No Shave November: The History of Facial Hair Removal

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It’s the last Wednesday in November, which means it’s time for the last installment in our history of shaving series in honor of No-Shave November. We’ve talked about the regular shaving topics: legs, underarms, and, of course, the bikini area. Now it’s time for facial hair removal.

As you’ve read in earlier articles, removing body hair is not a new thing for women. The ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all had their own tools and body hair preferences. Taylor Barringer writes in her Elle.com article “History of hair Removal,” that one of the first trendsetters of removing facial hair in the Western World was Queen Elizabeth I.

While Elizabeth and her followers removed the hair from their faces, their body hair remained untouched. Barringer explained that since large foreheads were in during Elizabeth’s reign, “the fashion of this era was to remove eyebrows and hair from the forehead…which women did by using walnut oil, or bandages soaked in amonia [sic] (which they got from their feline pets) and vinegar.” That’s right, English women were soaking bandages in cat urine and then applying it to their faces to remove unwanted hair.

Note: While I doubt you’ll harm yourself if you apply cat urine to your skin, please don’t try this beauty trick at home. It just seems really unsanitary.

In her Chicago Tribune article “Shaving and fashion: A storied history,” Lauren R. Harrison explains that our modern obsession with body hair removal might have some more recent roots. While there were some women removing body hair in the 19th century, it didn’t gain the popularity it had under Elizabeth I’s rule until Gillette invented the first women’s razor in 1915. Harrison quotes Russell B. Adams Jr., author of “King C. Gillette: The Man and His Wonderful Shaving Device,” that Gillette’s Milady Decollete was “the first razor designed and marketed specifically for women.”

Razors weren’t the only option for women looking to remove body hair. The early 20th century saw plenty of ads, just like the ones for the Milady Decollete, for depilatory creams that could help women with their body image woes. Barringer writes that “in 1907 an ad for X-Bazin Depilatory Powder began circulating, promising to remove ‘humiliating growth of hair on the face, neck, and arms.'”

For those of you wondering why neck hair was an issue to women of the 1900s, take a look at your own neck in the mirror. The hair line is most likely irregular. With all the glamorous up do’s of this decade, trimming and shaving these hairs into a uniform shape was the only option.

By the 1920s and 30s, short hair was the new trend. Instead of having your neck exposed with pinned up hair, the Flapper Girl of that era had hair that barely passed her ears. The trend remains today. Ask any girl with a pixie cut and they’ll tell you that their stylist takes a razor to their neck with every trim.

Barringer states that by the 1950s hair removal became more widely accepted. Rather than completely removing their eyebrows like they did during Elizabeth I’s time, women began using tweezers “to groom and shape their eyebrows.”

Now there are dozens of options for women to remove unwanted hair from their face and neck. They range from at home options like tweezers and shaving to luxurious spa offerings at waxing bars and eyebrow threading studios. There really is no limit to how women can alter their natural body hair.

There’s only 4 days left in November, so hopefully you’ve taken part in No-Shave November by educating yourself on men’s health issues as well as raising awareness by putting down that razor and letting your body hair grow. For those of you who did take part in the no-shaving fun, how did it go? What body part did you not shave? How long did you participate? Share your stories in the comments below or on social media!


Brown, Ian. Eyebrow Work. 22 Apr. 2012. Online image. Flickr. 26 Nov. 2014. https://flic.kr/p/bASVFU

3 Tips On How to Shop This Black Friday

MallInterior

Black Friday is only one week away. For those of you lucky enough to not work that day, you might decide to take advantage of the multitude of sales taking place across the country. If you’re lucky enough to have never worked in retail before, you might not know how to conduct yourself while shopping for loved ones on this infamous day. Here’s 3 tips on how to shop on Black Friday without becoming That Customer retail employees talk about for years to come.

1. Great deals don’t excuse bad manners

Yes, we know that thing you really want is 75% off. That doesn’t mean you can punch and shove your way to get it. I don’t care if other people are doing it. They shouldn’t act that way and neither should you. While it’s nice to exchange gifts with loved ones during the holidays, the season is more about spending time with those people and being kind to all. Don’t ruin someone else’s day because you just really want to buy something.

