In response to my post about the razor companies Cold War arms race to bring about shaving Armageddon by continually increasing the number of blades on our razors Natalia commented that men should never, ever complain about shaving considering what women have to do in this regard. Knowing that many of my readers are women, I thought it might be entertaining to explore that subject a bit further. Also knowing that this is the internet, I feel safe knowing that none of you can throw anything at me
Let us now travel back through the mists of time to examine the origins of shaving. The history of shaving takes us back to the Stone Age, around 100,000 B.C. when Neanderthal man first started pulling hair from, painting, and tattooing his body. Ancient cave paintings inspected today indicate that early man discovered other ways to remove hair from his face; in the beginning, he simply plucked them out using two seashells as tweezers. See that? MAN started shaving and you can bet it was because of his Neanderthal wife who said, “Oooga Oooga! Me not kiss you until you lose that scruffy beard. Ooga ooga” I’m not a historical linguist, so I couldn’t quite translate the “ooga ooga” part for you, but I’m sure that’s how it went. About 3000-4000 B.C. women are removing body hair by making their own depilatory creams that contain bizarre combinations of scary ingredients, such as arsenic, quicklime and starch. Historians aren’t certain when the concept of a “full-leg day” started, but they think it was first invented by a cave woman named Cranga who had a date at the tar pits with Thag around 2500 B.C. Around 500 B.C. the shaving craze really took off. Alexander the Great is pretty much the guy responsible for this trend because he was obsessed with shaving. He even shaved during wartime, and would not allow himself to be seen going into battle with a five o’clock shadow. I imagine Alexander must have often been caught checking himself out in the reflection from his shield, “Damn! Missed a spot. Do you think the ladies we rape and pillage will notice? No matter they’re French. They don’t shave anyway.” I suppose Alexander would be appalled at the “warriors” of today’s professional sports who often abstain from shaving until they win. Around 50 B.C. it was noted that “the Britons removed all hair except for their head and upper lip.” Notice it said Britons, so I assume that was everyone. For the ladies this was a great idea, but for the men..EEEEW! It wasn’t until the early 1900’s that a young marketing executive with the Wilkinson Sword Company, who at the time only made razor blades for men, designed a campaign to convince the women of North America that: (a) Underarm hair was unhygienic (b) It was unfeminine. There you have it ladies. You shave because it was a guys idea. But it wasn’t my idea, so don’t take it out on me in the comments. As a guy who appreciates women however, and speaking for all men, I do have to say that we appreciate the fact that you all put as much work into your grooming as you do.
As for Natalia’s contention that men should never complain about shaving because women have it so tough, I disagree. How many ladies out there would like to drag a sharp blade across their face every day? You can argue that men can skip shaving and grow a beard, but women don’t shave everyday either, and frankly during the winter you’re not fooling anyone. We know that you let your legs go a bit Sasquatch when you’re not wearing skirts.
*I do have to give credit where credit is due. I borrowed the historical facts about shaving from a website: quikshave.com/timeline