Americans are increasingly obsessed with shaving, waxing and plucking errant hairs from all over their body. This is borne out by the estimated $11 billion a year Americans spend on personal hair removal, a figure that grows by over 7% each year. Women have long faced pressure to keep their body hair in check, but even men increasingly face demands to stay smooth as Burt Reynolds gives way to David Beckham as to what the ideal man looks like.
YouGov’s latest research shows that Americans widely agree that it is a bad thing for a woman to be hairy (70%), but actually tend to think that it is a good (29%) rather than a bad (24%) thing for men to be hairy.
The persistent trend towards trimming and removing pubic and genital hair had, initially, made its greatest impact on women. The expectation gap is narrowing, however. Under-30s have the smallest difference between those who think women should remove hair from their genitals (54%) and those who think men should too (49%). Among people aged 30 to 44, the only other age group where most people expect women to remove hair down there (55%) the percentage who think men should reciprocate is only little over a third (37%).