BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Date of Submission



Sumrin Kalia, Visiting Faculty, Department of Social Sciences

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access


The aim of this thesis is to explore the different perceptions which women form around body hair, specifically in the context of Pakistan. The thesis is approached through the frameworks of understanding the removal of body hair as a social construction, as a perception which is formed by both the subject removing her body hair and those who compel her to remove her hair due to the performance which gender takes due to compulsions, perceptions and pressures. For the purpose of exploring these perceptions which women form about body hair, both of their own body hair and the body hair of other women, I interviewed various women from the ages of 18 to 25, seeking to understand how their own perceptions of being a woman are shaped and hence how they categorize themselves within the category of womanhood. To understand this, different themes were extracted and interrogated such as the social construction of the hairlessness norm, of academic spaces as identity formers, of mothers as dis/carriers of the performance of womanhood, of the role of religion and hygiene and of media as the representative of norms. Along with that, the exertion of agency and how the depilation norm is explored were looked at, of how body hair is embraced and how hairiness can sometimes become resistance to femininity. These then had allowed the perception formation around body hair, of hairiness as a possible abjection and whether hair removal as a beauty practice could be looked like a choice or compulsion.



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