2. Don’t be upset that you missed the deals

Stores are given only a certain amount of items to sell. Don’t get me wrong, they’re sent an insanely large number of these items, but no matter what it’s still a set number. There’s no guarantee that an extra shipment can be delivered quickly just because one product is running low. And those specialty gifts that are only available to “the first 100 customers” or whatever other rule corporate comes up with? They’re sent even less of those, and once they’re gone they’re gone.

Some people line up for Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving. There are even some stores that stay open on Thanksgiving just to get those extremely early Black Friday shoppers. If you aren’t one of those people, don’t be surprised that some items have already sold out. Even if you do participate in those extreme practices of Black Friday, there are hundreds of other shoppers there with you. Don’t be surprised that your favorite retail store sold out of the thing you wanted at 3 am, especially those specialty items.

If you think that this scenario is the appropriate time to flip out and storm out of the store, it isn’t. You are allowed one “Bummer,” or “Darn it!” before moving on with your shopping. Yes, it stinks that you put in a lot of effort into trying to get an item that you can’t purchase, but remember what I said about the meaning of this season. You aren’t going to ruin someone’s Christmas by not giving them a specific present, but you will ruin their Christmas by making it seem like an item can replace you being a kind friend.

3. Don’t blame employees

Seriously, don’t do this. You should hardly ever blame retail employees, but especially not on Black Friday. More than 90% of the issues I had with customers while working in retail, during the holiday season and the rest of the year, came from two sources: 1) insanely high expectations (No, I can’t make the designer create this sweater in red just for you. It comes in blue or green and that’s it.) 2) issues with corporate policy.

The people you’re interacting with on Black Friday are powerless to change the rules Corporate has laid out for them. Has the store put a limit on how many of one item people can purchase? Too bad. Did the store run out of nothing except the one thing you wanted? Tough. Corporate has set out specific rules for stores to follow. These can detail everything from how often shipments can happen to strict sales rules to keep items on the shelf for a larger number of shoppers to purchase. Keep this in mind when a store employee tells you that they are unable to give in to your demands.

Black Friday has turned from a major US shopping day to basically a three-ringed circus. Every retail employee has a Black Friday story they can tell you about a Customer From Hell. I know it’s tempting to be a complete jerk in order to snag all the deals this year. And trust me, you will see people doing just that. But you’re better than that. Be a great shopper and enjoy the sales you get if you choose to go out on Black Friday this year. And no matter what you do next week, happy holidays!


Bartoszek, Brandon. Mall Interior. 8 Jun. 2006. Online image. Flickr. 21 Nov. 2014. https://flic.kr/p/4yf71S

No Shave November: The History of the Bikini Wax

Bikini

Every Wednesday for No-Shave November we’ve been looking into why women shave various body parts. So far we’ve talked about leg and underarm shaving, but this week we’re talking about the “down there” hair.

Removing pubic hair has gained popularity in recent decades, but just like all other forms of body hair removal, it isn’t new. According to Taylor Barringer’s Elle.com article “History of Hair Removal,” ancient Greeks and Romans considered all body hair, including pubic hair, to be uncivilized and therefore undesirable for the upper classes. This is why “many famous statues and paintings of Grecian women are depicted hairless.”

While many consider alteration of pubic hair in any way to be sexual, even scandalous, Women You Should Know points out in their article “Pit Stop: A Quick History Of Women & Shaving” that shaving “naughty bits” has more modest roots. For centuries Muslim women in the Middle East and North Africa have been going completely hairless as part of their wedding preparation. Interestingly enough, these women “frequently…stick with the aesthetic after marriage – and some men do likewise.”

Pubic hair wasn’t something Western women really thought about until, once again, fashion brought it to their attention. This time it was the bikini that prompted women to begin removing hair from an area they used to ignore. While the scandalous swimsuit was first debuted in Europe in 1946, History.com states that “in prudish America, the bikini was successfully resisted until the early 1960s, when a new emphasis on youthful liberation brought the swimsuit en masse to U.S. beaches.”

