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Fire Haired14
30-01-16, 13:14
I was reading Wikpedia page on Human hair growth (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_hair_growth) and androgenic hair(body hair) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_hair). Something that ticks me off is they say people shave off body hair because of "cultural norms", as if we don't have free choice and culture is this evil conformist force that we blindly obey. I've seen this type of BS written as fact before.

People usually shave body out of their own choice. Body hair on women is very unattractive, 99.9% of men would agree. It's men's DNA, they don't want to see women with body hair, it isn't a style or culture. Women don't shave because "culture tells them to", it's because they know men find body hair unattractive.

What do you guys think?

bicicleur
30-01-16, 17:23
men are atracted to healthy and fertile feminin women
women are atracted to healthy and strong masculin men

that is DNA - at least for straight men and women
and then there are some cultural differences

maybe the hair is associated with less feminin women
I don't think there are many cultures which find body hair on women atractive

LeBrok
30-01-16, 18:14
I was reading Wikpedia page on Human hair growth (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_hair_growth) and androgenic hair(body hair) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_hair). Something that ticks me off is they say people shave off body hair because of "cultural norms", as if we don't have free choice and culture is this evil conformist force that we blindly obey. I've seen this type of BS written as fact before.

People usually shave body out of their own choice. Body hair on women is very unattractive, 99.9% of men would agree. It's men's DNA, they don't want to see women with body hair, it isn't a style or culture. Women don't shave because "culture tells them to", it's because they know men find body hair unattractive.

What do you guys think?
You are describing a cultural effect. In this case compliance with norms set by society.
If it was a personal choice, a women would shave hair just for herself. She doesn't like hair and she shaves it.

Fire Haired14
31-01-16, 01:19
You are describing a cultural effect. In this case compliance with norms set by society.
If it was a personal choice, a women would shave hair just for herself. She doesn't like hair and she shaves it.

Technically everything we do and think is a cultural effect. Society is who we are, we couldn't function without society. This doesn't mean we don't have free choice though. Girls learn boys don't like body hair, so they shave it out of free choice. They also learn other girls will think they're disgusting and they don't want that, so they shave it. They learn these things from culture, but it's still free choice.

The main issue I'm bringing across with this thread is mainstream academics treat too much of human behavior as the result of cultural norms. Furthermore, they put cultural norms in a bad light. It's related to feminist saying gender is completely cultural instead of biological and is therefore bad.

LeBrok
31-01-16, 02:51
Technically everything we do and think is a cultural effect. Society is who we are, we couldn't function without society. This doesn't mean we don't have free choice though. Girls learn boys don't like body hair, so they shave it out of free choice. They also learn other girls will think they're disgusting and they don't want that, so they shave it. They learn these things from culture, but it's still free choice. Sure, but if you call it a "free choice" then wearing burqa is also a free choice. Likewise following an order in army is a "free choice". You can always say no and go to prison, be "honor killed" or ostracized by peers. We can call it a difficult choice but free it is not.


It's related to feminist saying gender is completely cultural instead of biological and is therefore bad. Could you cite these feminists saying this?

Fire Haired14
31-01-16, 04:16
What's Free choice and cultural norm is hard to define. I thin shaving hair is an example of free choice.



Could you cite these feminists saying this?

I've heard people say this. It's a rare opinion but exists.

Angela
31-01-16, 17:39
I hate to break it to some of you, but women weren't shaving their underarms or legs for all of human history, much less any other human body parts. In fact, as far as European society is concerned, it's very recent. For the whole period from the end of the Roman Empire to the middle of the 20th century, women had body hair, and men appear to have been just fine with it.

Let's have a little historical context, please. The norms of the last ten years, or even fifty years, are no basis for the drawing of vast generalizations about what is cultural versus what is innate.

Fire-Haired, you need to take an art history class. Look up Goya's "La Maja Desnuda", or Modigliani's "The Red Nude", or 19th century female nudes. The erotica of that period includes many photographs of women.

I think I also read a post somewhere where you said that men innately prefer long, straight hair. You should be careful not to generalize from what is "popular" or current now. I assure you that for most of European history women have tortured themselves trying to make their hair curl. First it was hot metal tongs, or wrapping wet hair around scraps of cloth, then it was toxic chemical perms. Perms were in fact very popular just a few decades ago.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hairstyle

Even men got into the act. They powdered the wigs too.
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/97/1d/69/971d69c1aa39cbf00bb8b918d08934db.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/b9/da/ed/b9daed598fa8ba0cc9b76807222d0b4f.jpg

The 80s version...Nicole Kidman:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/73/63/8d/73638d0986f4701196ed0e2c004705a9.jpg

Fire Haired14
31-01-16, 21:22
@Angela,

People rarely took showers back then but that doesn't mean they didn't prefer cleanliness. The same goes with women shaving. I would bet lots of money a poll from any culture would find men prefer women shaved. It isn't just cultural. If it was there'd be more men who shave body hair. And about straight vs curly hair, by curly I mean African/Oceania curly. That isn't the type of curl straight haired people who curl their hair are trying to get.

