While Waxing the City is continuously pushing the waxing industry to new heights and setting the bar for excellence and innovation, we also believe in the importance of paying homage to our waxing roots (Pun intended!). Believe it or not, waxing is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States. In fact, the whole idea of hair removal in general for American women was virtually nonexistent just a century ago! The introduction - and entire evolution - of hair removal for American women has followed the substantial changes in women’s swimwear fashion. So, since it’s that time of year when you all are throwing on your itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny-bikini’s and hitting the pool in style, we thought it would only be fitting to take you back through time a bit and show you the evolution of the bikini and how, during its own slow and steady progress, the bikini has impacted the entire hair removal industry, turning hair removal and waxing into an essential part of modern American femininity.
Where then, did this practice of removing body and facial hair begin? Why and how did waxing become a part of American culture? And how the heck did my bathing suit have anything to do with it??
Well, let’s start from the beginning....
- The majority of early immigrants to the United States were of European origin and hair removal was not a common custom among most European women. Thus, when they migrated to America, European women never transferred the practice of hair removal to the new society, making it a completely foreign practice among early American women.
- Fast-forward to the 1900s: The first swimsuits for women consisted of bulky dresses, bloomer and black stocking to ensure minimal exposure of women’s bodies. Women refrained from swimming too much because the prevailing attitude of the time was that swimming was for men only, but we’re guessing it was because of those uncomfortable looking outfits they were expected to wear! Needless to say, hair removal was totally unheard of to these women because women’s bodies were meant to remain hidden!
Times have most definitely changed since the 1900s! And our views on swimwear and hair removal have undergone some interesting transformations throughout the past century as well.
Make sure to stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog series: "The Evolution of Bikini's and Waxing in America," in which we'll explore the changes that occured for American women during the 1910s!