Chinese women don’t shave their body hair. here’s why – telegraph

When I was at university in the UK in the late Noughties, one of the most liberating things about travelling back to my native China for the summer break was not having to worry about shaving. Chiari 1 malformation surgery cost Nobody really cared, so I wasn’t embarrassed to let nature take its course.

Growing up, I’d watched older girls walk around with hair peeking out of their armpits.


Chairman mao Chinese tradition had no demands in this respect – armpit or leg hair was just part of your body and nothing to be ashamed about.

Yet I was left wondering what such a demonstration actually means for Chinese women.

Of course in the UK, such a campaign would be a clear push against social expectations.

But in China, it remains fairly acceptable to be unshaven in public. Chair images clip art Even in a big city, seeing hair remains just as much the norm, as seeing none.

A female fitness instructor who teaches in a trendy area of Beijing estimates that just 40 per cent of her students, mostly in their 20s and 30s, shaved their underarms.

An image from Weibo submitted to the armpit hair contest (Weibo)

I for one rarely shave: armpits or legs for that matter, and feel almost no pressure to do so (unless I’m attending a function or with expat friends).

The fact is that I, like many Chinese and East Asian women, am not very hairy. Electric chair wichita ks One 19-year-old undergraduate at Beijing Normal University for example, tells me she simply ‘doesn’t have’ hair in her armpits.

In 2005, when Veet tried to make a foray into China, they experienced sluggish sales. Charlie charlie challenge fake This was attributed to the very reason above: many Asian women do not have enough to take off.

But they’re the words of those who don’t understand the magic of marketing.

Aditya Sehgal, the North Asia Regional Director for Reckitt Benckiser’s (RB), which owns Veet, said in an interview with Bloomberg in 2012 that “It’s not how much hair you have, it’s how much you think you have.”

He was right. Chair games online Veet’s sales picked up in 2012 and the brand became one of the fastest growing in China.

Li Huiqing, a Law student in Beijing, thinks that the changing attitude towards body hair is part of the progression towards a more fashion conscious female population.

“More attention is paid to body hair if you start revealing parts of the body that were previously out of sight,” she says. Chair yoga stretches for seniors “With more skin being exposed, women now have more of an opportunity to think about what their underarms look like.”

For the trend conscious, attitudes towards body hair may have already shifted, and sharply so. Charlie card store locations A few of my Chinese friends, professionals in their late twenties and thirties, have almost intolerant attitudes towards armpit hair.

“Shaving underarms is absolutely obligatory”, said Ya, a 29-year-old legal secretary.

Tiffany Zhang, 32, who works in sales, tells me she shaves “all over”.

“I used to think the hair on my arms were kind of cute, but my friends pointed them out a couple of times and I decided it was best just to get rid of it”, she says.

Tiffany thinks that any woman who has had “some contact with the West” would chose to shave. Senior chair exercises printable Moreover, shaving is seen by many as a sign of ‘Western’ refinement, including by men.

Thirty two-year-old (male) photographer Cao Nan takes this view, even if garnered from American TV shows.

“Chinese women don’t live as exquisitely as Western women,” he says. Cherished teddies birthday figurines “Look at the lead lady in House of Cards – Western women really care about presenting themselves in a refined way.”

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He Shan, a 26-year-old Chinese teacher agrees that shaving is viewed as a Western form of female etiquette. Chair of st peter school sta rosa laguna She told me that during annual teacher training, [Chinese] trainers tell teachers to shave their armpits so as to not embarrass foreign students.

“In the past, some students have even complained about the presence of hair to coordinators,” she says.

When studying in the UK, I often found myself in a dilemma: the endless TV adverts for hair removal products and the knowledge that everyone would be aghast at my fluffy pits often made me cave to pressure.

A friend once exclaimed “Oh my god that’s disgusting, you can actually see the long hairs on your legs” when inspecting my (otherwise lovely thanks) pins.

Thankfully, people aren’t quite protesting with the same excitement here in China – yet (I have a few razor-free years left hopefully).

For now, the issue is as much social class as it trend driven.

One 26-year-old woman who works in a restaurant told me that it’s not something she’d ever really thought about. The chair starz winner “My friend once mentioned that she’d tried it, that’s all,” she said.

Zhang Hong, 40, a cleaner, almost ridiculed the idea that she’d be preoccupied with body hair: “That’s for girls with money and influence; we’re in the cleaning business and barely get enough sleep to think about that.”

The older generation, like those of my mum’s age in their 50s, lived their youth during the Cultural Revolution, when women wore the same Mao-style suits as men. R h chairs Back then, showing too much skin was practically illegal.

Western women such as Claire in House of Cards are seen as ‘refined’

While attitudes have moved on since then, there at least remains respect for individual choice on the issue. Seat height adjustment in swift Almost every man and woman I spoke to said that the choice to shave should depend on factors such as the thickness of hair and whether a special occasion was being attended.

Despite the latest online campaign, Chinese women are simply not yet obsessed with body hair. T chair katavolos Most who shave only do so only in summer. Charlie chaplin baby costume Aesthetic concerns, rather than cultural habit, are for the time being the main drivers behind hair removal.

For the sake of body-worry free summers, I hope my fellow Chinese women don’t get too bogged down by their hair.

I, for one, would like to be able to twiddle it in my thumbs every now and then.

Yuan Ren is a freelance journalist who grew up in both London and Beijing. Stomach exercises while sitting in a chair at work She can be found tweeting @girlinbeijing

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