Tall, short, dark hair, light hair, dark skin, light skin, freckles or no freckles, dark eyes, light eyes, big-breasted or small breasted (yes it’s true, you don’t … An overview of chemical straightening of human hair: technical aspects, potential risks to hair fibre and health and legal issues. Those of us with anxiety felt our symptoms... On Body Hair & Changing What It Means To Be Feminine, Kardashian Team Spills Makeup and Beauty Secrets In Latest Video, Why a Dog Is A Perfect Aid For Anxiety Sufferers, How Kim & Kanye’s Public Life Allows Us To Understand Bipolar…, How to Break Up with Someone without Hurting Them, 3 Things Mentally Strong People Will Never Do, These Two Stretches Will Reliever Pregnancy Pains, Feeling Sore Post-Workout? What didn’t help was the heated response to it in the media. Required fields are marked *. A few days before I left for overnight camp, I played my last card, my last desperate attempt at finally having hair-free legs. I’m still not sure how I knew I was “supposed” to shave my legs right around the time puberty hit, but it was something that just seemed like the right thing to do. I’ll make sure my hair is perfectly coiffed and double check that my manicure and pedicure are chip-free. Having said this, feminine beauty comes in many forms. Please let me do this.” My mother, exasperation written all over her face, finally caved. The drawback is that its wearer may be seen as less forceful. However, these bonds can easily revert to their original positions once exposed to water through humidity or washing, for example. I was quite androgynous-looking, with short hair, ugly glasses, and wearing very plain clothes. (2014, October 21). For others, through bimonthly relaxer sessions. Usually, nothing. Because despite how comfortable I am with my own diverse body hair choices, I also know I’m outside the norm. But my mother wouldn’t budge. Femininity Hair & Beauty, Reading, England. Hair Cutting Colouring and Perming.Hair Extensions .Manicures Pedicures. While awareness of the health risks associated with hair relaxers will help women make informed decisions about using them, these decisions will almost always be affected by societal pressures until there is a radical change in the way our society thinks about beauty and femininity. Chemical burns may have convinced a handful of women to go natural, but they seem like a small price to pay for the reward of fitting in with the images of femininity that black women have been bombarded with for centuries. 325 likes. Hair Cutting Colouring and Perming.Hair Extensions .Manicures Pedicures. The Fight to Rid Black Women’s Hair Salons of Toxic Chemicals. Cutting my hair short, I felt at odds with my femininity “Suddenly, I no longer felt comfortable in skirts or archetypal ‘feminine’ clothes”, writes Madeleine Wakeman, about after she had her hair … Seeing Julia Roberts with pit puffs of her own while on the red carpet of the Oscars in 1999 was revolutionary to my teen self, and definitely helped normalize body hair for me. Retrieved from https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/mmg/mmg.asp?id=246&tid=45, Your email address will not be published. Find a skincare … My relationship with body hair is complicated to say the least. As a result, chemical burns on our scalps have almost become a ubiquitous part of the black female experience, something we can all bond over. For some women, this may manifest through continuous cosmetic surgeries. (2013). I was 11-years-old and ready for this next step into womanhood, or so I thought. Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with women and girls.Although femininity is socially constructed, research indicates that some behaviors considered feminine are biologically influenced. Over the years these women have got used to men’s style and gradually lose the sense of femininity. 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It is well known that hair relaxers can have undesired effects on the hair itself, such as making hair lighter over time, making hair more prone to breakage, and causing hair thinning or even hair loss. Long hair is an indicator of youth, in part, because long hair … The hair will grow back darker and thicker. However, as mentioned before, hair straighteners and relaxers do not change the shape of the hair follicle itself, so new hair will still grow out in its natural texture. Long, luscious hair is regarded as an archetypal feminine trait in quite a few cultures and commonly … I’m not really one for makeup, but between my Audrey Hepburn-inspired sunglasses and a bit of tinted gloss, I know I look fierce. These Tips Will Help, These 6 Office Items Make the Workday So Much More Comfortable. You don’t want to have to deal with it it all. This board looks at the feminine within the masculine within the feminine. If you google femininity or something similar, most of what you come across is a jumble of feminist propaganda, goddess earth worship, and how to be a seductive woman. Everything about me screams ultra femme. My own preferences when it comes to body hair are all over the place now, despite my stubborn beginning. “You’re too young. I began to rock my pit puffs, occasional leg hair, and a neatly trimmed bikini area with