American Women & Shaving Column

I just wanted to say that the main movement towards hairless legs started in WWII. America entered into total war, which means that all of the country’s resources were devoted toward it. Women became very active and patriotic during this time. As most everyone knows, women’s stockings or panty hose were made of silk and because of the increasing demand for parachutes overseas, panty hose production halted. Pants were no longer made with enough length to cuff, the hems of skirts rose, and pleats were no longer stitched in order to conserve materials for soldiers. So, women would paint their legs with Iodine or something similar and have their friends draw a seam in black marker down the back of their legs; they wanted to look like they had stockings on. What they realized was that hairy legs were no longer hidden and were unsightly. Shaving became popular and women eventually did away with the Iodine and marker.

ETA: *Link to column: Who decided women should shave their legs and underarms? - The Straight Dope *

Panty hose in the 1940s, forsooth? Only very rarely, and in nonce uses. ’Twas plain stockings then.