• Sweden edition
 
Swedish girls think shorn body hair is 'natural'

Swedish girls think shorn body hair is 'natural'

Published: 20 Mar 2012 10:02 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Mar 2012 10:02 GMT+01:00

“We see these problems all the time. To be smooth in the right places is seen as a ‘natural’ part of being a girl,” said Carin Göransson coordinator at the young women’s empowerment centre, Tjejjouren, to newspaper Metro.

The girls that contact the centre about hair are sometimes not even teenagers but as young as ten years old, according to Göransson.

“Sometimes they write to us and call themselves ‘apes’, saying that their hair disqualifies them from being girls," she told Metro.

There is a double standard in society where adults are shocked to hear that young girls shave their midriffs or arms, but don’t bat an eyelid if they shave their legs.

A heated media discussion regarding female body hair has recently kicked off in the country after the online community went into a tizzy over audience member Lena Ehrin’s hairy armpit exposed during a live television broadcast of the Melodifestivalen song contest finals.

Under the Twitter hashtag #hairriot, Swedes continue to have their say online about a topic which never seems to run out of public interest or of willing arm pit volunteers.

Göransson welcomes the debate that the hair exposure has caused, as she thinks it may make people more aware of the hidden norms of our society.

However, for those that don’t de-fuzz regularly, it might be detrimental to see all the net hate directed against Sweden’s now most famous non-shaver Ehrin.

“It also shows some of the absurdity. That we have decided it is OK to have hair in some places, but not all,” Göransson said to Metro.

The Local/rm

twitter.com/thelocalsweden

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

10:29 March 20, 2012 by RosemarysBaby80
I'm soooo sick of feminist.

I shave my face everyday so as not to look like a hobo. It's a pain in the arse yes, but do I blame the opposite sex for making me do it? No.

These feminist are just bored (and redundant). Go to the middle east or Africa where perhaps the women could use your help.
10:49 March 20, 2012 by stevo1
dont shave and smell bad = no boyfriend

Shave armpits, legs and nether regions = boyfriend

your choice!
11:13 March 20, 2012 by engagebrain
The human race has managed for several tens of thousands of years with body hair - mostly male.

This obsession with removing female body hair is absurd and is a relatively recent development. The effect is to make women increasingly uncomfortable with their bodies and is driven by commercial incentives - lets find a way of selling more pointless rubbish - from the people who bought you vaginal deoderants.

The relative smelliness and cleanliness of male and female changing rooms in Stockholm swimming pools quite clearly demonstrates that smell is a male problem - our children very much prefer the (lack of) smell in women's rooms, sadly I have to put up with the smell of my fellow men.
11:19 March 20, 2012 by bagbuoy
Spare us the outrage.

Women do look more feminine and attractive without the hair. I'm grateful to them for shaving.

Since women compete for high status males, they will naturally do what it takes to win.

Of course there are some alternate games out there. Women with braided armpits can win high-status hippies within the hippy status game.
11:42 March 20, 2012 by soultraveler3
"Since women compete for high status males, they will naturally do what it takes to win."

"Of course there are some alternate games out there. Women with braided armpits can win high-status hippies within the hippy status game."

It's comments like this though that bother so many bagbuoy.

Why is that so many now expect women to be hairless from the neck down, covered in makeup and shoved into tight, uncomfortable clothing and heels everyday just to be worthy compete with men?

I know you said compete for and not compete with, but the same problems are involved in both. Women that are just trying to get "high status" males instead of competing with them or being an equally high status female probably agree with you though. Can't really imagine the Hollywoodfruar type or anyone that aspires to be one disagreeing with you.

I understand the need to look put together and professional in certain settings, but the question for many is why there's so much more expected of women.

Men are sometimes expected to have a clean-shaven face, but companies that require that are getting fewer by the year. Men don't have to wear makeup in order to be considered handsome and professional. They don't have to wear shoes that can and do damage you body in order to be professional. Why is that expected of women?

Teaching young girls that they're not pretty or worthy of love, a professional job, happiness etc. without hours of work is bad and damaging, especially since boys aren't taught the same.
11:48 March 20, 2012 by Frobobbles
The article reeks from that uniquely Swedish misconception: that everyone has to think and do exactly the same.

Example: "That we have decided it is OK to have hair in some places, but not all".

There can't be many other countries where the choice as to whether to shave the armpit or not is something that "we" decide once and for all for everyone. Can there?
11:52 March 20, 2012 by bagbuoy
Soul traveller, you're making it into some kind of "should" thing. Another operatic pathos about how it's all 's fault.

Just let people get on with their 70-90 short years of life and not agonize over how better everything would be on another planet if we make ourselves miserable trying to change everything.

Besides, I didn't say anything about make-up or uncomfortable shoes. That's your contribution, not mine.