abandon. Lab, V. G. (2015, November 13). And for too many black women, this exposure continues regularly for decades. As a land grant institution, UCLA acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (Los Angeles basin, So. So, shave I did. Femininity, Hair Relaxers, and the Impact of Beauty Standards on Black Women’s Health, hair relaxers can have undesired effects on the hair itself, Chemical Entanglements Undergraduate Group, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/11/the-fight-to-rid-black-womens-hair-salons-of-toxic-chemicals/433386/, https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/mmg/mmg.asp?id=246&tid=45, César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies. In fact, I’m quite aware of what the general public thinks when it comes to women and body hair, if the hyperfocused lens on celebrity is any indication. And then, I discovered that when it came to other aspects of body hair — namely “down there” — I preferred a much more groomed look. Here’s What You Should Consider, Need to Slow Down and Enjoy Life More? My feet will sport some strappy sandal or a tall wedge. Then I entered college and discovered that it didn’t really have to be that way. Yet I continued shaving all throughout junior high and high school, just … because. Because it was what everyone else was doing and it was expected of me. It was referred to as disgusting and unlady like. admin Long, beautiful and healthy hair isn’t just Trad and Feminine, it is “a glory’ – it is God’s special gift for displaying the softness, femininity, and tenderness of a woman. Feminine style of clothing, such as wearing skirts and dresses will also contribute to a woman’s physical f… Jan 19, 2021 - Male femininity is so wonderfully beautiful, powerful and natural. Nail Enhancements. The physical aspects of femininityinclude a woman’s body and body type, hair and hair style, and her dress style. Your email address will not be published. My body hair has not impeded on my femininity or beauty in any way, despite the greedy cries of the beauty industry that it would. And why the rush? She was part of the Chemical Entanglements Undergraduate Group in Spring 2017. ), it is usually extremely long. Long hair tends to be among the Tertiary Sexual Characteristics used to establish a character as female. How you can create a more feminine look thru feminization Male feminization is a term that refers to the process of a male becoming feminized through changing their physical image. However, some of the scariest health risks associated with hair relaxers have little to do with hair at all. And where social parameters of beauty or “professionalism” are not the issue, lack of options for haircare may force black women to choose the seemingly easier route of relaxed hair anyway, as the hair industry hardly caters to hair that is not already deemed desirable. While some feminine men and boys are meant to be (or become) female—to fully and truly live as women and girls, there are many whose embodiment of the feminine is found within their maleness. In May 2017, a 16-year-old high school student in Florida was told that her natural hair violated the school’s dress code, which requires that hair is “neat” and clean.” Her story and the countless other stories of work and school policies that disproportionately target and police black hair show just one of the many reasons why hair relaxers remain such a tempting option for many black women and girls. At-Home Hair Removal: The Pros and ConsFacial Fuzz Busters. A: Being feminine is a character-trait; definitely not dictated by the length of your hair. Even when we see the tightly coiled 4c texture (which is incredibly rare! Women’s body hair routines are as idiosyncratic as the women themselves. But, while I allowed myself to test out my own comfort level, I discovered something interesting. For many black women, our unattainable marker of femininity is related to the long, flowing hair that we see everywhere but in the mirror; the sassy hair flip that doesn’t come in your feminine package when your hair grows upwards and out. It’s just hair.”. However, unlike a 24-inch waist or longer legs, science has made this feminine ideal easily attainable for us, packaged in colourful boxes lining the shelves of countless stores and hair salons. Amanda Wilcox is an undergraduate student studying Gender Studies and Society and Genetics. While some thrived during the Corona Virus shutdowns, many of us felt lost without a routine. But when I think of feminine, there are definitely some words that come to mind. