, Advice by Ann Landers - []
Our Featured Column from the Archives: [Read More Featured Columns]
[Previous] [Next]
Section: manners, behavior, health-and-wellness

Dear Ann Landers,
I have a very sophisticated, attractive girlfriend. She is intelligent and has a terrific job. What's the problem? She doesn't shave her legs or under her arms. I'm too embarrassed to tell her this offends me and that it is neither ladylike nor attractive. I never have dated a woman who didn't shave her legs. My girlfriend has more hair on her legs than I have on mine. I know that in Europe some women don't shave their legs, but is this socially acceptable nowadays in the United States? -- A Hairy Situation in the East

Dear East,
Unshaven armpits and hairy legs are not socially acceptable in our culture, and I cannot imagine why a sophisticated woman would not be aware of this. You should tell your friend it would please you if she would do this, although she may not. Incidentally, there are attractively packaged shaving kits for women available in drugstores everywhere. If she agrees to shave, consider giving her one.

Share this Column with Friends

What do you think?

A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Reader Comment
Grow up. Women get to choose whether or not to shave any part of their body. If this is a deal breaker for you, then break the deal. But don’t think it’s ok to make demands on how a woman grooms HER body.

Maryann's Comment
You are not making unfair demands. This would disgust a lot of people and if you ask nicely and she cares about you I think she would accommodate. The important thing is to make it a polite and gentle request. If she stomps her feet and declares her rights to her own body, let her go find another hairy ape. If she won't compromise on this, she probably won't compromise on anything else. AND, you need to be willing to make changes for her as well.

Reader Comment
Hairy legs or underarm pit are not for me!

Diana Luis's Comment
Hey,I'm so excited my broken Marriage has been restored

Reader Comment
Seriously, if body hair is a deal breaker for you, you deserve to be alone. As the two of you age, all kinds of things will happen to your bodies that will leave you looking less like a supermodel and more like a "hairy ape". There is no part of my spouse's body that means more to me than she does. If that's not the case for you, it's a pity, and you should leave her now before she gets more invested in your relationship. Geez.

Mary's Comment
We seem to have gone from a time where we wanted to please our spouses, to a time when we want to challenge our mates on each issue and be constantly arguing. That is no way to live. Folks.......if you like hairy partners, chose one! Don’t expect the men and ladies who like a nice clean shave to change for you! It is rather a personal issue of choice and comfort.

Conch's Comment
If she doesn’t shave under her arms how on earth can she NOT have BO? The more hair there the more u sweat.

Carol's Comment
If she does this next your kids will also pick up this nasty habit. Run like you are on fire. This is just the beginning.

Reader Comment
I agree with those who believe in clean shaven arm pits and legs. I am a woman and now in my 70's. These regions very seldom need shaving now, but I did it for years since I couldn't imagine having hairy pits

Alecta's Comment
I personally have issues with facial hair. I don't like it in most cases, and some I find frankly repulsive. Would I demand a man shave for me? No. If ased my opinion I would certainly give it, but if a man prefers to be bearded, he's not for me, and that's fine. If a man tried to tell me how to groom he would be out the door so fast. Clue: people's bodies are their bodies. No one else gets a say.

Reader Comment
Wow this "advice" misses the mark by a mile. The issue isn't that he doesn't like her body hair, it's that he has lied about it for the duration of their dating. Unshaved pits and legs are easily seen areas, there was no surprise, he was making up his mind about it, and is now trying to shame her behind her back with such questions as "is this socially acceptable nowadays in the United States?" She is grown, and I would think he is too, so he should grow up and make his own decision. Desice she's someone he want to be with or not. I hope he moves on though because she deserves better than a passive aggressive, manipulative, indecisive jerk. As for the "advisor" to say hairy pits

Reader Comment
Sorry typo, it's "decide if she's someone he wants to be with or not." As for the "advisor" to say hairy pits

CSC's Comment
When I was a young woman, I dated a man with a mustache. I hated it. It was like kissing a Brillo pad. I said nothing until he shaved it. I thanked him for getting rid of it and he asked why I had never said anything. If I disliked it and he had known it, he would have been happy to shave it off. Why not tell the lady how you feel? She might be happy to shave off the hair that bothers you. She deserves to know how you feel. She also needs to be honest with you if there are things about you that she would like changed.

