A 1998 study confirmed that over 92% of women remove their bodily hair, especially on their legs and underarms.
In a study of college-aged women (mean age 22.3) and high-school aged girls (mean age 14.1), researchers sought to get closer to the causes of the basic practice of bodily hair removal among women.Interestingly, the high-school aged girls chose reasons that more strongly reflected the normative forces of society, choosing “Body hair is ugly,” and “Men prefer women without body hair,” as the two most compelling reasons for removing their body hair. In contrast, women chose more self-expressive reasons. Women say they chose to remove their bodily hair because “It makes me feel more attractive,” and “I like the soft silky feeling.”
Although the researchers conducting the study lump both these responses together as relating to “femininity/attractiveness,” it is clear that this is not the end of the story. Teenagers place authority for the decision outside themselves, either explicitly in men, or implicitly through the blanket social judgement that “body hair is ugly.”
In contrast, women seek self-approval for their attractiveness and furtherance of their own enjoyment of self.This distinction gives another convincing reason why teenagers should be discouraged from seeking bodily alteration through cosmetic surgery. With a poorly-developed sense of self, they are seeking approval from elsewhere, anywhere outside themselves. Only when women are able to make decisions based on their own desires should they be allowed to permanently alter their bodies through cosmetic surgery.
Although the study reported that the mean frequency of hair removal was weekly, women who wish to experience less frequent hair removal can do it with either intense pulsed light or laser hair removal.