November 29, 2020

"Legs have bristled beneath the embrace of thermal leggings. Chins have sprouted solitary hairs, like lone flags atop the summit of Everest..."

"... fluttering proudly in the wind. It was not a strike, per se, but a nationwide grooming hiatus.... Practical  reasons alone cannot explain why so many women have opted to grow out their hair colour, or rewild their eyebrows. 'The pandemic has uprooted all of our ways of being in the world,' says Jaclyn Wong of the University of South Carolina, an expert in gender and attractiveness. 'The fact that women aren’t doing this beauty work is exciting to me, because it represents a disruption of how they normally comply with our society’s expectations of femininity.'... 'When I stopped shaving,' says Georgia Collier, 26, from London, 'it started out because I wasn’t leaving the house, so there didn’t seem to be much point. But then it changed.... When everything else was spinning out of control.... I stopped trying to control my body. I decided to just be who I am.'"

78 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

Women being godawful and bragging about it.

What a shitty part of my life that has been.

Joe Smith said...

So time to bring back '70s-style porn?

Paco Wové said...

Is trawling through The Grauniad for clickbait some sort of passive-aggressive response to all those commenters complaining about your fishing in The New York Times' waters?

Lucien said...

I want to be an expert in gender and attractiveness. What are the qualifications?

stevew said...

True for me, and I'm not a woman. Haven't gone with the full beard though, my whiskers are nearly 100% grey now, makes me look older than I want to appear.

Mrs. stevew stopped coloring her hair (blonde) and now is grey-haired. The color is different but the look change isn't dramatic - as it would be for someone that went from brunette. Her eyebrows are never in need of grooming. The only other change is that she doesn't put on makeup if she is not going out.

What do the epistemic elites, like Brooks, think of all this rebellious behavior?

Carol said...

Yep, finally back to my natural hair color, whatever that is.

Still can't figure it out..

Attonasi said...

If you no longer care about sending positive signals for the purpose of procreation then the gene pool has answers ready for you.

They are generally unhappy answers.

Lurker21 said...

Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!

Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...

The dead rising from the grave!

Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Sebastian said...

"a disruption of how they normally comply with our society’s expectations of femininity."

I.e., escaping the gaze of other women and the oppression of the judgmental sisterhood.

Darrell said...

The Righteous Brothers saw it coming.

You don't wipe your ass any more when you take a shit
You don't shave your legs any more, use deodorant stick
I'm trying hard not to notice. But Baby, Baby I know that
You've lost that lovin' feeling. Ooooo that lovin' feeling.
You've lost that lovin' feeling. Now it's gone. Gone. Gone.
Ooooooo.

Lawrence Person said...

It's the London version of "three people I know doing something in New York City is automatically a trend" syndrome.

MayBee said...

Gross. Just stop, women. Stop it.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

It may hasten changes of what people find attractive. In the meantime, I admit I find it irritating when some women think it is an important cultural step forward when other women are abandoning (rather than merely changing) standards of attractiveness. If qualities other than beauty are more important, then praise those qualities. Taking good things out of the world is not an improvement.

Splanky said...

There must be a ladder on the other side of the rock, I know I couldn't climb atop a rock that size holding a coffee mug.

Eleanor said...

My hairdresser closed her doors last March and didn't reopen. I live out in the middle of nowhere, and there aren't very many salons around. The ones I've called aren't taking new customers. While I can do a decent job of coloring my hair myself, I can't give myself a haircut. I'm getting close to where my hair will be long enough to do a donation to a place like Locks of Love. I figure I'll let it keep growing through the winter, and if I still have to drive 40 miles or more to find a place to get a haircut in the spring, I'll make the donation. I haven't given up on the rest of my grooming.

mockturtle said...

Yikes! Thankfully, I've never had any chin hair but, if I did, it would be GONE tout de suite! Even if I don't see anyone but my dog in the course of a day, I put on some makeup. After all, I still have to look at myself in the mirror.

Laslo Spatula said...

It sounds like they are suffering depression and claiming it is empowerment.

