Body hair has a bit of bad rep at the minute. Deemed as unhygienic, it grows in the most inconvenient places and, unless you laser, has to be removed again and again, often leaving the skin irritated. Bar a bit of barely noticeable peach fuzz, the ideal woman’s skin is soft, smooth and hairless. While women are working on exterminating their hair in areas such as legs, armpits, the bikini zone and above the lips, a full head of hair and thick eye lashes are desirable. It is a look that reminds of waxy hairless mannequins in shop windows who have been crowned with silky, voluminous wigs and layers of fake lashes—and recently, bold eyebrows.
And so it comes that nowadays most pluckers are laying off the tweezers and concentrate on growing back their natural brow-line in the hope that all the years spent radically picking out their eyebrows still allows for them to return to their naturally bushier state. Eyebrows are running on a different fashion cycle to, say, the shape of trousers. The nostalgia for the nineties might be at its peak but the over-plucked brow has not made it into the current millennium yet. It seems only natural that after a decade or two of thin brows, the bold woman today goes au natural above the eye.
Eyebrows were at their thickest in the 1980’s. Brooke Shields had a pair that could compete with Cara Delevingne’s iconic set of brows. And then there was the girl’s ‘stache in an American Apparel campaign. Faces are allowed to be hairier. But will what’s started in the face move on to the rest of the body? Looking at men, it doesn’t seem to add up that the bearded dude who puts his streaky strands into a topknot shaves his armpits or waxes his chest, so why do women still shriek at the sight of hair growing back where it started to grow since pubescence?
Perhaps body hair is just about to make a revolutionary comeback: it has reached the 12 o’clock mark of the trend cycle when the trend just starts to slowly move into the opposite direction. If so, then bushy eyebrows are an indication of what’s to come. Will women ever be growing hairy armpits again? Anything past half a centimeter is just so uncomfortable.
The problem lies at the root of the hair where the sebaceous gland sits and produces a zit if clogged up. Moreover, hair is associated with being dirty, an extra bit on the body that might detain all sorts of body fluids and unwanted smells. And who wants that? Shave it off, wax it off, laser it away—evil body hair, how dare you grow in parts that deform my appearance!
And so on some level, body hair retains its dirty connotation. Or might it be the other way round and it is instead the clean shaven look that is dirty? Is there still a single body hair visible in recent porn? At some point sooner or later the clean shaven pussy will be brand-marked with the same aesthetic as the thong. Once everyone had their G-strings hanging out of their waistbands, they became an eyesore and most women switched to more sensibly cut lingerie. Like any trend, the tolerance for zero body hair is inevitably going to drop and there are indications towards this. I wonder how many curly ‘staches have already been tattooed onto the side of people’s index fingers.