Women do look more feminine and attractive without the body hair. And most people can't be bothered with marginal sourpuss activism that in Sweden gets raised to the level of state-sponsored preaching.
11:58 March 20, 2012 by wolverine2k
Okay just to lighten up. Where is the other half of the pic shown here? :P
12:07 March 20, 2012 by skogsbo
if anything is guilty of dictating how girls and women should look it's hollywood and the media in general, nothing to do with guys individual expectations at all. A hairy pie is better than no pie at all, if you are hungry.
12:16 March 20, 2012 by Twiceshy
Women it is just gross to be hairy! Just shave and live with it!
12:28 March 20, 2012 by libertarianism
#1, Shaving so as not to "look like a hobo"?? Male models most always sport five-o'clock shadows. And what of bearded French rugby star, be-still-my-beating-heart, specimen-of-manhood-extraordinaire, Sébastien "the horse" Chabal?? Sigh, swoon, sigh, infinity…

Can't we call a truce and name shaving as predominately activity/location/status related? If you belong to the superficial-urban-suburban-with-disposable-income tribe, shaving is most often a prerequisite for humping. Especially, if you're gonna wear a thigh-high dress. This scenario applies to men as well as women.

If you belong to the climb-a-mountain, sail-the-world, live-in-a-religious-or-secular´-commune, etc. tribe, it's not "gross" to skip shaving. Nor is it a prerequisite for humping. Until the last century or so, most humans belonged to this tribe.

Like it or not, we all descended from hairy humpers.

P.S. (wiki):

Chaetophobia is fear of hair. Sufferers' fear may be associated with human hair and/or animal hair. They fear people and/or animals with an excess amount of hair. They may also fear the hair on their own body. Some only fear detached or loose hair and do not mind attached hair. [And my favorite line...]This fear could be the result of a negative experience with hair and/or a hairy person.

Swedes are obviously transferring their fear of trolls to humans. Troll-sensitivity-training is needed to combat this social phobia, lest all in Sweden soon look like baby mice...
13:18 March 20, 2012 by engagebrain
Twiceshy - assuming that you are a man, do you shave your legs,arms,chest, back, face & crotch ? Its just so gross to be a hairy man or do your rules only apply to women ?

Hair does not smell. Our intrinsic odour comes from modified sweat glands - their activity is not reduced by shaving.
13:22 March 20, 2012 by Shibumi
+1 swoon for Chabal!

I like my men hairy and big and loud!

And any adult male with a healthy sex drive is not going to let a few tufts of hair get in his way.
13:39 March 20, 2012 by Old Trafford
I wont believe anything in this artice until they show me the other half of the picture
14:02 March 20, 2012 by skogsbo
it's probably one of those strange breeds of human, road bikers, shaving 'his' legs!!
14:17 March 20, 2012 by Snood
It's nice to see the razor used in the picture is a "traditional" double edged razor... not many girls use those! .... not many men either!
14:31 March 20, 2012 by Abe L
"Swedish girls believe that body hair makes them appear less female compared to when they have shaved."

At least one thing in which Swedish girl are right.
14:47 March 20, 2012 by Maryla
to the first comment:

and I am sick about people who keep harassing middle-eastern and know nothing about them!
14:54 March 20, 2012 by Svensksmith
Shaving hair is not natural. Cutting your hair is not natural. Wearing clothes is not natural. Using a toliet is not natural......
17:53 March 20, 2012 by Vill
I blame the porn industry for all this body shaving. If it weren't for those bloody bastards, I wouldn't have to waste all that time shaving my chest, arms, legs, and junk. But, alas, that is what the womens are programmed to think is sexy and I like copulating furiously with the womens so I happily oblige. ;o)
18:57 March 20, 2012 by OUIJA
Swedish girls, with or without having shaved their bodies, look like unemployed workers. O.K. There are exceptions, but these confirm the rule. Besides, the majority dress like men, act like men, drink like men, smoke more than men. The only thing that I believe they don't do, is to urinate like men.

A feminine girl or a feminine woman, is a female being feminine from top to button. And they are beautiful to see and to enjoyr their company.
22:39 March 20, 2012 by McChatter
@libertarianism

"If you belong to the superficial-urban-suburban-with-disposable-income tribe, shaving is most often a prerequisite for humping. Especially, if you're gonna wear a thigh-high dress. This scenario applies to men as well as women."

With you all the way there! Mah kilt's no exactly thigh-high, but ye needs to look smart at a' times.
00:22 March 21, 2012 by acidcritic
I believe that those who care about swedish girls body hair are crazy. Swedish women are so beatiful that some hairs mean nothing.
05:36 March 21, 2012 by CriticalDragon1177
I'm not sure if shaving as young as ten is a good idea. Couldn't these little girls easily cut themselves by accident?
15:53 March 21, 2012 by Emerentia
I think it's really sad if a little 10 year old wont put on a skirt or a pair of shorts and go out and play, or go to the pool or beach if she likes to, and has to worry about if her legs are hairy or not.
01:28 March 22, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
Bravo to the girls who already know at a young age that body hair is "apelike"! Women should only have hair on their heads...and it should be blonde! :)
15:07 March 22, 2012 by sarah02
@Spuds Mackenzie

So many jokes... so little time.

