Face shaving, also known as "dermaplaning," when women go into the dermatologist's office to get a proper shave in lieu of going to the barber shop, is being touted as the next step in facial exfoliation for fresher, younger looking skin.
While there is a stigma around female facial hair in mainstream Western culture, this trend is anything but self-loathing disavowal of body hair. Yes, face shaving is done in the hopes of being "forever young," but there's something symbolic about women taking razors to their face.
Superficial? Or superfacial? It might seem superficial and a tad ridiculous to claim that women shaving their faces is a sign of progress. As Beauty Bean editor Alexis Wolfer told Mic: "There are FAR better ways to exfoliate — even just mixing some white table sugar with your favorite facial cleanser and gently scrubbing your face after a warm shower will do a better job. I see this as another thing women are being 'told' they should do in order to be attractive — just another thing women are being told to worry about, when there shouldn't be anything to worry about here."
But, is there a kernel of truth here? If society accepts face shaving as an everyday ablution for both men and women, then there will be less stigma attached to the practice. Instead of women feeling shamed for shaving their faces, it could be construed as a sign of self care. Women taking care of their bodies, even when it comes to minor practices like exfoliation, and having the ability to do so without society dictating otherwise, is in large part what feminism is all about. From women's rights to trans rights, gender equality arguably begins in the bathroom.
Don't worry, no one will question your feminism if you decide not to start shaving your face alongside your man (or woman) in the bathroom every morning. Thankfully, feminism isn't qualified by the lengths of your body hair.
If you do, however, give it a go, take heart in the face that shaving does not, as old beauty myths would have it, make your hair grow back darker or thicker. Feeling trepidatious? See this tutorial, below.