Quotes to read while listening to The Cure.

I am Laslo.

Will Cate said...

Quite agree with Assistant Village Idiot above....

If I all-of-a-sudden stopped shaving and getting haircuts, my wife would definitely have a negative reaction.

Not Sure said...

Jaclyn Wong of the University of South Carolina, an expert in gender and attractiveness

David Brooks would be deeply disappointed by my lack of deference to Prof. Wong's expertise in the subject of female attractiveness.

mockturtle said...

Even two Wongs wouldn't make it right.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Cartoonist Berke Breathed had one of his "Bloom County" characters encounter an angry feminist, and had him say this:

"Set your Phasers on "Shave"."

FullMoon said...

Chins have sprouted solitary hairs, like lone flags atop the summit of Everest..."
"... fluttering proudly in the wind.


That is right up there with
"The sea was angry that day, my friends like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli. "

Unknown said...

King Camp Gillette was the man behind the lady razor and the one to thank for adding an extra 15 minutes to our shower time. Prior to 1915, body hair on a woman was seen as a non-issue thanks to the straight-laced styles of the Victorian era — with women draped and buttoned up to the chin, shaving your armpits was as odd and unnecessary as shaving off your eyebrows. But when Gillette realized he could double his profits by doubling his customers and introducing women as shoppers, he got to working on how to bring blades into powder rooms. "Gillette was very canny about increasing consumption of his products, and targeting women was one part of that strategy," Rebecca M. Herzig, author of Plucked: A History of Hair Removal , shares in an email interview with Bustle.

The key in making women buy the product was to make shaving a new but unmistakable part of womanhood. Gillette knew that, and so he and his publishers used polarizing words in their ads, drawing a hard line between what it meant to be a man and a woman. "As the first company to introduce the concept of shaving to women, Gillette was cautious not to be too modern. In their early advertisements for women, Gillette did not to use the word 'shaving' but the word 'smoothing' instead. 'Shaving' was an activity men engaged in; 'smoothing' was more feminine," Kirsten Hansen, a graduate of women’s liberal arts school Barnard College, explained in her senior thesis. "Very few Gillette ads for women used words like 'shave' or 'razor' or 'blade' at all. The cultural association between men and blades was so deep and so old that they had to worry about making their products seem 'feminine' enough," Herzig confirms.

Browndog said...

Quotes to read while listening to The Cure.

Sounds good. On it-

KellyM said...

Living as I do in San Francisco, the grooming habits of my fellow citizens has always been a little suspect. My hairdresser closed shop until around August so I was a little overgrown in the beginning. I used it as an excuse to try different hair colors since I was home. I just slapped a hat on my head if I went out.

Now that the shop is open again, I get my hair cut on a 4 to 5 week schedule, and color every six. Even if I'm home I still prefer to keep a semblance of normal. I have, however, sort of forgotten how to put on makeup now. Not all that face mask friendly and lipstick is useless.

jeremyabrams said...

Nature, Mr. Allnut, was what we were put on this world to rise above.

n.n said...

Lowered expectations was a comic sketch. Progress.

rehajm said...

Yes but you lose any valid claim to emotion when men avoid you like plague...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roughcoat said...

Woman complaining. Woman emoting. Woman talking about herself and her feelings about herself.

rhhardin said...

After Trump, a return ro the Bush era.

chuck said...

Out of sight, out of mind. I, on the other hand, have started shaving with an electric razor while sitting at the computer. For some reason I have become fascinated with hunting down every last hair, and I never liked electric razors before. Thanks Covid-19.

Joe Smith said...

"After Trump, a return to the Bush era."

Winner.

ALP said...

Chin hairs = summit of Everest?

As a woman of Italian heritage that has been dealing with all manner of unwanted facial hair for decades, I threw up in my mouth a little bit reading that. Summit of Everest? I can't decide if this is worse than romanticing menstrual blood.

Also not buying it. We Women of Unwanted Facial Hair yank those fuckers out so WE don't have to look at them. So tired of the assumption that we always do things for the wicked "society's beauty standards" as if we couldn't have standards of our own we'd hold up just for ourselves.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Hirsute
Suits her

Omaha1 said...

