• Sweden edition
 
Sweden mulls shaving products ban for minors

Sweden mulls shaving products ban for minors

Published: 01 Apr 2012 09:53 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 Apr 2012 13:01 GMT+02:00

As a first step toward implementing the new law, the government plans to launch an inquiry later this spring in the wake of a recent "armpit media" outrage in which women with unshaven armpits became the subject of torment and internet hate.

The incident also prompted additional concerns after it was revealed that girls in Sweden as young as nine-years-old thought it was "natural" to have shorn hair.

"We realized after the bullying that something had to be done," Jenny Hårfager of Svenska Kroppsbildsverket (Swedish Agency for Self Esteem and Body Health – KBV) told The Local.

"Young people shouldn't be influenced into unnecessary body maintenance. By taking away the option of purchasing shaving products for minors, we allow people to make the decision when they are at the right age – which we believe is 18."

Attention was brought to the matter earlier in early March when music fan and librarian Lina Ehrin was captured on TV inadvertently flashing her hairy armpits to television viewers during the broadcast of the popular "Melodifestivalen" song contest finals.

The moment was captured by a home viewer and posted online, resulting in Facebook groups featuring thousands of Swedes pledging their allegiance to both the pro- and anti-body hair camps.

Eventually, a protest was held in Malmö where unshaven women united in a show of solidarity to "reclaim the hair", making headlines around the world.

Finally, "Lady Dahmer", who was curating Sweden's official Twitter account "@sweden" at the time, posted pictures of her own hirsute pits and ensured the matter was certainly not a passing fad.

And people listened.

"It's about time we do something about these restricting ideals even if it means we have to enforce laws to do it. People are too brainwashed to think for themselves and teens are easily coerced into shaving. If it can prevent just one of them from falling for peer pressure, it's a victory," she told The Local.

"Soon enough the Swedes will come around and new norms will be formed and shaving will be seen as old-fasioned and outdated. It's a revolution!"

According to KBV's Hårfager, the inquiry will review international research into the dangers of underage shaving and body hair removal, both from a physical and mental health perspective.

"These products contain a lot of harmful chemicals that can cause lasting damage to the body. Not to mention the danger of putting what amounts to a deadly weapon in the hands of children," she said.

"It's also imperative that we help young people understand that shaving is a choice they should make as adults, and not a behaviour they should feel forced into as young children by current societal norms."

While Hårfager hopes the new law will be in place by the end of 2012, not all are pleased with planned ban on shaving products.

Hans Bergquist, a 16-year-old student from suburban Stockholm, shaves his face daily.

But according to the planned legislation, he will not be able to purchase razors or shaving cream for another two years.

"I'm gobsmacked. I'd have a proper Viking beard in two minutes if I didn't shave regularly. They'll tease me at school if I come unshaven. And dad won't let me borrow his anymore, I blunt his razors," he told The Local.

"I'll have to import from Norway," he said.

Meanwhile, Hårfager believes only time will tell whether young Swedes will see the light and embrace the idea and ditch the "Hollywood ideals" forced upon Swedish society.

"People need to understand that this is Sweden, we are democratic, and we have the right to be hairy," she said.

"How long will it take everybody to figure this out?"

April Fools' Day update

It's midday in Sweden and custom dictates that we now reveal our chicanery, skulduggery and general tomfoolery.

As many readers no doubt have guessed, the above article has very little basis in fact bar a couple of notable exceptions:

Sweden is a democracy and women are permitted to grow under their arms.

Sweden has a tradition of freedom of speech and some people have recently used it to argue that female bodily hair, is, well, unfeminine.

The Vikings were Danish.

Comments have now been reactivated. A word of caution - after midday the joke's on you.

The Local/og

twitter.com/thelocalsweden

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

10:44 April 1, 2012 by eurobloke
Good joke, but this partly true here in the UK as you can't buy razor blades in the shops if you are under eighteen.
13:08 April 1, 2012 by calebian22
April Fools, hopefully. Then again Sweden is the ultimate nanny state.
13:22 April 1, 2012 by byke
While there was no doubt it was an April fools joke, it was A little too close to the truth.
16:15 April 1, 2012 by StockholmSam
"The Vikings were Danish."