Barringer states that by the 1970s there was “a resurgence in the removal of bikini area hair as the swimsuit fad of the 1960s stuck around.” Lauren R. Harrison explains the continued interest to pubic hair in her article “Shaving and fashion: A storied history.” According to Harrison, “‘going bald below’ gained more steam as bikinis became teeny-weeny.”

As long as fashion trends, especially swimsuits styles, remain sexy and edgy, it looks like the bikini wax is here to stay. However, so many styles in fashion means that women today have more options in how they groom themselves. You can go natural, trimmed, completely bare, or be playful and get a little design or shape “down there.” No matter what you chose, make sure it’s something you feel comfortable with. It’s your body, your hair, and no one’s choice but your own.

That being said, if you want to participate in No-Shave November without having to show the world hairy body parts, I would suggest skipping on the bikini wax this week. Out of all the places you shave, that’s probably the least noticeable to the general public. Showing body hair can be intimidating to some women, so test the waters with something easy to hide before diving in head first.

Wondering why we remove hair from other body parts? Check out the reasons we found behind removing facial hair.


Florida Memory. Melody May modeling a bikini on the beach: Panama City, Florida. 1966. Online image. Flickr. 19 Nov. 2014. https://flic.kr/p/f3e43P

Don’t Waste Time with Fillers

FillerFace

Secretaries have an interesting job. They do some pretty boring tasks, like filing and organizing, and then they do some pretty interesting tasks, like talk to people.

I’ve had a few secretary positions in my life at various places. Some places were small local businesses, some were large corporations with important CEOs. No matter where I was, I’ve dealt with plenty of people who were there to meet with someone important. Some people walked in well dressed and confident; I was happy to call the important person they asked for and announce that someone who seemed worth their time was waiting. Some people, however, weren’t so put together.

It wasn’t really their clothes that bothered me, it was how they spoke. You can always have someone change their clothes and adopt a wardrobe better suited for your business, but how someone speaks says a lot about who they are. People who walked in and couldn’t say a single sentence without an “um,” “err,” “uh,” or “like,” drove me insane. I never liked announcing their presence to someone important. It was embarrassing. Even if they had 3 PhDs and a genius IQ, speaking with fillers just made me think that they didn’t care about who they were speaking to or what they were saying.

In reality, people often use fillers when their minds aren’t completely focused. They’re either nervous, distracted, or too busy anticipating the next question to pay attention to the current question. No matter why you use fillers, it doesn’t help you charm potential clients or win over future employers.

We’ve already talked about how to get your interview outfit together to make a great first impression, so here’s how to dazzle your interviewers with a great first conversation devoid of all fillers.

1. Take a breath

Before you speak, take a breath. Not a giant inhale, not a short gasp, just a regular breath. This will not only help you collect your thoughts and keep you from wasting time with “uhs” or “ums” while your brain gets your words together, but also help your voice come out strong and clear.

2. Take your time

There’s no need to rush. You can pause for a few seconds before answering, especially in interviews. It makes you seem thoughtful, as if you carefully consider every option before making a decision. This is good to use in every day conversation as well. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who kept changing their opinions or constantly adding “well, that’s not really what I meant” because they spoke before they had their thoughts together? Don’t be that person in an interview or in daily life.

3. Say what you need and nothing more

Everyone’s experienced word vomit, constantly talking to the point of gibberish without control (almost like real vomit), in their life. It happens. It doesn’t need to happen during something as important as an interview, though. Word vomit often leads to fillers because you realize you didn’t mean to say something and you know you have to correct it, but you aren’t quite sure how, so you just say anything. Anything eventually turns into some sort of filler.

When asked a question, say the answer and nothing more. Do this for the first few questions. After that you should start to relax. Once you’ve settled in and gotten rid of your interview jitters, you can start to talk a little more, even add an anecdotal story or two, into the conversation. Word vomit rarely occurs when you’re confident, which means those filler words are less likely to crop up when you’re relaxed.

