The double standard of shaving

Kami Geron & Olivia Gaetano, Reporters

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Smooth Legs vs. Gender Roles

Winter weather is wearing down, which means it’s time to break out the shorts. However, what comes with short sleeves and exposed legs is that unfortunate task of shaving.

“I started shaving in the fourth grade,” junior Hannah Sweet said. “I shave for myself. I like the feeling of shaved skin and is less itchy/uncomfortable.”

As a female in the United States, its expected to be clean and smooth. Stereotypes are everywhere in our world, yet shaving has become the most unambiguous. The line between male and female are unspoken and regarded as an unbreakable law.

“There are definitely gender roles and stereotypes regarding shaving,” Sweet said. “Most girls feel as though they have to shave and that’s because society has made it that way. If a girl doesn’t shave at all then she would be judged heavily. Males could go without shaving forever and no one would think twice.”

Males, however not upheld to be perfect, are required to fufill certain images. The thing is, they can easily be clean cut or fully bearded without a glance.

“Shaving stereotypes do exist,” sophomore Jack Schad said. “I can’t speak on behalf of women, but most of them [I know] do tend to shave their legs. Women who don’t tend to go against a stereotype. Men usually have facial hair prominently at older ages, and shaving when young is more common than in older generations.”

As an actor, Schad’s different roles require different amounts of “gruff”. Schad is not afraid to admit that he has a little more facial hair for his age which can bring its own sets of challenges. On stage, he tries to look as clean shaven as possible.

“One time in eighth grade, I tripped and fell in the shower while shaving,” Schad said. “It left a deep gash on my jaw, and instead of admitting it to my middle school friends… I told them I was cut by a piece of sheet metal while working in the garage. Not a funny [story], but an example of how insecure I used to be about it.”

An anonymous student claims to shave as well so he doesn’t want a beard. He finds shaving a part of his regular routine.

“I feel like there are huge stereotypes about shaving across the board,” the student said. “I feel like every gender has a stereotype on how that person has to shave and what to shave. I feel like if a man were to shave his legs he would be labeled “gay” but really it’s not that deep. If someone wants to shave a part of their hair that’s up to them and it doesn’t make someone gay.”

Advocate against the female stereotype, sophomore Marie-Claire Diehl recalls her history with shaving.

“When I was younger I really wanted to shave,” Diehl said. “All the girls in my class already were, so I thought I had to. But I didn’t really know what I was doing, so I had razor burn all the time. As I got older, I stopped caring as much.”

Like the others, Diehl agrees that women are expected to shave. They have to change how their body looks, so it’s prettier and more desirable, according to Diehl.

As for men, Diehl feels that there’s not a pressure on them to do it at all.

“I support the concept of since it’s your body, you have free reign over what you do and don’t do, as long as you’re not hurting anybody it’s okay,” Diehl said.