LeBrok
01-02-16, 01:39
@Angela,

People rarely took showers back then but that doesn't mean they didn't prefer cleanliness. The same goes with women shaving. I would bet lots of money a poll from any culture would find men prefer women shaved.Perhaps there is a general dislike of body hair on some level. Now we have new technology of removing hair, from shavers to lasers to creams, and this natural inclination to remove hair can be accomplished easily. One fortifies the other.
In amazon jungle men and women remove all body hair except on top of head. They use strings looping them and pulling to remove every little hair, eyebrows included. I think they naturally come with rather hairless body, so their level of depilation is not extreme when compared to what European man would go through. ;)

LeBrok
01-02-16, 02:10
What's Free choice and cultural norm is hard to define. I thin shaving hair is an example of free choice. Indeed to separate culture from free will is impossible, or even to separate it from one's nature. This problem have been worked on by many philosophers for centuries without definite conclusions. True free will is only the one which goes against nurture and nature, like try not to scratch the itch, don't eat all day, laugh out loud in church during a mass, walk naked on the street (granted you are not exhibitionist), etc. It is really tough. It is so much easier, to make a "free choice" to go with your nature and societal norms. As I said before, we make choices, but they almost never really free.




I've heard people say this. It's a rare opinion but exists.The way you wrote it I thought that the world was collapsing under extreme feminism. :)

Angela
01-02-16, 04:30
@Angela,

People rarely took showers back then but that doesn't mean they didn't prefer cleanliness. The same goes with women shaving. I would bet lots of money a poll from any culture would find men prefer women shaved. It isn't just cultural. If it was there'd be more men who shave body hair. And about straight vs curly hair, by curly I mean African/Oceania curly. That isn't the type of curl straight haired people who curl their hair are trying to get.

You said there is an innate preference for straight hair. There isn't. Rather it's the opposite if we go by what history teaches us. Nicole Kidman's hair is not West African in texture or type but it is very curly. That was the style. People follow styles. The same has happened with BMI. The fashion industry and then the film industry have pushed a BMI for women which is very low. In the 50s it was different. Rent "The Devil Wears Prada" if you don't want to read on the subject. Sample sizes for photography and advertising shoots used to be a 6-8 even thirty years ago. Then it went to 4-6. Now they're 2s and 4s and sometimes O. Do you have any idea how tiny that is, especially if the girl has to be over 5'9" tall?

As for body hair, you have only your own preferences as a source, so it's irrelevant. In Middle Eastern countries removal of body hair on women was a custom for centuries; it wasn't the custom of the west. There were as many razors and other methods of hair removal in the west as in the east in centuries past, but they weren't used. It's called different cultural norms.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair_removal

As was stated above, there are certain givens, in terms of women, mostly having to do with health and fertility such as thick, shiny hair, smooth, glowing skin, a "feminine" figure, perhaps regularity of feature. Societies tinker around the edges after that. I don't understand how the Chinese made a fetish of shrunken, diseased feet on women which left them incapable of walking without assistance, but they apparently did do it, and found them very erotic. There are poems about it.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/73/a3/26/73a326197765fe69ef90b356627d55d4.jpg

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JRUxvtPLqA8/VdBWv0kxCsI/AAAAAAAAADI/fGX1zTrhGX4/s1600/aaaddd2.jpg

I have no idea what you mean by the showering reference. It very much depended on the culture how much people bathed. The Romans bathed all the time. In the Middle Ages people rarely bathed. For poor people it probably wasn't possible to bathe often, but royals could have bathed every hour on the hour if they chose, and yet they didn't choose. It was considered unhealthy by some, but still! How could anyone stay "clean" under such conditions? They must have stunk to high heaven.

Some fun trivia:

"Anne of Cleves
"The Germans had long shocked the rest of Europe by not washing their hands before eating and bathing infrequently. Henry VIII’s fourth wife, Anne of Cleves was no different. Before she was presented to Henry, her advisors worked hard to get the stinky German Princess to take a bath." (The bath didn't help; he took one look at her and told his ministers to get him a divorce. She had the last laugh, though. :) He chopped off the head of his next Queen and was on the verge of doing the same to the last one when he mercifully died!)

