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The Last Taboo: Women and Body Hair Paperback – November 23, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press (November 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719083230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719083235
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,177,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


This is a genuinely entertaining and informative book that reveals body hair as a vital methodological lens by which to illuminate not only practices of regulation around gender and sexuality, but also highlighting how these are linked to 'race', colonialism and ultimately to to the ambiguities and efforts to contain the uncertain and fragile boundaries constructed within modern western culture between nature and culture.' (Prof. Erica Burman, Research Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University)

About the Author

Karin Lesnik-Oberstein is Senior Lecturer in English and American Literature at the University of Reading

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By CARLOS ROMERO on March 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was really disappointed, I thought this book was going to be so much more! "The Last Taboo: Women and Body Hair" by Karen Lesnik-Oberstein (as contributor and editor) and others, was an academic work from a feminist perspective. Their research was one-sided and limited to a sociopolitical analysis only. So I was thinking, maybe I should cover what these well-meaning academics (cough...cough), surreptitiously left out. Here's my understanding on the subject: body hair on women was not really an issue (in the 20th century anyway), until research on human sexuality by the likes of Alfred Kinsey and Masters and Johnson, gave the global "ruling elite", another incentive and excuse to further manipulate people (especially women). By dictating what is socially acceptable, as far as body image is concerned (brainwashing the masses). I believe body hair on men and women is natural and normal. Pubic hair on men and women is a secondary sex-characteristic, which in a scientific sense is very normal. The absence of pubic hair and body hair in male and female human-beings is a sign of sexual-immaturity (pre-puberty). So why has the removal of pubic hair and body hair become prevalent and an obsession among women (especially in western cultures)? It really has nothing to do with hygiene and cultural values, but everything to do with suppressing an important aspect in the soul-nature of humankind (free-will). How so you ask? To illustrate my point: think of Gustave Coubert's "L'origine du monde" 1866. Esoterically speaking, hair represented a physical connection (literally) to the natural world (The ancient Hebrew characters for hair and light were basically the same).Read more ›
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By Kati on September 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall the book is a bit dense and may cover some obscure angles, but the first essay especially is a wonderful starting point for anyone looking to get a good, academic perspective on visible, female body hair.
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