@Emerentia

Very sad and true. We need to educate our kids on how they should preceive their bodies. for instance, i consciously choose to not look at clothing chains bilboards at Slussen or T-Centralen anymore.

I am not a feminist and i think feminists should go to Africa and the Middle East if they really mean to work. But in sweden, they are just bored borgiose with too much money and no real work.
18:18 March 22, 2012 by stevo1
@ engagebrain - you have seemed to inadvertently proved everyones point.

'This obsession with removing female body hair is absurd and is a relatively recent development.'

but then you go on to say

'The relative smelliness and cleanliness of male and female changing rooms in Stockholm swimming pools quite clearly demonstrates that smell is a male problem - our children very much prefer the (lack of) smell in women's rooms,'

so, even though females removing hair is absurd, male change rooms smell worse (because men are unshaven) than female change rooms (most females shave).

So from a female perspective, shaving, as absurd as females think it is, actually serves a purpose when it comes to hygiene and smell...
06:48 March 29, 2012 by crackmonkeys4hire
So Swedish girls want to look like American girls. In America it's almost expected that a female will shave legs, arms, and anywhere else there is an abundance of hair.
Today's headlines
Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv
Photo: Matt Rourke/TT

Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv

UPDATE: About 270 passengers planning to fly to Stockholm are still stranded in Tel Aviv, and airlines have stated that flights will likely be grounded on Thursday as well. READ  

The Local List
Top ten: Swedish taboos
The butter knife is for butter. Photo: Mats Sandelin/TT

Top ten: Swedish taboos

From standing in line to taking your hols in the off-season, Sweden is a society with customs and faux pas, the Danes might say taboos. Here is a list of ten to watch out for. READ  

Fears mount for Swede kidnapped in Ukraine
A tank in Horlivka. Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky/TT

Fears mount for Swede kidnapped in Ukraine

A mediator who handles prisoner exchanges between Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels said on Wednesday that he feared for the life of a kidnapped Swede. READ  

Vattenfall cuts losses despite 'tough market'
Photo: TT

Vattenfall cuts losses despite 'tough market'

Swedish power group Vattenfall said on Wednesday that second quarter losses had been cut despite trying market conditions, forecasting that energy prices were unlikely to recover in the "foreseeable future". READ  

Swedes 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Swedish actors Peter Johansson, Anna Sahlin and Måns Zelmerlöw. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Swedes 'most beautiful' in the Nordics

Who is the fairest of them all? Swedes are, according to the rest of the Nordic nations in a recent survey. READ  

My Swedish Career
American teams up with Swede to beat cancer
Matthew Volsky holding the Gynocoular colposcope which is used for screening cervical cancer. Photo: Gynocoular

American teams up with Swede to beat cancer

When Matthew Volsky first came to Sweden he didn't think he would stick around. Six years and a pioneering invention later he tells The Local about the medical device which is helping save lives around the world. READ  

Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Arla organic milk. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth

Swedes are spending more and more of their food budget on organic foodstuffs, with major supermarkets reporting double digit increases, according to new statistics. READ  

Swedish police warn of rogue pregnant cow
The cow pictured is not the one in the story, and presumably not cranky. Photo: Mike Groll/TT

Swedish police warn of rogue pregnant cow

Police in southern Sweden have issued a public warning about a pregnant cow on the loose, after two people were sent to the hospital after a hustle with the heifer. READ  

Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
Photo: Mark Lennihan/TT

Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax

With EU countries' treatment of Bitcoin varying vastly, Sweden has asked for clear EU rules stipulating whether or not the cryptocurrency should be taxed. READ  

Google in failed bid for Sweden's Spotify
Photo: Spotify

Google in failed bid for Sweden's Spotify

US Internet giant Google tried last year to buy Sweden-based streaming music service Spotify, but pulled out due to the beefed-up price tag, according to a media report on Tuesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Business & Money
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Blog updates

22 July

Det (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! “Det” is a personal pronoun that can be used in many ways, and it might me confusing if you always translate “det” to English “it”. In this article I will do my best to guide you to how to use “det”. Det replacing a word, a phrase or a clause Let us begin with the less confusing..." READ »

 

22 July

PROTECTING GIRLS FROM ABUSE OF THEIR RIGHTS (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Today (22 July) my Prime Minister, David Cameron, and UNICEF, are hosting the world’s first #GirlSummit in London. The Summit’s aim is to mobilise domestic and international efforts to end the appalling practices of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child Early Forced Marriage (CEFM). This is a high priority for the UK government and the Prime..." READ »

 
 
 
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Gallery
People-watching July 11-13
National
Malmö mayor slams Danish beggar ban
National
Swedish anti-abortion midwife sues county
National
Swede's salary chopped for Facebook use
National
Northern Sweden warmest in 90 years
Gallery
'Victoria Day': Crown Princess Victoria turns 37
Politics
Mona Sahlin to fight extremism in Sweden
National
EU tells Sweden to cover up snus flavours
Society
Swede snags assassin role in Tom Cruise film
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

702
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se