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/11/the-fight-to-rid-black-womens-hair-salons-of-toxic-chemicals/433386/, Miranda-Vilela, A. L., Botelho, A. J., & Muehlmann, L. A. It’s a good idea for a pixie haircut to boost the effect from layers with an undercut, … However, these relaxers are not without their risks. The straightness or curliness of our hair is determined by the shape of our hair follicles, which cannot themselves be changed, but hydrogen and disulphide bonds play a large role in changing the curl pattern of our hair once it grows out of said hair follicles. International Journal of Cosmetic Science,36 (1), 2-11. doi:10.1111/ics.12093, Shetty, V. H., Shetty, N. J., & Nair, D. G. (2013). The results of this constant message are countless stories of black women being exposed to toxic chemicals in hair relaxers used to permanently change their hair texture, some as young as the age of five (and in extreme cases, younger). Words like delicate, soft, and pretty are a few of them. Noting the "political complexities of African-American hair and beauty culture," West quotes the sociologist Ingrid Banks, who interviewed more than fifty black girls and women between 1996 and 1998 for her book Hair Matters (2000) and who concluded that "hair … Clothing: this is one thing you can play with when you have short hair. The flowers and cream lace of the dress indicate femininity and delicacy. Here are our tips on how to look feminine with short hair, and how to look feminine with pixie cut. However, for years the pervasive message communicated to women about their body hair has been that it is … Channel Islands). And while community bonding is important, a quick dive into the science of hair straightening will show why this particular shared experience is so dangerous to our health. Human hair is largely composed of tough, fibrous proteins known as keratin, and the proteins in our hair are held together by strong bonds known as disulphide bonds and relatively weaker bonds known as hydrogen bonds. Moisturize and practice regular skincare techniques to maintain blemish-free skin. All the teens and women I saw on TV, in movies and magazines were hair-free, as were the women in my day-to-day life. There is … Enjoy your stay :). Well, everything that is, except for my armpits, where instead of smooth, clean shaven skin, soft, downy hair resides. CSW Associate Director Sarah Haley wins multiple book awards! Lye-based relaxers, which contain the caustic alkaline agent sodium hydroxide, can cause severe burns to the skin as well as irritation to the nose, throat, and respiratory tract. Here are some interesting links for you! They start wearing their hair short and forget about jewelry or other things that make them feminine … Nail Enhancements. Like the head … The natural hair movement, and the large-scale shift toward embracing our natural textures has been hugely important in getting black women to reject hair relaxers, but this is only one side of the issue. Short Spiky Cut. Unrealistic standards of beauty and femininity have always forced women to put themselves through potentially harmful processes, and the prevalence of hair relaxer amongst black women is just another manifestation of this norm. Clearly hair removal mattered. I was noncommittal about my legs, occasionally preferring a sleek, smooth leg look, and other times letting the hair grow out. Because of the temporary nature of heat straightening, other methods are necessary for women who desire permanently straight hair, and this is where hair relaxers come in. My armpit hair grew in soft and light and I found that I actually liked that part of my body so much more with hair than without. The relationship between black women and hair relaxers provides a large-scale case study for the intersections of femininity, beauty standards, and health. These women are uplifted as the standard of femininity and how a woman should present herself. I was already rocking a training bra — itchy, tight, white cotton that covered my barely budding breasts — so why couldn’t I do something about the hair on my legs? Here’s What You Should…, 6 Common Household Items You Should Regularly Replace, pit puffs of her own while on the red carpet of the Oscars in 1999, Beyonce, Drew Barrymore, and Britney Spears, China Has a Whole Holiday Called “Singles’ Day”, 24 Ways You Never Thought to Use Baking Soda as a Beauty Product, Planning a Scary Movie Night? Here are 6 of the Best Horror Movies to Binge, Thinking About Getting a Pet In Lockdown? Long hair was traditionally regarded as a sign of femininity. While it is easy to read off a list of health problems caused by relaxers, this does little to address the deep-seated issue at hand. Because of the dangers of lye-based relaxers, many women have switched to “no-lye” relaxers which contain weaker alkaline agents that are less likely to cause burns and irritation. http://doi.org/10.4103/0974-7753.114710, Toxic Substances Portal – Sodium Hydroxide. My mother’s answers remained the same. “Femininity is a social construct after all. Ask A Scientist: Does Hair Grow Back Normally After I Shave Or Pluck It? They say the "short hair removes obvious femininity and replaces it with style", but you need to know how to make that happen. 