German women shaving preferences

Discussions on the role played by and situation of women in the Third Reich not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Vikki.
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Ingsoc75
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German women shaving preferences

Post by Ingsoc75 » 03 Apr 2006 17:27

I hope this is an appropriate topic but I wanted to ask if it was common for German women to shave their armpits? I have seen some photos and newsreels of BMD gals with hairy armpits and I was just curious. I'm sure it would be like any other country at the time and I don't mean to sterotype any particular country :)

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jugendkrieger
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Post by jugendkrieger » 04 Apr 2006 03:47

eeeewwwww hairy armpits.................. :o

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deathdealerdelta
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Post by deathdealerdelta » 04 Apr 2006 03:51

You might want to ask HaEn that question. He was in the German military at that time.

-Ray

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Post by tommy303 » 05 Apr 2006 04:06

It was not a terribly common thing among women and girls to shave the underarms during that period. There were exceptions, such as women in the performing arts such as ballet, but for most it was not too common according to memory. One really did not think anything of it at the time, and it seems to have been more of a long delayed post war copy of American practices, particularly American film stars. I believe shaving began to catch on in the 1960s somewhat slowly. One has to remember that even so-called safety razors would still give plenty of nicks until much improved types and electric shavers came along, particularly in the 1970s and 80s.

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Vikki
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Post by Vikki » 05 Apr 2006 04:32

I can see that “Fraulein Valkyrie” has been away from the Women’s section for too long..... :D
Enigma229 wrote:I hope this is an appropriate topic but I wanted to ask if it was common for German women to shave their armpits? I have seen some photos and newsreels of BMD gals with hairy armpits and I was just curious. I'm sure it would be like any other country at the time and I don't mean to sterotype any particular country :)
Enigma229, Your question was carefully asked---probably because you anticipated responses like the one below---and the women here thank you for that. I don’t think it’s an inappropriate question at all.

From the similar pictures I’ve seen, and from comments from American vets I’ve heard from their experiences in the mid- and late ‘40s and ‘50s, I don’t think it was common for German---or other European---women to shave their armpits. And you have to consider that “fashion” in the context of the time: my understanding is that it was a purely American invention, mostly media-inspired. I’ve never actually thought to ask one of the German women of the time that I’ve talked to about it.

And there’s a good anatomical reason for NOT shaving the armpits---however “gross” it sounds to modern ears sensitized to antiperspirant ads, hair draws perspiration away from the body, and thus cools the body.

Many of the modern European women I know still don’t shave there---and increasingly, some American women as well.



jugendkrieger wrote:eeeewwwww hairy armpits.................. :o
Jugendkrieger,

You’re a reenactor, aren’t you? Shame on you!!!

~FV

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jugendkrieger
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Post by jugendkrieger » 05 Apr 2006 16:07

yes i am a modern reenactor and i find hairy armpits on females quite unatractive just my preference...i leave out authenticity for this subject

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Post by tommy303 » 05 Apr 2006 18:05

Fräulein Valkerie gave a very good response. I think too the growth of hair in the underarms, and elsewhere was also a sign of approaching womanhood, something to be proud of and show one was no longer a little girl anymore. I called my older sister and she remembers one time admiring how American movie stars looked and asking our mother if she could buy a razor, to which our mother replied rather curtly, "Do not be stupid, why do you want to go through life looking like a child?" And of course there was also the question of money which was better spent on necessities. And as stated, it was largely an American custom, probably promoted by Madison Avenue executives.

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 10 May 2006 19:30

A number of posts were split off into a new thread at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=100969

/Marcus

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 25 May 2006 22:16

Three additional posts have been moved to the new thread mentioned above.

/Marcus

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Vikki
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Post by Vikki » 21 Sep 2007 06:42

Some period photos to illustrate the point. From Gesund Sein!, an article in Arbeitsmaiden (a magazine of the RADwJ, the Women's Labor Service).

And Fräulein Valkyrie is going to visit the first person who says "Yuck!".... 8O :wink:
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cruff
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Post by cruff » 26 Sep 2007 21:46

I like it shaved personally but I understand that it isn't necessarily a period thing. I think that it was common for prostitutes to shave and this was brought back to the states by the GIs/Doughboys and made a common practice hier in den USA. Please correct me if I am wrong! Chris Ruff

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Vikki
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Post by Vikki » 27 Sep 2007 07:55

Hello Chris....or should I say Hauptmann Kiesel?

Welcome to the Forum! Glad to see you here!

Best,
~Vikki

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cruff
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Post by cruff » 27 Sep 2007 14:32

Hey there! Glad to be here! Chris

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Geli
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Post by Geli » 29 Sep 2007 02:20

I tried to ad an attachment of a photo of Lilian Harvey showing off her shaved armpits, but I had trouble doing that. Oh well, the point is that German film stars also shaved. Someone mentioned dancers above, and yes, she acted in musicals.

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Post by Carl Schwamberger » 30 Sep 2007 12:11

I'm assuming all this applies to shaving the legs as well?

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