My journey with body hair has been a rollercoaster. This is still something that I am trying to work through.
A LITTLE ABOUT MY STORY
I had this fascination with shaving from a young age. At age 10, I was so eager to start shaving my legs. I asked my mom for permission all the time. Some other girls in the fifth grade had started shaving and I wanted to as well. At the time, I felt my legs were SO HAIRY. Which they weren’t compared to now, but for a little girl, yes, they probably were – I have very dark hair. In sixth grade, my mom let me shave my legs. Hooray.
My eagerness to shave grew the second I had armpit hair. I didn’t even ask my mother about that one. I just started doing it before I even had to do it. (Which I now think is really sad.)
It BLEW my mind when I learned people shave their pubes. I was about 16. WHAT?! I was all stoked when I could finally rock the full bush because it demarcated womanhood for me, only to learn years later that shaving it all off was “expected.” I tried it. If you’re going to do it, GO WITH THE GRAIN. FOR GOD’S SAKE. I learned this lesson the hard way. Twice.
Things changed though. By Junior year of high school, I was known for not regularly shaving my legs. My hairy legs were a comical topic for my lunch table, to which I gladly whipped my leg onto the table to show everyone how much I didn’t give a fuck.
WHERE I’M AT NOW
At 24, my ambivalence towards my legs continues. I shave about once a month. I even question why I do that though. I question why I shave my arm pits, too. (I grew them out for six weeks once. Shaved them when I returned to the Western world.) I think a big reason is that I know my manfriend wouldn’t be too into it. Which, from my feminist perspective, is really fucked up. But when it’s all I’ve ever known too, it doesn’t feel like I’m doing it for him. As for my cuntie-poo, she rolls with the tides. Whatever my current mood is.
LESS ABOUT ME – MORE ABOUT WOMEN
Some may think of women’s body hair as only pits, pubes, and legs, but there’s SO MUCH MORE that we are self conscious about as women. Ahem, a list:
– nipple hairs
– arm hair
– facial hair
– belly hair (“treasure trail”)
– mole hairs
– widow’s peaks
– toe hair
– finger hair
– butt crack hair
– bikini lines
– the fine thigh hair
– (Leave more examples in the comments!)
Life would be substantially easier if we could let go of most – if not ALL – of the things on this list. Society may think that being feminine is being hairless, but as this guy put it:
“I noticed on these beautiful naked bodies how most women’s leg hairs begin to considerably thin on her thighs. What I saw was that the way a woman’s hair is on her body is distinctly feminine in arrangement and it is gorgeous, it really is.” – Damien Bohler
I honestly had never thought of it that way before. Even if a woman were to go shave-free, she’d still look feminine in the way that her body hair is patterned on her. We just don’t see that in the media or any women around us anymore. (In a future blog, I’m going to go into the origin of women’s shaving – spoiler: it’s not a very long history.)
HAIR IN THE MEDIA
Women’s Body Hair is Sexy is a great little article by a guy who changed his mindset about lady’s hairy everythings. He went from not-so-interested to these-chicks-with-hairy-everythings-are-really-awesome-I’ll-get-over-it. (His quote is above.)
I found it inspiring. It makes me consider taking my hairiness to the next level. Perhaps I’ll give it shot and see if it makes me happy. If it doesn’t make me happy, I’m not going to do it. Or maybe I’ll continue the ways things are – once my body hair grows out, I cut it short. Then I let it grow out again. And then I cut it short.
It’s a journey. It’s all about being patient with myself. (Literally patient, because I have to wait for the hair to grow.)
This topic is to be continued … :D