"Elizabeth I
Rumors abound that Elizabeth professed that she bathed once a month, “whether she needed it or not.” 3 But given Elizabeth's keen sense of smell and her access to the sunken bath that her father built, I suspect she bathed far more often.

Peter the Great
Peter traveled the world learning new customs, but no amount of enlightenment could get the czar practicing good hygiene. He found nothing wrong with relieving the call of nature on the glittering palace walls. These were good times to be a germ. Peter did swear by the curative properties of an occasional natural mineral spring bath, but didn't make a habit out of bathing regularly.

Ferdinand and Isabella
Ferdinand and Isabella didn’t help in the quest toward cleanliness. In Spain, the early Christian doctrines taught that bathing was a corrupt practice that could only lead to…nakedness. Cleanliness was next to Ungodliness. After the conquest of Granada, the Moors not only had to give up their religion to survive the Inquisition, they also had to give up bathing. Isabella and Ferdinand ordered the Moorish baths to be destroyed and bathing was strictly forbidden. When Columbus reported back on the daily bathing habits of the Taino people, Isabella was horrified and commanded her new subjects to stop this blasphemous bathing practice at once.

Isabella boasted that she herself had only bathed twice in her life and I am going to take her word for it.

Phillip II and his Daughter Isabella
His daughter Isabella because a national martyr to germs when she vowed in 1601 that she would not change her shift until the siege of Ostend ended. Unfortunately, the siege lasted over three years! Eeeeeuw…. that’s an awfully long time to be wearing the same underwear. After three years, her white shift had turned a lovely shade of brown.

Henry IV
Henry’s first wife, Marguerite de Valois, complained bitterly about Henry’s lack of bathing worsened by his proclivity to eat large amounts of garlic."

http://blog.raucousroyals.com/2008/09/royal-vapors-and-foul-rumors.html

In fact, most Europeans of the 19th century apparently stank. It didn't seem to bother them or affect their intimacy, what with all the families with 10 or more children. The Japanese, among whom bathing is very important, complained about having to be in a room with Europeans to do commercial negotiations. :)

It's a mistake to take the customs of one place at one time and attempt to draw vast conclusions about what is nature and what is nurture in human beings.

Alan
01-02-16, 05:39
It's a mistake to take the customs of one place at one time and attempt to draw vast conclusions about what is nature and what is nurture in human beings.

Indeed the eastern cultural sphere (I mean the Middle East to East Asia cause in this case they have more in common) hygiene was and still is very important. Especially in the Near East people prefer to smell good. This is why scents in Middle Eastern countries are much stronger. I think everyone has once come into contact of the strong smell of Middle Eastern perfumes. In the Islamic (and I think Jewish) religion it is a must that you have to go through the process of ritual washing before any praying.


Other examples for this hygiene awareness is that in West Asian countries and East Asia you take of the shoes when you enter the home. The first time I went to the house of a German friend as a kid. I was suprised that they told me I should come in with my dirty shoes into the house and his room. It was and still is natural for me to take off the shoes when entering a home.

LeBrok
01-02-16, 05:59
Indeed the eastern cultural sphere (I mean the Middle East to East Asia cause in this case they have more in common) hygiene was and still is very important. Especially in the Near East people prefer to smell good. This is why scents in Middle Eastern countries are much stronger. I think everyone has once come into contact of the strong smell of Middle Eastern perfumes.
This is very interesting issue, and counterintuitive for this matter. Shouldn't we (human species) like the smell of our unwashed bodies? Naturalistically speaking, there are not many animals that regularly bathe themselves. Vast majority don't, because they use smells and pheromones for communication. If they bathe they don't smell right, they don't smell good. This is a normal thing in animal kingdom.
So why people are such an evenement and need to bathe every day?!!! It is rather unnatural, but we like it and want it. Perhaps it points us to who we were in the past?

There is a hypothesis that very ancient people (about 200 kya) spent huge amount of time around coasts of South Africa. They swam and they dived for sea food every day. Perhaps this part of our past changed our "standards" about bathing? Or maybe it human condition is even more ancient when we lived in a jungle being washed off by rain every day?

AgnusDei
01-02-16, 15:28
This is very interesting issue, and counterintuitive for this matter. Shouldn't we (human species) like the smell of our unwashed bodies? Naturalistically speaking, there are not many animals that regularly bathe themselves. Vast majority don't, because they use smells and pheromones for communication. If they bathe they don't smell right, they don't smell good. This is a normal thing in animal kingdom.
So why people are such an evenement and need to bathe every day?!!! It is rather unnatural, but we like it and want it. Perhaps it points us to who we were in the past?