Filler words are horrible. Not only are they distracting to the listener, they also show that the speaker is distracted. You can change lots of things about a person, but you can’t change how their brain works. Don’t give someone the wrong impression based on pointless filler words.


 

Arment, Marco. Steve Nelson. 15 Nov. 2007. Online image. Flickr. 17 Nov. 2014. https://flic.kr/p/46Uhkh

Dating in the Modern Age

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There are countless articles on the internet about dating in the 21st century. Whether they’re entertaining Buzzfeed lists or more serious pieces from Huffington Post, they all point out the same thing: dating is hard. It makes sense, people are complex individuals so finding one individual to connect with on multiple levels and topics can’t be the easiest thing in the world. However, dating seems to be getting stranger the older I get.

I recently started dating someone. In 2014, part of having a new relationship means you change your Facebook relationship status. Now, I know what you’re thinking, you don’t have to put your relationship status online. It’s something I like to do though. Not only is Facebook my way of keeping in touch with a wide range of friends all over the world (high school friends, college friends, study abroad friends, etc.), it also just feels weird to leave my relationship status as Single. Not changing it feels like I’m hiding the relationship from people in my life.

My boyfriend, on the other hand, does not feel this way. His relationship status has changed, but he hates how Facebook allows people to easily stalk strangers. So instead of being in a relationship with each other on Facebook, both of our pages just show that we’re no longer single. That way no one’s distant cousin can browse our old high school pictures, view all our life events, or anything like that. I’m fine with this scenario, but it has made for some interesting conversations with my friends.

A few days ago one of my coworkers pointed out how odd it was that people kept liking my relationship status on Facebook. “Don’t get me wrong,” he said, “I’m happy for you, but I don’t know who this guy is.” Basically, why are people liking something that for all they know could be an awful situation?

There is an argument that my friends know me well enough to know I wouldn’t settle for a bad relationship. Ever since that conversation though, I can’t stop thinking about how we view being in a relationship. Women no longer need to be married to support themselves, so why has being in a relationship remained a status symbol? Why are we willingly participating in a system that promotes unhappy or even abusive relationships all for the sake of saying we aren’t “alone?”

I put the word “alone” in quotes because being single doesn’t mean you’re alone. You can still have friends and family even though you’re single. However, being in a romantic relationship with the wrong person can put you in danger. According to The National Domestic Violence Hotline‘s website, “on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.”

Don’t get me wrong, there are people who have wonderful, happy relationships that other people see and think “I would like that.” There’s nothing wrong with wanting a happy relationship. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to settle down with someone and have a family. There is something wrong with wanting a relationship without bothering to worry about the actual human being you’ll be romantically linked. At the very least, putting so much emphasis on having a relationship rather than being happy with someone you care about puts you at risk for an unhappy union. Don’t be that person. You can do so much better with your life.


The Royal Library, Denmark. Romantik. 27 Jun. 2011. Online image. Flickr. 14 Nov. 2014. https://flic.kr/p/9XitUg

No Shave November: The History of Underarm Shaving

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Last Wednesday we talked about the history of leg shaving for No-Shave November. This week we’re moving a little farther up on the body to learn why we shave our underarms.

In her Elle.com article “History of Hair Removal,” Taylor Barringer states that removing hair goes back to the Roman Empire. During this era “the lack of body hair was considered a sign of the classes.” Barringer explains that, much like today, “wealthy women and men used razors made from flints, tweezers, creams, and stones to remove excess hair.”

How did this ancient obsession with bare skin become a cultural norm in modern times? More importantly, why did society decide to remove hair from a part of the body that is basically hidden under another body part?

The answer, just like with leg shaving, is fashion.

The 20th century brought about a lot of change in women’s fashion. In their article “Pit Stop: A Quick History Of Women & Shaving,” female-centric blog Women You Should Know explains that no one ever paid any attention to underarms until around 1915. In fact, WYSK states that “even the word ‘underarm’ was considered scandalous, what with it being so near certain other interesting body parts.” Perhaps that’s why the sleeveless dress was invented in the first place.