In the winter I often neglect shaving my legs. (I still try to keep my "older woman" mustache under control though LOL). Also the mask mandates are saving me a lot of makeup. A little blush and eyeliner and I am good to go. Don't want a bunch of lipstick on my mask anyway.

ALP said, "We Women of Unwanted Facial Hair yank those fuckers out so WE don't have to look at them. So tired of the assumption that we always do things for the wicked 'society's beauty standards' as if we couldn't have standards of our own we'd hold up just for ourselves." Yes. For myself and for my husband! I don't worry too much about "society".

tastid212 said...

Somehow I don't think that female personal grooming is being ignored at Meadhouse. Nor do I think "hairy as a badger" will ever become a compliment.

mockturtle said...

Well done, ICTA @ 1:27! ;-)

Iman said...

Teh Righteous Bros.???

Talkin' bout my baby
Little Latin Lupe Lu
She's a sans shavin’ baby
Wears a scent smells like beef stew
She's my groovy little baby
Little Latin Lupe Lu
A boppa boppa Lupe Lu
A-ahake it shake it shake it Lupe
Stay juicy pretty baby yeah
C'mon and do the hoochie-coo
Mash 'em up pretty baby
Little Latin Lupe Lu

If you want the wildest eyebrows
Lupe Lu could grow ‘em too
Talkin’ way way wilder
Than Andy Rooney ever grew
She's my stinky li’l baby yeah
Little Latin Lupe Lu
A boppa boppa Lupe Lu
A-shake it shake it shake it Lupe
Jungle pits pretty baby yeah
C'mon and do the hoochie-choo
Mash 'em up pretty baby
Little Latin Lupe Lu

0_0 said...

KellyM- Godking Newsome has just yesterday changed SF to purple, so everything may be closing again.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Jaclyn Wong of the University of South Carolina, an expert in gender and attractiveness.

Hoo boy! And David Brooks doesn't understand why people don't listen to experts anymore!

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Thanks Mock!
though there may be other’s with ‘depilating’ remarks,
we always appreciate your kind words :-)

Bob Smith said...

Helpful hint. They were lazy to begin with. I wouldn’t mow my lawn dressed the way people dress to eat dinner in nice restaurants.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Long ago Respect Yourself sang the Pointer Sisters. Broomhilda always had a nasty thick hair growin out of a wart on her chin. Very Mediterranean!

Marcus said...

Ewww

tim maguire said...

Another one of those hard hitting, "I don't have any ideas, but my friend's sister [insert whatever here]. I bet I can get a story out of that."

Rosalyn C. said...

This article was about at least two topics: grooming in the age of social distancing, standards of beauty, and aging.

By the time most women start spouting an odd chin hair they are also losing close up vision, so sometimes those odd hairs get unnoticed if the lighting isn't quite right. When I see one I pluck it out and am always surprised that somehow I missed it for so long. But leg hairs have somehow disappeared so no more nicks. All that is what is called "aging naturally." It also means that at some point most women eventually accept that their hair is more grey or white than brown or red, etc. And then they make the big decision to let their hair grow in and they discover that it's beautiful. Blondes do seem to have the best result in continuing to color their hair as they age, it just looks more natural. Otherwise you end up like my silly neighbor who at 84 is still coloring her hair bright orange red which imo opinion makes her look like a clown; but she likes it and it keeps her very inflated ego inflated, which imo is also a ridiculous trait. She acts like a clown. Part of aging naturally is accepting life as it is for us mortals and not trying to hide from the truth. IMO.

We all have our opinions about appearance -- I like people who look clean and healthy and unpretentious because I find them more approachable and enjoyable to know. Other people want to be sexually stimulated regardless of their age and so they want someone who is glamorous and unattainable. Some people want to be pursued and use their sexuality to feel powerful, not because they are emotionally available and looking for meaningful relationships. Like Unknown stated in the comment about Gilette, our tastes and choices can be manipulated. Why do you think transwomen make such a big deal about getting big boobs and wearing makeup? They've been brainwashed like everyone else into believing women are supposed to look a certain way to attract men.