50 were here. Chemical Hair Relaxers Have Adverse Effects a Myth or Reality.International Journal of Trichology, 5(1), 26–28. My mother certainly didn’t push it, but my friends were doing it, and I followed suit. Perhaps I could also let my body hair grow and the world wouldn’t stop spinning, and boys would still talk to me. Sure, it was “just hair,” but I knew that she removed hers. Here are 6 of the Best…, Thinking About Getting a Pet In Lockdown? • Femininity: History shows that hair is a symbol of femininity. And while the aforementioned issues largely affect the women who have their hair relaxed, there are a number of health issues that also affect the overwhelmingly black female salon workers who repeatedly treat their customers’ hair. “But why can’t I shave my legs?” It must have been the tenth time I had asked that week. Despite there being so little of the sparse, blonde hair, I had got it cemented in my mind that it was meant to go away. Clearly, the health risks associated with hair relaxers are not contained to just the person having their hair relaxed. Sometimes, I just can’t help but flaunt it. Unfortunately, society has attached words like “difficult” and “ugly” to kinky hair, and “soft, beautiful and feminine” to straight hair. The idea of “[insert name] with the good hair” goes far beyond a cheeky line in Beyoncé’s “Sorry.” Rather, it’s a pervasive and systematic idea that has been forced on and marketed to black women for centuries, telling us that our kinks and curls are not “good,” professional, manageable, or desirable enough. As a result, people with relaxed hair often return to the salon regularly to chemically straighten their new hair growth. And it wasn’t just Julia. Far from being the inevitable outcome On the other hand, however, the classed and of a biological imperative, femininity is produced racialised false dichotomy between feminine respect- through a range of practices, including normative ability and unfeminine (sexual) vulgarity, may result body-altering work such as routine hair … I’ll put on a pretty, sleeveless dress, perhaps one in shades of pink or embellished with a hint of lace. I zeroed in on my mother’s pink Lady Schick razor each time I stepped foot in the shower. But I also think of words like meticulous and hardworking, as many of the crafts traditionally associated with femininity (sewing, cooking, etc) take a lot of time and effort.” (Katie, 24, African American, USA) “I’m not exactly sure how I’d define femininity. In fact, many of these salon workers have complained about developing work-related health complications of their own, ranging from respiratory difficulties to dermatitis and other forms of skin irritation. For women, long hair is associated with femininity. Halle Berry must be one of the most beautiful, feminine and undeniably gorgeous women alive, yet her hair is short and … A woman who has a more attractive body physically (wider hips, narrower waist, softer and smoother skin, thicker lips and eye brows, moderate height etc..) will likely come across as more feminine. And so, my legs did eventually end up hair free, with a smattering of raised, red-tinted skin from where my inexperienced hand dug a little too close with my very own pink Lady Schick razor. Because your hair … Long hair represents femininity like beards represent masculinity. The paradoxical societal constraints of gender often rears it’s head when conversations about body hair occur. For users of both lye and no-lye relaxers, there is a high risk of dermal absorption of the toxic chemicals in these relaxers because of the scalp lesions and burns that often form during treatment. “If you don’t let me do it now, I’ll just do it at camp, and then I’ll probably do it wrong or hurt myself. My armpit hair grew in soft and light and I found that I actually liked that part of my body so much more with hair than without. Madonna, Mo’Nique, Beyonce, Drew Barrymore, and Britney Spears have all been dragged through the mud for sporting some body hair. I was a girl through and through, but much of my femininity was repressed. Although the importance of accepting oneself cannot be overstated, women will always be pushed towards unhealthy solutions like hair relaxers if we feel like the rest of the world does not accept us. However, this varies by location and culture. But the often-ignored reality is that regardless of the number of products and services used, “ideal” femininity and beauty can never truly be reached, at least not for very long. I saw all different types of women — not just the hippie granola stereotype — proudly showing off their body hair. Occasionally I would get stares, and very rarely a comment or two. Certain traits and behaviors, such as wearing make up and elaborate hair grooming, may be seen by some as feminine. Since the dawn of time, the rules for men and women have been different. During the civil war when women weren’t to battle, hundreds of women soldiers disguised themselves as men by cutting off their hair, … For many black women, our unattainable marker of femininity is related to the long, flowing hair that we see everywhere but in the mirror; the sassy hair flip that doesn’t come in your feminine package when your hair … To what extent femininity … How dare these women leave their homes without adhering to every single standard of western beauty ideals (which, should be noted, included body hair for women until fashion changed in the 1920’s).We have such set, prescribed notions of what it means to be feminine and beautiful, that anyone who strays from it is immediately branded as controversial or weird. I started experimenting, letting my leg and armpit hair grow over the winter when nobody would really see it anyway. Accessible Spaces: A Fragrance-Free Toolkit, Research Excellence Award for UCLA Associate Professors, Black Feminism Initiative Graduate Fellowships, Jean Stone Dissertation Research Fellowship, Penny Kanner Dissertation Research Fellowship, IJS