Sleeveless garments quickly became a major fashion trend despite revealing some, apparently, sexual parts of a woman’s body. WYSK explains that “an ad in the fashion mag Harper’s Bazaar decreed that to wear it (and certainly to wear it while participating in “Modern Dancing”), women would need to first see to ‘the removal of objectionable hair.'” Lauren R. Harrison notes in her Chicago Tribune article “Shaving and fashion: A storied history,” that the 20th century saw “sheerer fabrics became fashionable and hemlines rose” to reveal even more skin.

Women quickly embraced Harper’s Bazaar‘s advice, most likely because of how easy it had become for women to remove “objectionable hair.” Barringer notes that in 1915 Gillette debuted the Milady Decolletée, the world’s first women’s razor. Despite this revolution, hair removal creams were still a major industry as “the early 1900’s also saw ads for depilatory cream hit the masses.”

Sheer fabrics and sleeveless garments stayed in style for years, and their hair removal techniques did not waver throughout the years. By the 1920s “a leading women’s fashion magazine ran an ad featuring a woman with her arms raised and her armpits bare,” thus solidifying these trends as lasting fashions rather than passing fads.

By the 1950s bare underarms were the norm in America. Hair removal creams were still too harsh to be completely comfortable for the masses, so razors were the number one choice for body hair. This all changed when wax strips were introduced in the 1960s. Today there are many more options. Traditional razors are still popular as well as waxing and hair removal creams for sensitive skin, but laser hair removal has come farther than any other method. While it was too unreliable when first used in the 1960s, today it is the favored hair removal method of women all over America.

Despite remaining a cultural norm, not shaving underarm hair is also a major trend for women in the United States. Harrison explains that since shaving is seen as a feminine act, since the 1970s accepting women’s body hair, including underarm hair, has become the “litmus test of feminism,” as well as other things.

Whether you shave your underarms to follow cultural norms or because you simply enjoy smooth skin, consider taking a break during No-Shave November just to see if the grass is greener on the other side. And for those of you who don’t shave, be it for feminism or to protest a culture that does not accept nature or a natural state of being, keep the spirit of No-Shave November alive and wait to see how the other side lives until December.

Wondering why we remove hair from other body parts? Check out the reasons we found behind altering body hair on the bikini area as well as removing facial hair.


istolethetv. confident. 24 Jun. 2007. Online image. Flickr. 12 Nov. 2014. https://flic.kr/p/YbHMk

3 Tips To Find The Right Company For You

CityStreet

Admit it, you’ve applied to jobs without doing any research on the company or position before. Come on, we’ve all done it. Whether it’s the new graduate desperation to use that expensive degree or a miserable job that has you begging for a change, we’re all guilty of mindlessly applying for jobs simply because a search engine told us it matched the key words we typed in. True, this is a great way to get your resume out there, you could easily apply to 20 or more jobs in a day this way, but you want to do more than have your resume sitting in a filing cabinet of every single company in the country. You actually want a job. Applying to every job may or may not get you that dream job, but applying for the right jobs definitely will.

Now, there are exceptions to this rule. Let’s say you’re laid off and need a new job right this second. By all means, apply to every job you lay your eyes on. Future employers will understand taking a job just to pay the bills while you’re hunting for a better one. This tactic is better spent on those more temporary jobs than your dream career though. That elusive dream job that begins your rewarding career takes much more precision and careful research than any temp job will.

Your dream job is more than just the title you get or tasks you are assigned. It also needs to be at a company you’re happy with. How will you know that until you’re already there? Well, technically you won’t. You can’t know everything about a company inside and out until you’ve seen how the inside works with your own eyes. But researching a company can give you a good idea before you apply.

1. Check the job posting

This one is a bit obvious, but it’s easy to forget this simple step when you’re caught up in Application Frenzy. Majority of job postings have a little place for the company to describe itself to potential applicants. Before you submit your resume, read this paragraph carefully. Does it peak your interest or send up red flags? For some, the term “non-profit” can either be a blessing or a curse depending on previous experience. If anything in that company bio makes you cringe, it’s best to just move on to the next job post.

