A few weeks ago Christina wrote a post about body hair and hair removal. At the end of the post she included a link to a short survey on the subject of hair and hair removal. She called this survey the ‘Questionhair’, because it was funny. You’re welcome.
Follicular greetings to YOU, oh noble traveller of the Hair Trail! And welcome to the latest installment of results from the D for Dalrymple Questionhair™. This post will look at which areas of the body were seen by female respondents* as most important in terms of hair and its removal. I asked you:
Are there any areas of your face and body that you prioritise for hair removal? Select up to five areas that you feel are the most important.
There was more than one question to be answered here. Firstly, I was hoping that you would tell me which areas of your body you felt it was most important to keep hair-free. In doing so, I hoped you’d tell me which areas of your body were hairy to begin with. And I also wanted to get a sense of the different levels of importance that other women might assign their various hairy areas**. So, instead of getting you to just list all the places you depilate, I asked you to select up to five areas that you would prioritise for hair removal. I also helpfully provided a list of body parts to start you off – although this strategy was not without its issues. As one person tremulously asked:
Should I be worried about arm hair???
Christ, no. I feel your pain. It’s always weird when you discover a whole new area of your body that you’re supposed to be insecure about. I didn’t find out that having hair on my forearms was unacceptable until I was 24 years old. Luckily for me, on that particular day I was in mental good health and, crucially, sober. I’m confident that had conditions differed even slightly, my forearms would now have the appearance and texture of a frozen chicken.
To clarify: the format of this question wasn’t designed to alert you to new insecurities. It was just a list of body parts that I happen to know some people depilate. It was easier to get you to select from these options than for me to spend hours sifting through hundreds of subtly differing free text responses – but to make sure that no-one felt left out, there was also an ‘other – please specify’ field, which a reassuring 40 of you elected to complete.
Next problem: getting you to prioritise. 577 women answered this question and more than one in ten said they couldn’t restrict themselves to just five areas:
This is a winter list. Summer is over 10 priorities.
Basically, going by today’s “beauty standards” I would probably have to wax my entire body, barring my head.
A further 2.6% of you said you didn’t remove hair at all, but the majority seemed happy to identify key areas for hair removal. Here are those areas, ranked in order of their importance to surveytakers:
The results pretty much tally with my expectations and with my own hair removal habits. I’d probably attend to the facial areas first (largely because it’s hard to disguise a beard and ‘tache with 100 denier tights), then armpits, lower legs, and bikini line for special occasions.
It’s interesting to see which areas other people prioritise for hair removal. Some of these areas I do myself, but others I purposefully ignore – either through laziness or self-hatred, on feminist grounds, or because I know it’s a losing battle. But lots of you DO get rid of hair from these bits and, evidently, see it as every bit as necessary as the areas in the Questionhair top five.
I thought I’d been pretty thorough with my list, but apparently not. You’ll be reassured by the ‘other’ areas people prioritised for hair removal:
– two women said getting rid of hair from their cheeks was one of their top five priorities
– two women bravely removed hair from their labia (one of them helpfully explaining, ‘for cunnilingus’***)
– three women plucked or trimmed their nostril hair
– three women prioritised the removal of hair from their arse cheeks and / or crack
– five regularly plucked hairs from moles****
– TEN women saw the removal of nipple hair as a priority. One of them, rather endearingly, wrote:
Please don’t judge me!!!
First of all, this isn’t that kind of blog. And secondly – take your response, plus the other nine nipple-specific ones, add them to the forty women who said they removed hair from their chests AS A PRIORITY – and you’ll see there’s a whole load of hairy lady-torsos walking around out there. You are by no means alone.
No matter how hairy you think you are, how unusual you think your hair growth is, or how unfeminine you think it makes you – the important thing to remember is, anywhere that a man has hair on his body, a woman is also likely to have hair to some extent. This isn’t just because we’re all human. It’s because we are all, basically, monkeys.
The only area that you guys conspicuously didn’t cite as a site for hair removal was your backs.
I don’t seem to have hair on my back – but I can’t see it, so I try not to think about it.
You and me both.
COMING SOON: How do you think you compare to other women when it comes to body hair? And, anonymous questionnaires aside, how comfortable do you feel discussing body hair with other people?
* The statistics in this portion of the Questionhair results and analysis refer solely to respondents who identified as female. Male responses will be examined in a future post.
** various haireas? Vhaireas?
*** Ladyface, no. No. Noooooooo.
**** I had an ex who told me that plucking hair from moles heightened the risk of them turning cancerous. I now know this to be a LIE. Plucking hair from moles doesn’t affect them at all, but you must of course take special care not to break or irritate the skin.