Sunday, December 21, 2014

Plucked - Rebecca M. Herzig

Whenever I hear of some questionable "medical" practice from 100 years ago, such as using X-rays (!) to remove unwanted hair, I shake my head and wonder what people could have been thinking -  but then I also wonder: in 2114, which common practices of today will seem unbelievably questionable? This thought brings me to my review of this book, subtitled A History of Hair Removal. As someone who admittedly conforms (if lazily and inconsistently) to the American custom of shaving one's armpits and calves, I found the book to be fascinating; it's thoroughly researched and full of interesting information and even includes illustrations. One small note: this book centers mainly on hair removal customs in the United States, and I would have loved to know a bit more about the difference between the U.S. and other countries, for example, why it's more common for French women to leave their armpit hair intact. But all in all this was an unusual but intriguing book. Recommended.

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