I have always hated shaving my legs. It always ended the same, a bath tub full of blood dripping from my ankles. One day I decided to let my leg hair grow a little..and then a little more. Since then, shaving has never been a priority to me.
The act of shaving originated in the 1920’s and progressed more as fashion evolved and hemlines began rising. Porn had also contributed to not only shaving legs, but the pubic region as well.
I first began shaving my legs in the 5th grade when I noticed my legs started looking a little prickly. Having blonde hair, it was not as noticeable allowing me to hold off on shaving a little longer than my friends who had darker hair. To this day, I remember how nervous I was to ask my mom for the first time if we could buy razors to shave my legs. From then on, I was quite anal about having smooth legs. About two years ago, my laziness had finally overpowered my desire for silky skin and I decided to just let my hair grow until I felt like shaving. That’s pretty much how I live my life now, “I’ll shave it when I want to“. Of course, it’s winter now which makes not shaving a big easier. In all honesty, I probably shave once a month in winter and every two weeks in every other season.
That being said, my pubic hair is a different story. I have to admit, I still do associate negative feelings with an unshaven nether region. I feel pressure to look a certain way from society, from magazines and especially the adult industry. I find that I really only feel sexy whilst on a Kim Possible naked mole rat level. My boyfriend and I have had discussions revolving our feelings on pubic hair and we agreed, either is great! It doesn’t matter if I am clean shaven or not, what matters is how I feel. But even he feels pressure to ‘trim’ certain body parts because of the societal norms we grew up with.
We see pressure to shave in books, movies and television. One example that to this day sticks out to me is the episode of As Told By Ginger when word of Ginger’s “Frizzy Lizzies” gets out to Miranda and she shaves her legs to spare herself the embarrassment at school. Isn’t that really why we shave our legs? To spare ourselves the embarrassment?
When I catch someone looking at my legs, I do feel a bit uneasy. I tend to exaggerate the thoughts they might be having. Questioning why a woman would freely put her legs on display like that but then I remember, it doesn’t matter. Whether I chose not to shave or whether I simply didn’t have time, it doesn’t matter.
Women all across society are becoming pioneers to create acceptance of body hair. Harnaam Kaur, has allowed her beard to grow, accepting that even with facial hair, she can be beautiful. In a social post she writes, “I am openly, knowingly and unashamedly rebelling without a care! I’m rebelling against everything this world thinks I ‘should’ be! I am rebelling against the type of person society expects me to be. I am rebelling against the man made rules and regulations of beauty standards that are expected of me to abide by”. Many other women have followed suit in embracing their PCOS (Polycistic Ovary Syndrom) like Nova Galaxia . Even women without medical reasoning have embraced body hair. YouTuber, Ingrid Nilsen recently posted a photo showing off her hairy armpits with a caption diving into the real reasoning she felt she had to shave and how her reasoning has since evolved.
My purpose for exposing what some may call a secret? I simply want to help start these conversations. 2018 was the year we finally began seeing size inclusivity, body positivity and gender acceptance. Let’s continue the movement and include body hair positivity. Let’s make all bodies beautiful.