The Californian

To shave or not to shave, that is the question

Alex Suehiro, Staff Writer

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For centuries women have shaved their legs, but it recently dawned on me to ask the question: Why don’t men shave their legs as well? 

Is society to blame? I wanted to dive into the science behind why men don’t shave their legs, and why women do.

Absurdly, if I asked you to name which societal beliefs influence you most you probably wouldn’t know where to begin. These beliefs are unspoken, meaning many of the personal theories we have about ourselves operate unconsciously.

So, I surveyed 300 male students and staff, asking them if they shaved their legs. When asked the question, a whopping 94.7 percent responded, “I don’t shave my legs.” Only 5.3 percent owned up to shaving their legs “normally”.

That means, under the jeans and sweatpants that populate our campus, one-in-25 male students and staff don’t have their full complement of leg hair. 

English teacher Anatoly Alexeeff chimed in on the topic by saying,  “Leg hair is beautiful and sacred and connects me to my primal roots.”

Society claims that shaving leg hair makes one feminine, and not shaving makes one masculine, but is this actually true? 

No, that’s blasphemous. One is only feminine or masculine based on their own identity. 

Some students feel otherwise.

“I don’t shave my legs because I’m not a woman,” said freshman Khari Khusu.

I  conducted a second poll and surveyed 300 female students and staff, asking them the same question. When asked the question, a colossal 90.7 percent responded, “I do shave my legs.” An unpredictable 9.3 percent admitted to not shaving their legs “regularly”.

“I shave my leg hair because it’s more comfortable,” said senior Sayler Bagnall.

  American society has socialized young men into avoiding anything they deem as “feminine,” and there needs to be a change. No longer will we tell our little boys that their lack of leg hair is “unacceptable,” and “weird.” 

We are heading to a new future, one without leg hair.

“I enjoy the furriness of my legs,” said assistant principal Bob Spain. “It’s my Italian-Irish heritage that I don’t shave my legs.”

A woman with leg hair can still be feminine, and a man without leg hair can still be masculine. Those that believe otherwise are sheeple falling into the trappings of society’s beliefs. 

Sociology teacher Eghosa Obaiza agreed.

“The stereotype about it is feminine and I obviously don’t agree with that stereotype,” she said, “but if you’re a man and shave your legs people might label you as metrosexual.”

There is another side to this though. Men are told by society that shaving their leg hair is wrong. If a man feels more satisfied and upbeat with shaved legs, then he should shave his legs. 

Another predominant belief is that women who don’t shave their leg hair are considered unhygienic. This logic is hard to follow as many men have never shaved their leg hair, yet are not viewed as unhygienic. 

“No, I don’t have much hair, genetically I’m not a hairy person,” said campus supervisor Chris Torrey. “I’ve never shaved my leg hair and I don’t plan on it. Plain and simple.”

Having leg hair doesn’t make people dirty. People are dirty if they don’t maintain their hygiene. Women may not want to shave for their own benefits, but only to please society.

It’s unacceptable that we as a society have told our young men that they can put a razor to their face, but not their legs. The benefits of shaving is completely different from person to person. As a man it might be more suave and chipper when they shave their legs, but the counter may be true for a woman. 

 “I don’t shave my legs because society would not accept me if I did shave,” said senior Joaquin Gonzalez.

The lesson here is that people should not believe women must shave leg hair and men cannot. 

Every person is different and should shave if they want to.

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