There is a hypothesis that very ancient people (about 200 kya) spent huge amount of time around coasts of South Africa. They swam and they dived for sea food every day. Perhaps this part of our past changed our "standards" about bathing? Or maybe it human condition is even more ancient when we lived in a jungle being washed off by rain every day?

Pheromones don't smell bad, it's the overgrowth of bacteria on our bodies that produces the repulsive body odor. That's because we have evolved to detect rotten meat, which is potentially lethal for humans and since what gives rotten meat its repulsive smell is bacteria we associated the smell with food poisoning.
That is why the very bad odors are nauseating, it is a primitive solution to get rid of whatever rotten meat you have ingested .

Note that animals are O.K. with eating rotten meat and don't seem to find the smell repulsive at all because of their highly effective immune systems.

Angela
01-02-16, 16:54
This is very interesting issue, and counterintuitive for this matter. Shouldn't we (human species) like the smell of our unwashed bodies? Naturalistically speaking, there are not many animals that regularly bathe themselves. Vast majority don't, because they use smells and pheromones for communication. If they bathe they don't smell right, they don't smell good. This is a normal thing in animal kingdom.
So why people are such an evenement and need to bathe every day?!!! It is rather unnatural, but we like it and want it. Perhaps it points us to who we were in the past?

There is a hypothesis that very ancient people (about 200 kya) spent huge amount of time around coasts of South Africa. They swam and they dived for sea food every day. Perhaps this part of our past changed our "standards" about bathing? Or maybe it human condition is even more ancient when we lived in a jungle being washed off by rain every day?

I never thought of it that way, but you're right. How does it make sense from an evolutionary point of view?

Yet, even the royals in my example above used scents. Perhaps you go nose blind to the smell of the unwashed human body after a while, but you're still attracted to certain smells and want them on you?

The thing about scents is that you have to be careful which ones you choose, as your body chemistry changes the smell. Every woman knows that you have to try on the scent and then walk around for a while before smelling it again to make sure it hasn't "turned". That's why when you find a "good" one you tend to stick to it. That, or you don't put it on you but on your clothes if you really love the smell. I think that's a bad idea probably. If your body doesn't like it, you shouldn't wear it.

Men definitely have their preferences though. My signature scent was recently discontinued, and while hunting for a new one I happened to ask the sales woman for the current most popular ones. She said men almost invariably chose as gifts sweet scents, especially ones with flower essence of roses or gardenias or orchids, and they also liked the ones that included vanilla.

However, I recently saw an article that said men don't like flowery scents because they remind them of their grandmothers or mothers! I think it's a generational difference. A man buying an expensive perfume for a woman is going to be older. Both groups seem to like the smell of vanilla, however.
http://magazine.foxnews.com/style-beauty/he-says-you-stink-perfumes-men-hate

Smell is a potent transmitter of emotion, and it does indeed trigger memories of other people. A few months after my father's death an older friend of ours dropped by unexpectedly on a cold, blustery morning after a big snowfall. He'd been chopping some wood. When I embraced him the combination of "snow smell", wood shavings, pipe tobacco, and his bristly cheek was overwhelming. The poor man wound up with a sobbing woman on his hands. :) There's a scene like that in the movie Z, where a woman who's husband has been killed buries her face in his shirt.

So, I quite understand that when dating a man might not want to be reminded of his grandmother!

I would bet that there are cultural differences as well.

@Agnus Dei

That's very interesting, but it still begs the question as to why Europeans didn't seem to mind smelling repulsively for so many centuries. Is it just that they went nose blind to it? Also, doesn't really frequent bathing, like showering once or twice a day also dilute the pheromone signal somewhat?

I wonder if scents "turning" on someone has to do with differing pheromones or perhaps with how much acidity is on someone's skin.

Fire Haired14
01-02-16, 18:40
Pheromones don't smell bad, it's the overgrowth of bacteria on our bodies that produces the repulsive body odor. That's because we have evolved to detect rotten meat, which is potentially lethal for humans and since what gives rotten meat its repulsive smell is bacteria we associated the smell with food poisoning.
That is why the very bad odors are nauseating, it is a primitive solution to get rid of whatever rotten meat you have ingested .

Note that animals are O.K. with eating rotten meat and don't seem to find the smell repulsive at all because of their highly effective immune systems.

What about mammal waste :) Dogs don't seem to care.