Chh's Comment
Are we living in the 1950s Ann? WTF?!? it's not socially acceptable?!? She's intelligent so she should know better?!? This is 2022 when women can do what we want, when we want, if we don't want to shave we don't have too and if men don't like it? Screw em

Cookie's Comment
If you disregard this issue, I want you to know that when she hits menopause - she will probably quit producing so much hair. I no longer have to shave my legs since age 60.

Reader Comment
Re: Unshaven armpits and hairy legs Not your body, not your place to say *unless she asks your opinion*. Personally, I almost always find unshaven facial hair on men repulsive, but I wouldn't dream of telling a man this unless he asked me. On the other hand, I do understand that daily shaving can be painful and irritating. The facial hair thing is my issue and so my problem, to be kept to myself. If an hirsute man asks why I won't date him, I may share, but would never expect to have a say in his grooming choices. We all get to make choices about our own bodies (well, unless we're women wanting control over our reproductive health).

I guess this in 1959....'s Comment
This column proves this is advice by and for elderly pearl clutchers who don't respect women. Jesus, why don't you take away her birth control and buy her a girdle while you're at it? (Sorry, that's called "waist training" now! 🙄) and just to be CLEAR: Older women aren't all this out of touch, before the 50's women didn't EVER shave pits or legs, and they were still somehow women. (unless they were swimsuit models/pin up girls, but Sophia Loren kept her hair) Women AND men in Europe don't have these puritanical hang ups about women's bodies either. French women indeed aren't treated as Pariahs for some natural hair because there's this crazy thing called respecting women's bodily autonomy there. Savages, I know.

Chad's Comment
I am a man who has dated many women. I would suggest you ask your girlfriend if she is willing to shave. In my experience, some women do not shave because they feel it is too time-consuming or they feel shaving is purposeless because their hair just grows back or believe their hair grows back thicker or darker. Many girlfriends have asked me to change certain clothing, shave twice during the day, or to discard shoes or ties that they find uncomplimentary. I comply because I want my partner to enjoy my company. Most women will shave if you ask. Afterwards, you must praise her appearance and be more romantic.

Reader Comment
I’m a 73 year old male and my wife is 70. I think hairy armpits on a woman is beautiful, I love it. My wife lets her’s grow in the winter. I like hair on her legs also.

Flute Lady's Comment
Oh goodness. He's entitled to his preferences and she's entitled to hers; it's a question of whether they can find a middle ground. There are about a million compromises that have to take place in a relationship, and if they can't figure this issue out, they aren't likely to make it together for very long. And by the way, women in lots of countries shave now. Yes, even France. And the Middle East. Maybe they're influenced by movies; who knows. In any case, I've lived in a couple of foreign countries and been to lots of others. Women in all these places generally shave, at least their underarms.

Hazel in Virginia's Comment
I quit shaving armpits decades ago. I had terrible rashes in those places in summer, and once I quit it never happened again. Neither of my parents liked it. My mother said it was unsanitary. I said men have hairier armpits than women and no one calls them unsanitary. My dad said men would find it unattractive. I said I didn't care. I'd already figured out that men that cared about that wouldn't be attracted to me under any circumstances. I married a nice man who didn't care about the issue and we have been together for 40 years.
Please share your comments below:

Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

Tell us what you think?

Popular Columns

Tag Cloud

Ask a Question
Post a Comment

"At every party there are two kinds of people - those who want to go home and those who don't. The trouble is, they are usually married to each other."
-Ann Landers