This Is Why Women Started Shaving Their Armpits

Today, it is common for women to shave their underarms. But why? It all started as a trend. A print ad ran in an issue of Harper's Bazaar in 1915 that showed a model with her arms raised and her armpits bare. Up until then, women did not wear garments that exposed their underarms. For the first time, women had to address armpit hair, because that concept of shaving it was completely new before then. The Harper's Bazaar ad insisted that women must first see to "the removal of objectionable hair" before wearing the new sleeveless dress in the advertisement. This request was not met with much objection, the bare armpits became a trend that caught on and became commonplace.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Ancient Egyptians removed all of their body hair, from head to toe. 00:27

  2. In May of 1915, Harper's Bazaar ran an ad featuring a women in a sleeveless dress and bare armpits, perhaps sparking the trend of women shaving their armpits. 00:57

  3. Ancient cave paintings showed men using seashells as tweezers to pluck out unwanted hairs. 04:10

Written by Curiosity Staff November 13, 2015

Curiosity uses cookies to improve site performance, for analytics and for advertising. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.