2. Check the company website

Along with a mini bio will be a link to the company website. Check out the entire website, specifically the About page. Read their mission statement, press releases, and any awards they’ve listed on their site. Just like the job posting, these pages are full of keywords that will either entice or repulse you. Don’t want to work with kids? Maybe a place that aims to educate or entertain children isn’t for you.

While the job posting might have the title you’re after, it isn’t worth your effort to apply to a company you don’t agree with wholeheartedly. Even if you do fool the interviewer into thinking you’re a good fit for the company, you’ll be miserable once the New Job Phase wears off in a few weeks. Put your efforts towards a career you’ll be happy in.

3. Check online reviews

Job posting bios and company websites are, no surprise, written by employees of the company. Even if they are the most disgruntled employee on the face of the earth, it is still in their best interest to put their company in a good light. They will hide all the blemishes and flaws within the company to attract the best and brightest applicants. While including these works in your research is important, you should also find more objective sources to get a fuller picture.

The best site I’ve found so far is Glassdoor. Not only does it have job postings, it also gives you reviews of companies from employees past and present that include salaries, pros and cons, and company predictions from those with insider knowledge. The only downside is that you need several recent reviews in order to get a good idea of the company. While larger companies can get that many reviews, smaller, more local businesses can’t always keep up. Still, it’s the go-to site that my friends and I use when job-hunting and in general it is pretty useful.

We’ve all desperately applied to jobs before. How often has it really worked in our favor though? So instead of wasting all that time applying to 20 or more jobs in one night, spend that same amount of time researching those positions and companies to find the handful that you would truly love to call your own.


Markus, Monik. Midtown NYC. 28 Dec. 2008. Online image. Flickr. https://flic.kr/p/8fkcmQ

Here’s How To Enjoy Your 1st Rocky Horror Experience

RHPSaudience

Last Friday was Halloween and I missed my regular Friday post. I was so busy getting ready for the big night that I completely forgot to schedule anything. What could possibly be so important that every aspect of it took up all my attention? It was my first Rocky Horror Picture Show.

A friend, E, invited me to a live theater performance of the world’s “longest theatrical release in film history” late on Halloween night way back in September. E had moved a few hours away to be closer to a new job she took up this summer, so any chance we get to hang out is a big event, but Rocky Horror was going to be a little more special than usual because it would be the first time seeing the show as a play for both of us.

All of my friends and coworkers knew our Halloween plans, and everyone gave advice or shared stories from their own Rocky Horror experiences. If you’ve always wanted to go to a show, here’s some tips I picked up to make it amazing.

1. Don’t wait until Halloween

Like I said, Rocky Horror Picture Show has the longest theatrical release in film history. This means that the film originally came to theaters in 1975 and it is still being played in cinemas across the country. From what I’ve heard, both live and film versions are great as long as you get a good crowd. So don’t wait and wait around like I did. Do some research and see when the next showing near you is!

2. Dress up

E and I were dead set and fulling taking part in the Rocky Horror festivities on Halloween. Some people dress up as characters from the film, while others, like E and myself, just don some crazy clothes and blend in with the crowd. There’s no wrong way to look at one of these shows. However, dressing up makes you feel like you’re really part of the group and less self conscious about acting out the rest of the show. Trust me, it’s more fun when you just let go and dive in head first. If you’re really hesitant about going all out on your first show, opt for a glittery bow tie, feathered boa, or any other little accessory you can easily put on or take off as you feel.

3. Bring props (if you can)

The best part of the Rocky Horror shows is the audience participation. For those who don’t know, the Official Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Site has a list of props that audience members can use in various ways when certain lines are said in the show. Some shows ask guests to bring their own props, some provide them for audience members, while other theaters prohibit all props. The show E and I went to didn’t allow any props, most likely because it was a live performance and throwing things on stage could result in hurting a real human being. Check your tickets or the theater’s website before you bring a bag full of rice or toilet paper.

4. Learn the lines

The audience often participates by quoting lines, singing along to the music, and even dancing like the actors on stage or screen. Watching the movie a few times at home before your first show will help you learn some of the lines so that you can easily participate. You’ll have to go to a few shows to learn the extra lines though.

