few weeks instead of months, and if the mood strikes me, maybe I’ll shave sooner than later. But if I don’t? Well, I’ll just double up on the baby powder. Who’s with me!? Nobody? Awww man…
Do you often ditch shaving in the winter? Anything wrong with that? What do the fellas have to say?
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2011 will unfortunately be known to many as the year when “Heauxs Were Winning.” The public watched Basketball “wives” snag baller after baller and witnessed countless rappers wife up video vixens and booty models. Comment sections across the world-wide web were stampeded by readers holding their college degrees and dignity high above their heads like swords. In shock and horror, they questioned how these men were overlooking sophisticated, educated women to flaunt big bootied brainless beauty queens on their arms. (Of course we assumed that if a woman’s biggest claim to fame is a KING magazine cover, she automatically has to be an idiot).
What many women failed to question was A) Were these women as clueless or uncouth as we assumed they were? B) Whether or not these men placed as much value on class, sophistication and education as some of their female counterparts and C) Why are so many of us attracted to men whose priorities in a potential mate include fat booty, frying chicken, and freak in the sheets?
This got me thinking that although many women think they know what men want, it’s more likely that we’ve created an idea of what we think men SHOULD want. Some of the things that we value in relationships and sex simply don’t matter much to some men, and men desire completely different things from a woman based on whether a relationship is solely sexual or soul mate material. The quicker more women understand this, the sooner they too will be “winning.”
What you are about to read is a written account based on what I as a woman have witnessed from the values expressed by a variety of men. If you are truly interested in what a man values in a woman, try asking one.
1. A College Degree
In no way am I telling you to trade in your Bachelor’s for some booty shorts, but I am willing to bet that when Drake laid eyes on Maliah, the last thing he was asking himself was if she could recite all the elements on the periodic table from memory. Most men don’t want a brainless beauty for a wife (and you probably aren’t trying to lock down one who does) but they are visual creatures and what we woman have to understand is that if it’s 1:45 am in the club, that man whose been eye-humping you all night probably isn’t looking for his Mrs. Right as much as he is looking for Mrs. Right Now. For some reason, many woman like to use their education as a reason why they are more wifey material than the girl dropping it low in so and so’s video. And hopefully you’re struggling through that Calculus class because you know it will give you a better chance at a successful future and not just the next eligible bachelor. An education is a valuable asset, but it doesn’t guarantee you a good man over the girl dancing for dollars.
When comparing the lustrous hair on your head to the monstrous hair that grows like vines on your body, it’s like talking about apples and zucchinis. You spend so much time and money on the hair on your scalp, but you don’t deal with the hair on your body until it is out of control. And if the methods you’ve been using to get rid of it haven’t done anything to alleviate you hair woes, it’s time you weigh your options. A lot of these you’ve already done or heard about. Some require healthy, natural products, while others involve stinky chemicals, sugar of all things, and zapping sci-fi lasers. Burn hair, burn!