Body hair is typically human attribute. Some have more, others have less. And often, we have the feeling that nowadays, people tend to hide and remove it. But body hair removal is definitely not a trend of our modern times, as many feminists want to depict it. In fact, in ancient times, people liked to rid themselves of their body hair as well. In Ancient Egypt for instance, people often shaved their entire body including the head. Instead they wore wigs. Only the women preferred a part of their pubic hair to stay in order to emphasize their fertility. The old Greeks were of the opinion that perfection involved a hairless body. Greek gods, too, were often depicted without a single hair on their body. The Romans took their grooming routine even further. Rich noblemen bought slaves whose only task was to remove the arm pit and body hair with a tweezer.

Why did they do that? The reasons are simple. Because of aesthetics and hygiene just like in the modern times. In warm countries, a hairless body could furthermore help get rid of body odor.

In the Middle Ages, it was also common amongst the rich to get rid of their body hair. Again, women only partially shaved off their pubic hair as a symbol of fertility.

In other regions of the world on the other hand, body hair on the chest and in the genital area was a sign of strength, fertility and attractiveness, just like in East Asia for instance. Since people living in this region tend to have much less body hair, they refrained from shaving at all. To this day, this trend is existent. In China and other East Asian countries, you can even buy chest and pubic hair wigs. Then again, there are cultures where body hair was not very crucial in the daily grooming regimen. Many American indigenous peoples often lacked facial and body hair for instance and therefore didn’t pay much attention to body hair grooming. Different countries, different norms and definitions of esthetics.

In Europe and in the western world in general, body hair became a symbol of freedom in the 60ies and 70ies. People let their body hair grow wild and free. When the hippie culture however died down, people returned to reducing their body hair again. Nowadays, pubic hair as well as chest hair is often considered a disturbing factor. However, we can observe a multitude of counter movements that are all about the freedom and beauty of not shaving.