In this episode, Jessy and Rebekah talk body hair! To start off, your favorite cohosts talk about how they tried to have friend time and how they were interrupted. Constantly. By men. And then, they move into body hair. They take you on an adventure of body hair removal, through the millennial and then discuss their own hairy battles. Do you have a horror story to share? Send it along to welcometomyvagina@gmail.com with the subject heading “body hair horror story” and we will read it on one of our upcoming episodes! We can’t wait to hear from you!

  • 0:45: Jessy and Rebekah went out to a bar and got interrupted by every single man on this side of the Mississippi.
  • 01:55: It wasn’t Rebecca Traister. It was the other awesome feminist Rebecca, Rebecca Solnit. So, here is Rebecca Solnit’s essay, “Men Explain Things to Me,” which recounts the story the Rebekah alluded to on the podcast. And for good measure, here’s a link to a female physicist who had her own theories explained to her on a panel she appeared on.
  • 04:45: This article is REALLY interesting. It summarizes a scientific study that basically says that human hair is essentially an alarm system to let us know when bugs, or other yuckies, are walking across our skin. In a study with bed bugs (vomit), researchers found that it took volunteers about twice as long to detect the movement of a bug when it was moving on shaved skin than when it was on an unshaved area presumably because of the movement of the hair! Wow!
  • 5:30: Here is the game that Jessy was talking about. It was launched onto the toy market in 1955.
  • 06:30: According to this article, we started developing thicker head hair to protect our growing brains from the heat!
  • 07:00: Here is some really cool information about the apocrine sweat glands which is something we didn’t even know existed until we researched for this episode!
  • 07:15: MOIST!
  • 08:00: This is Rachel Lubitz’s article for Mic called “The Unusual and Deeply Sexist History of Women Removing their Body Hair.” There were some things about it that we didn’t love, but the historical overview was really helpful for this episode.
  • 08:15: And here is the blog History Undressed which is pretty cool.
  • 08:30: Rebekah was right! History has proven that beards do actually prevent frostbite! A 2012 study conducted in China compared the skin of the upper lips of 100 mustached men to the skin of those same men’s upper (hairless) cheeks. They found that the men’s lips were, on average, 1 degree warmer than the cheeks. It has also been floated that facial hair makes men too warm, allowing for the potential for their brains to overheat. The possible offset for that? Male pattern baldness!
  • 10:15: Here is a photo of a pair of “volsellas” to which we say NOPE.
  • 11:00: Quicklime, AKA calcium oxide (CaO) is a widely used chemical compound that “neutralizes (some) acidic oxides to produce a basic molten slag.” We do not care to figure out what the means but what we do know is that in 80BC the Roman general Sertorius used clouds of quicklime powder to defeat Characitani of Hispania who was hiding in a cave. Basically, it is used as a choking cloud like pepper spray. And women used to remove their hair with it. Cool.
  • 12:42: There is not information that we could find about why this idea of using cat poop to remove hair was originally floated but the Atlantic says that cats make you crazy so there’s that.
  • 13:45: Here it is! The Milady Decollete by Gillete which helped marketers create an industry for women’s razors.
  • 14:00: And here is an excerpt from Christine Hope’s book!
  • 15:00: And here is Betty Grable wearing a Navy cap displaying her shaven, un-nyloned legs. (We are not hating on her at all. She was, in some ways, a tool of the patriarchy.)
  • 16:00: Sarah Hildebrandt’s book, The EmBodyment of American Culture, is really good but we could only find excerpts online. We imagine the entire book is worth the read. You can probably find it at your local library!
  • 17:15: We can confirm that the Barely Legal series was, in fact, Larry Flynt.
  • 19:50: Hair removal is so damn expensive!
  • 20:45: Yup, that’s right. We said back, sack and crack waxing technique.
  • 22:45: Oh my god this Heather Widdows article is EVERYTHING. Read it!!!
  • 27:00: This article from the Independent talks about trends in pubic hair and about a start-up that began thinking of pubic hair in a different way. Instead of focusing on removal, it focuses on caring for the hair and the skin as we would in different areas of our bodies. All that being said, the article does say that men overwhelmingly do not like untended hedges. But whatever. Do you, girl.
  • 27:30: Here is that super popular episode where Jessy talks about using a pillow as a pad. It is so funny.
  • 31:45: Definitely give this article from The Guardian by Mona Chalabi a read. She is also amazing on Instagram! Find her @monachalabi
  • 33:30: This Reddit thread is insane. Generally we say don’t read the comments. But this time is different. You should FOR SURE read the comments.

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