日米比較 − 脱毛事情?!



While you might haven’t really taken this into consideration, it is an unusual concept to fully rid of your body hair. Yet, this is a pretty normal concept in Japan. Megumi talks to us about this!

I was very self conscious about body hair for a while until I got laser hair removal for the first time last year. I was just VERY hairy compared to other girls in school. WHY GOD. WHY. The parts that people are able to see on a daily basis are fingers, arms, armpits, mustache, eyebrows, and legs during summer time. For me, I had hair everywhere. I didn’t care so much in the past because honestly, it’s just hair. I mean, give me a break. I’m only human, let me have hair on my body. But my perception of hair changed a lot over the past year and this article will introduce the obsession Japan has towards hair and what foreigners think regarding body hair.

昨年、初めて脱毛治療をしました。物心がついたときから、すごく自分の毛に対してコンプレックスを抱いていました。とにかく、周りの女子学生より毛深いと感じてしまったのです。なんで!なんで神様私だけ!ひどい! 他人が自分の毛が見れる部分は、腕、指、わき、ひげ、眉毛(眉毛と呼ぶ理由は、そこに毛があって当たり前だからですよ。)そして夏場は足ですね。私はありとあらゆるところにありました。昔は本当に気にしませんでした。最終的にはただの毛なので。勘弁してください、って感じでした。ただの人間なので、身体に毛があることくらい、、許してくださいって、、、。ここ数年で私の毛の処理に対する思いは変わっていきました。この記事は、日本人がすごく熱心になる毛の処理と、それに対する外国人の意見や毛の処理を紹介したいと思います。

You sort of can’t escape hair removal if you live in Japan. Each and everyday I get on the train and I see ads everywhere. Regardless of the decline of advertisements in the trains nowadays, there is at least ONE hair removal ad. I actually get very offended when I see this one.




Apparently, if you don’t get you hair removed, people see you as a sheep.
Cleaver. I see what you did there. I’m sorry that not looking like a sheep is not my priority. (Do I sound like a overly assertive feminist? To clear things up in advance, I take care of myself perfectly. I shave my body parts occasionally. Just not overly obsessed with it. I don’t look like a hairy monster or anything.)




This implies that hair removal gives you PEACE. I love Japan. We find peace in everything.


My friend in 8th grade told me once,
“Wait! Did you shave your arms?! I loved your arm hair! Your hair was blond so it looked nicer and the lighter color made it barely visible!!”


I was confused regarding two points. One, I thought everyone shaved at that point, so that’s why I did it. NOT because I wanted to so why would you discourage me AFTER I shaved off all my arm hair. Two, why are these girls so obsessed with NOT having any VISIBLE hair?! (It didn’t bother me whether I had blond, black, brown or red hair whatsoever)


No one has ever told me what they thought about my hair. And thanks to this day, the start of my unhealthy relationship towards HAIR began.


When I first used a razor was in 8th grade. Even though I did not care so much about hair then, my mother told me it might be time to shave my armpits. (Thanks for the tip mom.) So I did. Not just my armpits but my legs and arms as well. The next day, my mom looked at me with full attention on my arms and said, “OMG! WHY DID YOU SHAVE YOUR ARMS!?!”




I was very confused. Hair seems to leave me confused often. STOP it hair. My mom told me that in America, no one shaves their arms. They do shave their legs and other parts but not their arms. As a 13 year old, the comprehension was beyond me. But when I think of it, every summer when I went back to Portland to visit family, it made me realize that women in my family never shaved their arms!! Here was the turning point with my relationship to hair. I started to think that…


“Maybe this has something to do with two completely different cultures!”


My bright idea was right. It did have something to do with culture. There was a time when I saw on TV where they talked about body hair in Japan compared to other countries. There was a women who was from Brazil saying that
“Oh, we never shave! Laser treatment?! That’s a waist of money! Waxing it is cheaper! Oh but we do shave everything down there!”


I was again very confused. Never in my wildest dreams, did I think that people shaved there. Plus, I hadn’t heard of any of my friends shaving parts where people will NEVER see in public!! But it finally made sense to me why they call it a “Brazilian wax.”


As I grew older, I came to an age where I started making friends from other countries. They asked me “So is it true that no one in Japan shaves down there but they shave arms?!”
It was pretty universally famous at this point that Japanese people don’t shave parts where people CAN’T see, but they shave parts where you CAN see. Is it just me or does this sound perfectly normal..?


According to multiple conversations with people from different countries, they just find it unsanitary to have hair down there while everyone shares the same water at baths, or Onsens.
A few of my foreign friends get some “looks” from people when they shave certain areas. I guess foreigners are more hygienic than Japanese people… ? I mean Japan is one of the cleanest countries in the world…so maybe that theory isn’t correct.




It is still a huge mystery for me as to why Japanese people are obsessed with hair while they are perfectly fine for sharing the same bath with strangers with hair down there. Though, it wouldn’t be like me if I did’t have an opinion about this, so here is one of my theories…
Japan doesn’t want to go against culture, nature or something that has been handed down to us. We value that as a whole in this country. Having hair down there, means that you are growing up and becoming an adult. It is something that happens naturally. So, shaving your hair down there might confuse people with how old a person is and it is seen as an unnatural thing to do… (I guess this explains the “looks” foreigners get at Onsens. They are questioning themselves… “they look like an adult, but why is there nothing there…?”)
Just consider it as a theory out of many. I am overly enthusiastic to hear what you guys think!!


To conclude my open minded article about hair, I want to make sure that I am not trying to pick favors. These are just some points that other countries do, opposed to what people in Japan do. I see it as beauty culture. Differences is what creates culture and we don’t have to classify this as a totally alien topic. I think its worth knowing the differences each country’s culture has and why.


Give me your thoughts:)