No Shave November and Beyond: Pressure for Women to Shave

Shelby Gordon, Opinion Writer

The primary goal of No Shave November is to raise awareness for various cancers and donate to causes that support cancer prevention. While this is the purpose of No Shave November, many people have adopted it as a month to be body positive to not shave their natural hair. Although many people participate in the tradition for fun throughout the month of November, it should be an acceptable thing for anyone to participate in throughout the entire year.

Society believes that it is justifiable for a woman to grow out body hair during the month of November when this ‘tradition’ is acceptable. However, before and after November, not shaving is gross, nasty, unfeminine and disturbing. These stereotypes come from media advertisement through the idea of that if a woman does not shave, she is unattractive.

Due to standards set by social media, television advertising and peers, shaving becomes a strict requirement for women.

These standards were set in the time period of World War One and Two when men were off fighting in wars. During this time, razor companies were not making any money because the only consumers buying razors were men. Due to that, they started to advertise women shaving so the companies would still make money. Since then, the standard of shaved women body parts were a must.

However back then it was not seen as abnormal if a woman did not shave because body hair was a normal thing. Today, it is frowned upon by men. The oversexualization of a woman’s body is more notable now than it has ever been. Today, men prefer women completely shaven. According to Metro, a survey website, 41% to 60% of men prefer women to shave.

Not to mention, 91% of men say they would refuse to date a woman who does not shave. With these statistics, it goes to show that women shave primarily to keep up with societal standards.

However, men are not the only reason women feel obligated to shave; media plays an equally large role in this pressure to remove “unnatural” body hair. Whether it is Instagram or TV commercials, women are constantly pressured to buy razors and look as “silky” as the photoshopped model does on TV.

Although not shaving is seen as abnormal and unfeminine in the US, in other countries, it is normal and feminine, not gross and disturbing. Most women in other countries are not pressured to shave and many women do not.

The oversexualization of the female body is unrealistic and unsettling. Women have to face living up to these standards set by media or men due to the abnormality of shaving.

Women should be able to embrace their natural bodies for what they are without the pressure of being seen as different or gross. If men can have body hair, women should too. Not shaving body hair should be an acceptable thing throughout the entire year, not just during one month.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of The Oracle, Columbus East High School, and Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation.