In a recent survey, 33% of women said that shaving their legs is the first grooming activity to be cut from their routine when they are feeling overwhelmed.
The simplicity movement is getting attention, and not all of it is good. Business interests are trying to cash in on the fact that a growing number of people are feeling tapped out mentally and financially by busy consumer-oriented lives.
You can tell when a social movement is gaining momentum when it gets co-opted by the corporate world. Enough people are now simplifying, or desiring to simplify, that advertisers are targeting the 'simplicity market'.
Now they want to try to sell stuff to 'help' people simplify, which doesn't seem to make much sense to me. It looks like simplification-washing is the new greenwashing.
A case in point is the 2012 Simplicity Survey sponsored by a large personal care product manufacturer that sells, among other things, women's hair removal products.
Here is a bit of what they found out after talking to 1000 women in the US:
SIMPLICITY SURVEY RESULTS
-- 71% of women say they have girlfriends that need to simplify their lives, but can't or won't
-- 32% of women think that reducing social and family obligations would help simplify their life
-- 40% of women say simplifying to them is removing things that cause stress in their life
-- 25% of women say simplifying means focusing on what is really important
-- 56% of women find themselves wishing for a simpler life more than 4 days a week
-- 42% of women have beauty products they never use
They propose 'solutions', but what they fail to mention is that they are the ones that created the problem in the first place.
This problem, manufactured mostly in N. America in the 20th century using shame as a motivator, is the social obligation of maintaining a hairless body.
So what is their solution for the modern woman yearning for more time and less hassle and stress? A more convenient shaving product to simplify the process of becoming less hairy, and therefore less offensive to a culture they have trained to see body hair as dirty, unnatural, and 'objectionable'.
I have a different take on their survey and their solution, starting with questioning the assumption that we have to be hairless.
I think what the feedback says is that there is a large group of women willing to give up shaving altogether, or at least cut it back to a simple minimum amount.
Saying no to frequent, expensive, and time-consuming hair removal saves money, and frees up valuable time to do more enjoyable things. No one needs a better shaver, but they might benefit from being freed from arbitrary social obligations manufactured solely for profit.
After all, not all women, or men, in the world are as hair-phobic as in western countries. Maybe, like them, we can keep it simple by saying "no" to artificial problems and their unnecessary solutions, and embrace our natural hairiness.
How hairy are you willing to get in the name of simplifying life?
Don't worry, there is nothing to be ashamed of here. You are among nice, hairy, understanding people.