5. Learn the extra lines

Just like the props, the audience also participates with their own lines throughout the show. Depending on where you go, the audience lines can create a running commentary throughout the entire show. Every region has different lines, but the Official Fan Site states that there is one audience line that is almost universally accepted: “Whenever you hear the name ‘Brad Majors,’ yell ‘ASSHOLE,’ okay?

6. Be open minded

Whenever I told people, especially coworkers, about my Halloween plans they always told me one of two things: how their first Rocky Horror experience went or how they’ve always wanted to go to one. For those who shared their first experiences, I began to notice a pattern. Those who didn’t enjoy the show started off the night not know what they were getting into and not being open to the experience.

So let me tell you, these things can get pretty wild. Even the show E and I went to had several people dressed in BDSM attire shouting vulgar lines. According to the veteran Rocky Horror audience members we shared a table with, our show was extremely calm compared to other performances they’d seen. If that doesn’t sound like you’re cup of tea, don’t bother. While you’ll never really know if you like something until you try it, you need to at least be open to the idea of a wild, vulgar, sex-driven musical performance as a fun way to spend your evening in order to like Rocky Horror.

Long story short, my first Rocky Horror show was amazing! I can’t wait to go to my next show and use all the lines I picked up on Halloween. I’ve never been to anything so interactive or with such an interesting history and I honestly don’t think I could pass up another chance to join a bunch of strangers in glittery clothes yelling and throwing things at a performance from the 1970s. I mean, really, who could?


Fisch, Martin. the audience is shaking (CC). 24 Aug. 2012. Online image. Flickr. 7 Nov. 2014. https://flic.kr/p/d9bYtm

No Shave November: The History of Leg Shaving

Shaving_Legs

For those of you who don’t know, No-Shave November is a unique way to raise awareness for cancer and men’s health issues overall. Many cancer patients lose their hair, so the goal is to educate men about their health while having everyone appreciate the hair their bodies can still grow. While many assume No-Shave November is a male only event, all genders can participate in the festivities.

In honor of No-Shave November, we’re going to look at the history of shaving various body parts. This week we’re focusing on leg shaving.

Hair removal is not new trend. According to Taylor Barringer’s Elle.com article “History of Hair Removal,” wealthier citizens of the Roman Empire, both men and women, would remove body hair with “razors made from flints, tweezers, creams, and stones.” In her Chicago Tribune article “Shaving and fashion: A storied history,” Lauren R. Harrison notes that Egyptians also “used beeswax and depilatories made from an alkali, like quicklime, to remove leg hair.”

In the United States leg shaving didn’t really take off until after World War One. In the Women You Should Know article “Pit Stop: A Quick History Of Women & Shaving,” the female-centric website reveals that fashion had a major influence on the American hair removal movement. While the Roaring 20s saw a rise in hemlines, it was nothing compared to the 1940s. This decade “brought even shorter skirts, sheerer stockings, and the rise of leggy pin-ups such as Betty Grable,” all of which influenced American women to remove “objectionable hair.”

Barringer also points to the 1940s as an important time in leg shaving history. The first electric razor specifically designed for women was released in 1940, making shaving easier for more and more women. World War Two also had a major impact on women’s fashion. While many every day items were suddenly rationed for the war, it was the nylon shortage that helped the hair removal industry most. With pantyhose almost impossible to buy, “more products and techniques for hair removal hit the market as women were forced to go bare legged more often.”

By the 1950s shaved legs were the norm. Since depilatory creams were too harsh and irritated the skin, many women opted for razors to keep their legs bare and smooth. However, that changed during the 1960s after wax strips were invented and “quickly became the method of choice for removing unwanted hair under the arms and on legs.” The first laser hair removal method also became available in the 60s, but didn’t gain the same popularity as waxing due to negative affects on the skin.

Not much has changed in the hair removal industry since then. Laser hair removal has become safer and more reliable, yet many still rely on the favorites of previous decades like razors and waxing. While many wish to return the cultural norm to embrace natural leg hair, we only need to look at history to see the outcome. Much like the 1920s and 1940s, our high hemlines, from mini skirts to tiny shorts, will keep leg shaving in the cultural norm for decades.

