A team of archaeologists has found that our obsession with hair removal can be traced back to Roman times.
Archaeologists working in Wroxeter Roman City, in Shropshire, England, have discovered a huge collection of over 50 tweezers at the settlement that dates from the 2nd to 4th century CE.
They also discovered a skin scraper, perfume bottles, jewelry, and make-up applicators – showing just how important personal hygiene and beauty were to the Romans.
English Heritage has said that the hair removal practices were just as routine for men as they were for women, noting that men who would engage in sports like wrestling would be expected to remove their body hair.
Cameron Moffett, English Heritage Curator at Wroxeter Roman City, a new museum that opened last week, told The Times that you “had to have the look. And the look was hairlessness, particularly the underarms.”
In Roman times the hair-plucking rituals were often performed by slaves, with English Heritage sharing a letter from Roman author and politician Seneca, who complained of the yelps people would let out whilst being plucked, saying “the skinny armpit hair-plucker whose cries are shrill, so as to draw people’s attention, and never stop, except when he is doing his job and making someone else shriek for him.”
Moffet said: “At Wroxeter alone, we have discovered over 50 pairs of tweezers, one of the largest collections of this item in Britain, indicating that it was a popular accessory. The advantage of the tweezer was that it was safe, simple, and cheap, but unfortunately not pain-free.”
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
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