This is one of those posts where I’m not so much taking a stance, as thinking and questioning. Note: if you are a relative of mine of my husband’s I’d stop reading now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I have never been a big fan of body hair removal. I understand why I, as a woman, am expected to remove/shape all the hair on my body into an enticingly sensual and socially acceptable nothingness; but it’s sooooooooo tedious and often painful. I remember the first time I shaved my legs. Well, truthfully, my mom did it for me. I was 10, and had been teased within an inch of my life for weeks (thanks grammer school mean girls). It took her at least half an hour, and no less than four pink Bic Lady Shavers to get the job done. As soon as I was done, I headed to my room, grabbed my short-shorts and a blanket and set up camp on my front lawn with a juice box; feeling glamorous on a Monroe level. Then just a few days later…stubble. And so began decades upon decades of waging war on my body hair.
I suppose shaving our legs is a right of female passage. My own daughter (only 8!) is already asking about it; makes me cringe. I won’t lie to you, I love the almost slippery goodness of my freshly shaved and moiusturized legs. I totally get why men and many women want that shit to be on point at all times. Who has the time? Of course, it’s not just about the legs. Nope. We’re talking underarms, lips, chins, brows, arms, and of course our precious dainty lady parts. For the record, as I type this, my own lady parts are bald as a cue ball (a welcome home surprise for my hubby after a long trip). I will also tell you, I almost never do it because I hate it. But hey, sometimes you gotta shake things up a little.
I guess what I have been thinking about is how silly it all is. I mean, is our female body hair truly so disgusting that we must shave/wax/pluck ourselves back to pre-pubescence to be found sexy? I’m going to guess not. I know for a fact, he wants to get up on this; hair or no hair. I am sexy as hell. So why do I do it? Why do we do it? Sure we can say “I do it for myself”, or “I just don’t feel comfortable with leg/underarm hair”, or whatever else we need to hear to make it all okay. I’d wager, if they’re being honest, most women would much rather let that shit go and get on with the rest of their lives if they could. I mean, I don’t know about you, but for me…that shit can take up a whole afternoon.
Last weekend, while chatting with my tribe of glorious women, we hit this topic briefly. We were all in agreement that it’s an accepted pain in the ass. In days when I was more concerned about people’s opinions, I even shaved my arms on the regular; for fear that I wasn’t feminine enough. I still do this on occasions, but just because it makes my tattoos look amazeballs. As much as I loathe it, I keep shaving, keep plucking, keep depilitating. BUT WHY????? You guys, my vag. hurts. I just know I’m going to have an ingrown hair, and the itch?!?!?! The worst! I told you, I don’t have a stance here. Just questions.
I haven’t even really touched the facial hair thing here, either. I had the unfortunate luck to be around in the 90s during the pencil brow craze. My once full brows have never recovered. Lip hair? Heaven to Betsy! You can’t be a lady with lip hair! Oh wait, yes you can. Frida Khalo anyone? Again, I admit to getting rid of that shit regularly, along with my 4 chin hairs. I’m not sure of my impotent rage comes from my feminist core or just plain laziness, but it’s real. Frida, I salute you,your brows, and your ability to be fabulously self empowered.
What do you guys think? Is this a feminist issue? A personal care issue? Or just “part of being a woman”? While we are on the subject, Men, please let it go. I ,for one, like a man with a hairy chest. Embrace your manliness and let it go. Just say no to chest waxing.