I hope you don't mean to imply that all vikings were Danish?? There were certainly Norwegian and Swedish vikings as well. In fact, a few historians (though not the majority) credit Swedish vikings with establishing Russia.
16:29 April 1, 2012 by willowsdad
If serious, would this mean that males under 18 would also be prohibited from shaving?
17:22 April 1, 2012 by eurobloke
@willowsdad

They would have to do like what happens with alcohol here, ask their parents/friend to buy or use fake ID etc.
19:10 April 1, 2012 by WikidEva
April, April, jag kan lura dig vart jag vill!
19:31 April 1, 2012 by J Jack
Armpit hair is natural, so is sweat, dandruff, blood, snot, pee, soxygen, saliva and poo. That doesn't mean we want it on our body.
19:56 April 1, 2012 by Svensksmith
What is soxygen? Is that the odor that wafts from my socks when my feet sweat? If so, I sure don't want that on my body!
21:19 April 1, 2012 by Radhus
"Svenska Kroppsbildsverket (Swedish Agency for Self Esteem and Body Health - KBV)"

I'm surprised this is not a real agency with so many ridiculous other ones.
22:12 April 1, 2012 by JohnnyAppleseed
People, what are we doing wasting time talking about body hair when there are so many real problems in the world? If someone wants to shave their body or not it's their choice and no one else's business.
23:46 April 1, 2012 by JoeSwede
April Fools.... funny. This article was too close to the truth. I've been forced to accepts beauracratic weird logic too many times.
01:02 April 2, 2012 by cantfry55
Okay, you got me. :)
08:24 April 2, 2012 by Frobobbles
The Vikings were not danish. They were norse. When we talk about norse we do not make a distinction between norwegians, danes, sve, rus etc.
08:29 April 2, 2012 by jomamas
What if you are 'anti hair' ?
12:11 April 2, 2012 by cogito
This satire was so close to the truth that I was April Fooled through the first half.
12:30 April 2, 2012 by Jes
A small joke from a small mind ?
Today's headlines
SAS resumes flights from Stockholm to Tel Aviv
File photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

SAS resumes flights from Stockholm to Tel Aviv

SAS Scandinavian Airlines has resumed flights from Stockholm to Tel Aviv after the airline completed a 'thorough security analysis' of the situation in Israel. READ  

Swedish man stabs woman and kills himself
A Stockholm police car. File photo: TT

Swedish man stabs woman and kills himself

A man and a woman, reported to be both 45-years-old, were found dead on Thursday in an apartment on Lidingö in Stockholm with police suspecting a murder and suicide. READ  

Police fear arson after Sweden mosque fire
Central Norrköping in eastern Sweden. Photo: Stefan Vilcans

Police fear arson after Sweden mosque fire

Swedish police suspect arson after buildings at a mosque in Norrköping in eastern Sweden burned down in the early hours of Friday morning. READ  

Opinion
'Moving wasn't a choice, Sweden called to me'

'Moving wasn't a choice, Sweden called to me'

Caught in an identity limbo and surrounded by often apathetic "love refugees", The Local's resident Swedophile Solveig Rundquist wonders if she's the only expat who moved to Sweden for the culture alone. READ  

Swedish inmates to receive digital tablets
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Swedish inmates to receive digital tablets

Sweden's Prison and Probation Services are beginning a project in which suspected criminals will be given surf tablets to look at evidence against them. READ  

Snake hunt after man claims playground bite
The Swedish adder. Photo: Piet Spaans

Snake hunt after man claims playground bite

A man claimed to have been bitten by a poisonous snake at a paddling pool in Gothenburg on Thursday prompting a hunt which ended without a trace of the offending reptile. READ  

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'
Swedish girls in Stockholm. Photo: Susanne Walström/Imagebank Sweden

Stockholmers sound off on 'beautiful Swedes'

Following a Nordic survey in which Swedes were voted the "most attractive", The Local hit the streets to see what Stockholmers thought. READ  

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat
Norwegian police car at Oslo Gardemoen Airport. Photo: TT

Sweden keeps eye on Norway bomb threat

The Swedish Security Service (Säpo) have said that an "imminent terror threat" to neighbouring Norway doesn't yet affect Sweden although developments are being closely followed. READ  

Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
The Blomdahl family in Berlin. Photo: Private

Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin

Edvin Blomdahl is seven-years-old. He also cycled from Sweden to Berlin, a journey of 370 kilometres, in four days. READ  

Opinion
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Demonstrations at Sergels Torg in Stockholm. Photo: Kent Vilhelmsson

'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'

As the rhetoric rises at demonstrations in Swedish cities, Stockholm-based Israeli writer David Stavrou calls on Swedes to think before they shout and to cast a critical eye over much that is written and said about the conflict in Gaza. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
Blog updates

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

 

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 »

 
 
 
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
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
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

717
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