Monday, February 02, 2009

Can Somebody Tell Me: Why Humans Shave?

Henceforth on Mondays, I'd like to have a burning question of the day to track down the answer to. And I'd like for those questions to come from you. The question can be on any subject you choose, and may be as outlandish as you wish. There is an answer to every question and, together, we'll ferret them out. I, of course, by simple process of elimination, had to come up with today's query. I am hopeful that your innate curiosity will provide fodder for next week and the weeks after that.

So, today's Can Somebody Tell Me question -- why do we human beings shave off our body hair?

Human beings, like many other animals, are naturally hirsute. We have body hair, albeit our pelts are not as thick and luxurious as those of early humans. We grow hair not only on our heads but all over our bodies. Hair grows everywhere on the human body except the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, eyelids, and lips. I'm sure it serves a number of natural purposes.

In the armpits and pubic areas, for example, hair tends to serve as a lubricant between two patches of skin that would otherwise rub together uncomfortably. Unfortunately, these two areas can also originate body odor, which might be a good reason for keeping the hair at a minimum. It's true that over millennia, humans have lost much of their body hair, making us virtually hairless primates. Still, most of us have leg and arm hair, and men have hairy faces, chests and, sometimes (ugh!), backs. We won't even address those unseemly tufts of hair that sprout from the occasional human's ears and noses.

What I'm wondering is, when and why did we (the collective we) decide to start shaving off what little body hair we have left? Many men shave their faces every day, and women regularly shave their legs and arm pits. Some anthropologists believe hair removal is a primal message to the opposite sex, the lack of hair making it easier to prove and/or show off that he or she is free of ticks, mites, lice, and other less than charming parasites and afflictions which, perforce, makes one more desirable.

What's your theory? Why do we spend big bucks on creams, potions, razors, depilatories, electrolysis, etc., to keep ourselves hair-free?

I am not happy with the Groundhog. In fact, I'm looking for stew recipes. Happy Groundhog Day, anyway.


Kanrei said...

Itchies! I shave to get rid of the itchies...that and work makes me. I would think humans are supposed to shave though, considering that most men's heads begin removing hair on their own around age 30. Well, not removing per say, but relocating to really weird and unexpected places, but that falls under the "TMI" heading.

Welcome back SJ.

dons_mind said...

...because my wife likes my cheeks nice and smooth and soft :) :)

....and i like her legs nice and smooth and soft..... ;) ;)

Serena said...

Yes, there is that itchies thing, Kan. No doubt about it, hair itchies are not a good thing. I'm not so sure humans are supposed to shave, though. Shaving doesn't occur in nature.:)

Now, those are 2 very fine reasons for shaving, Don.:)

snowelf said...

Ohh-very nice segment!!

I confess, I'd have laser hair removal if I could afford it and it wasn't completely unneccessary.
I shave almost religiously. I just feel "unclean" if I don't. I don't have any ticks or lice that I know of, but I have been told I have cooties. ;)


Serena said...

EVERY DAY, Snow? I'm pretty clean, but definitely not that fastidious. I think we all had cooties in 6th grade. LOL.:-)

Skunkfeathers said...

My job requires a shaved mug. Thus, I shave my mug.

On my days off, I go caveman ... no shave ... drag knuckles down and kill food ...die, egg roll, die, *bonk bonk* bad moo goo gai pan ... eat with fingers ... grunt ... ba-na-na ... Geico suck ... grog oh ...

then on my Monday, I back to shaved mug ;)

Serena said...

Me hunt Lean Cuisine, kill egg rolls, disembowel melons, and crack chocolate bunny skulls, Skunk. Hit hard, eat 'til belly full. Then me burp. Maybe we from same tribe.:-)

g-man said...

Native Americans, and Orientals have very little body hair below their neck. Crippled old biker bastards such as myself, are quite hair-free below the neck as well.
Now some men do indeed look like Sasquatch Jr. And I think they probably do require more bathing to keep from retaining some odiferous emanations. Women on the other hand, I believe they shave for vanity reasons. I kinda like a chick with that "hippie-look". I much prefer the soft feel of hair, to stubble!

(But thats just me...:P)

Serena said...

I do indeed shave for vanity reasons, Galen. As much as I love natural things, I have to confess that I can't stand the sight of hairy pits or leg hair so long it needs to be braided.:)

Serena said...

We have not yet had a question posed for consideration next Monday. Anyone up for it?

Anonymous said...

i shave
to release
my inner female
experience smooth nirvana


¤ ¤ ¤


Skunkfeathers said...

Next Monday's potential question:

If a sheep is a ram, and a donkey is an ass, why is a ram in the ass a goose?

Serena said...

There is nothing like smooth nirvana, /t. Definitely a goal to shave for. Happy Day Before Hump Day.:)

That's quite a question, Skunk. It's mind-boggling but, dang, there's gotta be an answer.:)

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