AgnusDei
01-02-16, 19:05
[QUOTE=Angela;475049
@Agnus Dei

That's very interesting, but it still begs the question as to why Europeans didn't seem to mind smelling repulsively for so many centuries. Is it just that they went nose blind to it? Also, doesn't really frequent bathing, like showering once or twice a day also dilute the pheromone signal somewhat?

I wonder if scents "turning" on someone has to do with differing pheromones or perhaps with how much acidity is on someone's skin.[/QUOTE]

I have thought about that too, maye they had their body odor covered by smoke, mud...etc , I always get the smell of smoke on my clothes whenever I start a fire in the desert.

AgnusDei
01-02-16, 19:09
What about mammal waste :) Dogs don't seem to care.
Could you please elaborate more, do you mean that dogs don't mind eating their own feces ?

Dalmat
01-02-16, 19:30
What about mammal waste :) Dogs don't seem to care.

dogs have antibiotics in their saliva, which lets them kill bacteria on not so fresh meat.

Now, dogs licking wounds has much more sense

Fire Haired14
01-02-16, 23:21
Could you please elaborate more, do you mean that dogs don't mind eating their own feces ?

No, but they aren't disturbed by it when they're surrounded by it like humans are and they smell each others butts. I know mouse eat their own feces. I'm just thinking humans have a special-smell that allows them to detect and stay away from feces.

Fire Haired14
01-02-16, 23:29
Europeans in the 1600s or whatever were able to endure each other's odor, because that's what all humans have done for 99% of human existence. Odor-killing products are new, the only thing someone could do to take away odor in the past was use water. So, if humans have endured body-odor for 10,000s of years why couldn't Europeans do it before the 1900s? That isn't even a worth-while question.

Obviously yes, people who grow up in a world where no one uses soap-deodorant-perfume-etc-etc or takes shores or used paper towels, is less sensitive to body odor than we're. That's one explanation. Back to my original point that female-shaving isn't cultural but because men prefer women without body hair. Women didn't shave in the past for the same reason few showered. This is a pointless argument.

No man wants this.
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Angela
02-02-16, 00:42
Europeans in the 1600s or whatever were able to endure each other's odor, because that's what all humans have done for 99% of human existence. Odor-killing products are new, the only thing someone could do to take away odor in the past was use water. So, if humans have endured body-odor for 10,000s of years why couldn't Europeans do it before the 1900s? That isn't even a worth-while question.

Obviously yes, people who grow up in a world where no one uses soap-deodorant-perfume-etc-etc or takes shores or used paper towels, is less sensitive to body odor than we're. That's one explanation. Back to my original point that female-shaving isn't cultural but because men prefer women without body hair. Women didn't shave in the past for the same reason few showered. This is a pointless argument.

No man wants this.
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There's no substitute for age, experience and a broad liberal arts education.

LeBrok
02-02-16, 01:27
Pheromones don't smell bad, it's the overgrowth of bacteria on our bodies that produces the repulsive body odor. That's because we have evolved to detect rotten meat, which is potentially lethal for humans and since what gives rotten meat its repulsive smell is bacteria we associated the smell with food poisoning.
That is why the very bad odors are nauseating, it is a primitive solution to get rid of whatever rotten meat you have ingested .
Note that animals are O.K. with eating rotten meat and don't seem to find the smell repulsive at all because of their highly effective immune systems. Right, we can't eat even partially rotten meat like true carnivores, most likely due to our short affair as meat eaters. We didn't evolve such efficient and safe meat digestion gut. However, I'm not sure, if it bears any relevance to bad smell of sweat. In both cases bacteria is implicated as a cause of bad odors, but different bacteria nevertheless. Sweaty people don't smell like rotten corpses, neither sweat is poisonous.
It has to be something else, I guess.

LeBrok
02-02-16, 01:31
I never thought of it that way, but you're right. How does it make sense from an evolutionary point of view?

Yet, even the royals in my example above used scents. Perhaps you go nose blind to the smell of the unwashed human body after a while, but you're still attracted to certain smells and want them on you?
Central and Northern Europeans have a good excuse not to bathe. It is too fricken cold for a bigger half of a year. I think most of the time they were doing rag baths. Just wiping themselves clean with wet rugs mostly in "strategic" places.

Christian Ho
14-04-16, 14:07
I agree with you, that women in general are better off without body hair, but it depends. There are exceptions as well. Let's not forget at the end, that nature has put this hair on its place for some reason! In order to protect your body! All the best, your Christian Ho

laetoli
14-04-16, 14:48
This discussion should be on 4chan