Finally, I don't know why men think their underarm hair is at all attractive and wish they would shave their pits. When I see that in movies I'm grossed out. But I've yet to meet a man who shaves his armpits or ever asked if he should. I like that serious bicyclists shave their legs which I find very attractive, especially if they are wearing shorts. So why don't more men do that? Too much trouble? Never bother to ask what women find attractive or don't care? Etc.

Attonasi said...

Bio

Dr. Wong received her PhD in sociology with a graduate certificate in gender and sexuality studies from the University of Chicago in 2018.


Sad face.

wholelottasplainin' said...

"Finally, I don't know why men think their underarm hair is at all attractive and wish they would shave their pits."
********************************

For me, that's right up there with a guy letting someone put cucumber slices over his eyes while getting a facial.

Ick.

Heartless Aztec said...

Bless the Guardians click bait little heart...

mockturtle said...

I wouldn't have anything to do with a man who shaved his arm pits. Body builders wax their chests to show off their pecs but, if you're not a body builder, please leave your body hair alone. The tickle is kinda nice. Thank you.

Iman said...

I know they can shave it all
I know they can shave it if they try
Oh, yes, they can, I know they can, can
Yes, they can, can, why can't they?
If they wanna, yes, they can, can

cassandra lite said...

In Berkeley back in the day, we had a term for women in Birkenstocks: "birth control."

Yeah, it ran against prevailing fashion, but it was never not funny and only marginally less true.

Rosalyn C. said...

If a guy wants to have a refreshing sensation while he's relaxing his eyes why is that a problem? If a guy at a barber shop gets a hot towel on his face that's OK but a facial or cucumber slices is not? That's like a guy thinking going to a doctor for a check up is a sign of weakness/femininity. That's irrational sexism as well and not a good thing for men. Hardly a sign of strength or character. I've always disliked stereotypical gender roles. It's strange to see how women jump to defend sexism.

mockturtle said...

RosalynCI've always disliked stereotypical gender roles.

Ahh. Well, to each her own.

mockturtle said...

BTW, the hot towel is to soften the whiskers so they're easier to shave.

Rosalyn C. said...

"Applying a hot towel after the shave – After you’ve cleaned up the cut hair, you’ll apply another hot towel. Some barbers recommend following this up with a cold towel, which will close up the pores and leave the skin looking fresh and tight." https://www.barber-license.com/hot-towel-shave/

mikee said...

When I started working as a self-employed General Contractor, building houses, I suddenly developed a mustache and goatee, neither of which I'd ever grown successfully in years past.

I blame the manliness of the role I am filling for changing my facial hair this much.
If not that, then general aging is the culprit. I blame aging for the nostril hairs and the ear hairs and the Brezhnev eyebrows.

As for women changing their grooming routine - I first experienced that around semester final exams as an undergraduate student. Except for the girls from Dallas, whose obsessive stylistic behaviors were as constant as the sunrise every day.

Rosalyn C. said...

A better link for mens' face treatments: https://www.barber-license.com/face-treatments/ Even includes essential oils for men . We're talking about skin which is not a sexual organ so why make skin care a gender issue?

n.n said...

So why don't more men do that? Too much trouble? Never bother to ask what women find attractive or don't care?

Not the generic woman, no. Labor, presentation, entertainment, cooperation agreements with the girlfriend, wife, certainly, mother, upon request, probably, maybe.

mockturtle said...

Rosalyn C, I see such measures as vanity and I don't like men who are vain about their appearance. As I said, YMMV.

n.n said...

We're talking about skin which is not a sexual organ so why make skin care a gender issue

Masculine, feminine? It's not a skin care issue per se, but rather women are the aesthetic sex (the peacock of the human species), and men are the functional sex (the peahen), then boy chases girl chases boy changes... adjusts the equilibrium.

Iman said...