That being said, fall is the perfect time to embrace your natural body hair. The cool weather will keep everyone in pants or tights for weeks to come, so what do you have to lose? Join No-Shave November and learn some health tips that could save you or a loved one’s life. And for those of you who refuse to put down the razor because your partner will make negative comments about a some extra hairs, do you really want to be with someone who is against raising cancer awareness?

Wondering why we remove hair from other body parts? Check out the reasons we found behind altering body hair on underarms and bikini area as well as removing facial hair.


lil’_wiz. HFTM Cycle 1 – Theme 9 – “Everyday Modeling” – Betty. 4 Apr. 2013. Online image. Flickr. 5 nov. 2014. https://flic.kr/p/e8Mh5J

Get Your Interview Outfit Ready

InterviewImage

When you start applying for jobs, it’s best to already be prepared for the first interview. There’s nothing worse than having the excitement of an interview ruined with the realization that you have nothing professional to wear. You could risk last minute shopping, but that means you take the chance of bad fit, high costs, poor quality, or worse, finding nothing at all. Trust me, it’s easier to be prepared. Here’s how:

1. Start with the basics

Professional clothes for both men and women are pretty simple. They need to be the proper size, meaning not baggy but not too tight as well. If you need some help defining that perfect shape, look up images of “business clothes” as a general guide. Professional attire also needs to keep you covered, meaning they hide your shoulders and chest (yes, for both women and men) and be neat, clean, and wrinkle-free.

Everyone should have at least a few of these items in their closet:

Men

  • Plain collared shirt
  • Suit
  • Simple tie
  • Dark dress shoes
  • Simple belt

Women

  • Plain collared shirt
  • Simple dress shirt
  • Blazer
  • Dress pants
  • Pencil skirt
  • Simple belt
  • Closed toed shoes (either flats or low heels)

The business world also has a color scheme to go with its dress code. Dark, muted hues are the way to go for your interviews. Don’t stray away from black, navy, or charcoal gray. If you want to be bold, a pop of burgundy here or there is still safe.

2. Let your skills shine, nothing else

A professional interview, especially a first interview, is not the place to wear most of your accessories. Watches are fine, as long as they aren’t blinged out, bedazzled, or brightly colored. If you wear jewelry keep it simple and conservative. Restrain yourself to a simple pair of stud earrings or a single understated necklace. Leave the cocktail ring and other flashy accessories at home.

3. Your talent is big, not your hair

Or your makeup. Just like accessories, simplicity is key when doing your hair and makeup for an interview. Yes, you want to stand out in the sea of other applicants, but that’s what your resume and skills are for. You need to look professional when you meet potential employers, not unique and colorful. I know this is a little harsh for those who haven’t been on a professional interview before, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution in these situations.

4. There’s always an exception to the rule

That’s right! Just like resume formatting, there’s no concrete rules for how to dress for an interview. For example, more creative professions like those in the fashion industry might be able to get away with more fashion forward interview outfits than someone applying to be an accountant.

Again, it is always best to err on the side of caution because a first interview is your big step towards landing that job. If you do want to diverge from the traditional, conservative interview attire, have your outfit match the tone of the company you’re hoping to join as opposed to your own personal style. That doesn’t mean that you should lie or hide anything about yourself, but you want your first impression with your interviewer to be that you belong with the company. If you know that the company is very professional, follow their lead. If you know that employees regularly wear jeans and sweatshirts to the office, you can play around with color, pattern, and accessories a little more.

I’m sure you’re excited to start applying to professional jobs. After all, you can’t have an amazing career without that first job. However, you need to make sure you’re ready for that first interview before you start sending hundreds of resumes out into the world. So take the time to search your closet for your outfit before you start waiting for that phone call for that job you would be perfect for.


Kheel Center. Sewing training at an Organization for Rehabilitation and Training school. 4 Oct. 2010. Online image. Flickr. 3 Nov. 2014. https://flic.kr/p/93z4Nu