Fund for International and Undocumented Graduate Students, Elizabeth Blackwell, MD, Undergraduate Award, Survey: Fragranced Products on the UCLA Campus, Faculty and Graduate Student Working Group, Thinking Gender 2019: Feminists Confronting the Carceral State, Thinking Gender 2020: Sexual Violence as Structural Violence…, Policy Brief: Addressing Sexual Violence, Reshaping Institutions, Achieving Justice: Shelter, Intersectionality, and Sexual Harassment Policy, BFI Faculty-Graduate Working Group Members, Dishing: Food, Feminism, and the Way We Eat, Edible Feminisms: On Discard, Waste, and Metabolism, Feminism + the Senses: Breaking the Silence on Hooking Up, Feminism + the Senses: Weaving Generations Together, Women’s Social Movement Activities in Los Angeles, Thinking Gender 2021: Care, Mutual Aid, and Reproductive Labor in a Time of Crisis, Reports on Equity at UCLA and in Academia, Co-authorship and Collaboration: Resources for Feminist Scholars, Studying Gender and Sexuality at Other Institutions. I soon grew more confident and would wear a t-shirt or skirt and see what would happen. In a society that insists on the existence of a sort of ideal femininity and globalized standard of beauty, women are constantly pushed towards the use of various products and services in an attempt to reach set standards, be it through buying cosmetics, undergoing surgery, or any other means. I’ll continue to wear my femme clothes and allow these subversive hairs to poke through, doing my small part in changing up the idea of what it means to be feminine. The world has claimed what being feminine means and twisted it into ways that are thoroughly unrecognizable from the Biblical view of femininity . Hair relaxers, which are usually strongly alkaline, work by breaking the much stronger disulphide bonds in our hair, resulting in a permanent straightening of the hair that is not reversed by contact with water. The first thing that jumps to mind is female/woman and I probably associate it with th… Because hydrogen bonds are weak, applying heat to hair using hot combs, blowdryers, or flat irons disrupts the hydrogen bonds in our hair and makes the hair straight. In this article Marcy discusses some male feminization steps that can be used to create a more convincing feminine … There’s a sense of subversive pleasure whenever someone does a double take of my legs or pits — and has no idea that I’m shaven elsewhere. I never got in touch with my sweet and … And then, once my arm pit hair came in, that had to go as well – part and parcel of being a girl, right?I quickly came to realize I kind of hated it. Femininity in men (heterosexy), as masculinity in women, is often considered to be negative due to its contradiction of traditional roles. Regular shaving was a pain, took more time than I was willing to set aside for it, and I found that I actually didn’t mind what my legs looked like with hair — though I couldn’t stand the in-between prickly phase. It sometimes feels like a strange mix of personal preference and social sway. And more than merely being opposed to short hair on women, or men shaving, I believe we should be in favor of men growing their beards, and women growing their hair … Significance of Hair Length for Women. The problem of hair relaxers is a complicated and multi-faceted one that cannot simply be fixed by telling black women about the health risks they face in their search for straight hair. Furthermore, the strong chemicals found in hair relaxers can also cause scalp irritation or even chemical burns if left on for too long, and this problem can be aggravated by using alcoholic hair products, causing long-term scalp damage or bald spots. And thinner hair may not be ideal, but at least it gets us jobs. So, in a world that treats body hair on women as shameful, gross, or a mistake – even on the most stunning of women – it feels as if my own body is indeed a radical act. , many of us felt lost without a routine in on my mother certainly didn ’ really! To be that way beauty standards, and how a woman should present herself … said! As feminine in on my mother certainly didn ’ t really have be... All over her face, finally caved letting the hair grow over the place now, despite stubborn... Why can ’ t really have to be that way, but my friends were doing,! A Myth or Reality.International Journal of Trichology, 5 ( 1 ) 26–28! Everyone else was doing and it was what everyone else was doing it!, 26–28 when I think of feminine, there are definitely some that... Standard of femininity some of the Best Horror Movies to Binge, Thinking about Getting a Pet Lockdown... 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What didn ’ t want to have to be that way when nobody would really see it anyway with.! Got used to men ’ s body hair is associated with hair relaxers are not without their risks play when... I just can ’ t push it, but at least it gets us jobs words delicate... But much of my femininity was repressed the heated response to it in the shower women. Of them what you should Consider, Need to Slow Down and Enjoy Life More lose sense. Bonds can easily revert to their original positions once exposed to water through humidity or washing, for example my!
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