Well, I'm not dumb but I can't understand
Why she walked like a woman but shaved like a man, oh my Lola

Big Mike said...

We're talking about skin which is not a sexual organ

It isn’t? Your sex life is missing something.

DavidUW said...

If you don't care how you look, don't be surprised if no one cares about you.
But that's ok as you'll be adored by your 63 cats. Until you die and they eat your body.

And yes, you can age gracefully, i.e. if you want to go gray, I don't care. I'm cultivating my neatly trimmed graying beard. But ladies, shave your pits and your legs at a minimum. take a shower and clean up that rat's nest on your head. Would it kill you to put on some decent shoes?

Guys, shave your face or MAINTAIN your beard, don't go for the Dorsey's meth addict homeless look. It can work for him cuz his wallet is thicker than yours will ever be. Put some damn pants on when you go out. Tuck your shirt in, wear a polo.

Don't be a slob at any age.


Janice Sue G. said...

These women are from mars. On earth with salons closed I now cut and color my own hair and give my husband the best haircut he's ever had. You need the right tools and an artistic bent. Not only are we saving money but it's a challenge and fun, too.

Rosalyn C. said...

Big Mike said:

"We're talking about skin which is not a sexual organ"
"It isn’t? Your sex life is missing something."

Very funny, deliberately misinterpreting my point. In fact I am a very sensual person and what I'm saying is that skin is not male or female but is a common shared trait. That's why shaking hands can be sexual but it can also be non-sexual.

So why shouldn't men take care of their skin, their fingernails, etc?

This reminds me of an experience... I once took a genuine redneck neighbor out to a restaurant and while we were waiting to be served he took out his pocket knife and started to clean his fingernails. LOL OMG Very masculine behavior, right?

mockturtle said...

Big difference between cleaning one's fingernails and polishing them.

Rosalyn C. said...

@mockturtle
It becomes kind of an academic discussion after a while. Are you OK with male executives, celebrities, and generals who get their nails manicured, but not ok with guys who do it themselves? OK with a nail buffer but not clear polish?

wholelottasplainin' said...

ockturtle said...
BTW, the hot towel is to soften the whiskers so they're easier to shave.
*********************

Exactement.

What functional or therapeutic function cucumber slices over your eyes performs is utterly lost on me.

Perhaps Rosalyn C. will 'splain that for us.

Rosalyn C. said...

Whatever the benefits physically would apply to men as well as women. Hydrating, anti-inflammatory, reduce puffiness and dark circles. https://food.ndtv.com/beauty/cucumber-slices-for-the-eyes-5-ways-it-can-help-you-1679006

First they mock you, then they imitate you, then they claim it was their idea.

Todd said...

What a rich society and world we live in that it can support such worthless occupations and pursuits as an "expert in gender and attractiveness". To think, these are the people that are fueling the country's undoing to serve a "higher purpose".

Just think of the de-emphasis in personal grooming as preparation for the new normal of life in the "walking dead" world sans zombies.

What did people in communist countries use to read at night before candles? Electricity.

mockturtle said...

Rosalyn C asks: Are you OK with male executives, celebrities, and generals who get their nails manicured

Am I OK with it? They can do whatever they want. Would I date them? No way.

mockturtle said...

Rosalyn C: Don't presume that my dislike of manicures and cucumbers for men implies doubt about their virility. It's purely a matter of my taste in men. I'd rather have Peter the Great than, say, Louis XIV.

Lewis Wetzel said...

What do women think about men who let their self-grooming go to Hell because of covid?
Is it that it is cute and empowering?

catter said...

We'll know it's a trend when we see clothes and face and hair products aimed at the behavior.

catter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I can understand the challenge to maintain preferred hairstyles and/or color if the local hair salon/stylists are closed due to the shutdowns. Ignoring basic personal grooming that one has the ability to do in the confines of ones residence tells the world that you have given up. Its not about aging gracefully.

Gillette didn't invent the concept of removing female body hair. It has been the norm in various cultures throughout history. So has coloring one's hair; Henna has been use for ages in Asia to color gray hair.