WOMEN
11/12/2015 02:33 pm ET

How Marketing Convinced Women To Start Shaving Their Armpits

This is one part of herstory that sucks.
Why did women start shaving their armpits?

It was rare for women in the U.S. to shave their armpits at the turn of the 20th century. A little bit of marketing changed that fast. ♫ "Savior of China" by SOOHAN

Posted by Timeline on Thursday, October 29, 2015

Women weren't always molded by the patriarchy to be nearly hairless creatures. 

A new video created by media company Timeline details why women started shaving their armpits in the early 1900s. The short answer? Marketing and advertising. 

According to the video, most women didn't shave any of their body hair up until the early 20th century when Harper's Bazaar ran an advertisement in 1915 that said sleeveless dresses were becoming trendy. Soon after that, anti-armpit hair ads became popular and -- voilà! -- it was embarrassing to have armpit hair. Crap. 

The past few years, however, some women have been growing out their armpit hair as a political statement. A-list actresses such as Miley Cyrus and Jemima Kirke have grown out their armpit hair in the past two years.

The video quotes Dr. Brenne Fahs who explains that many women are growing out their armpit and body hair in general "because it highlights the presence of an otherwise silent or erased aspect of women's bodies."

So basically: 

Also on HuffPost: 

PHOTO GALLERY
Striking Photos Redefine 'Natural' Female Beauty
CONVERSATIONS