To Shave or Not to Shave
Witten By: Kat
I was made to believe shaving my legs was a required task for women– non-negotiable, and worthy of mockery when not performed with rigor and regularity. Women shave their legs. Period.
The chill rainy spring, and my corresponding laziness resulted in an entire missed month of leg shaving. My immediate reaction was: Gross! Even in my crunchiest of hippie mama days, I was always vigilant about hair-removal. Girls are supposed to be hairless! The way nature… wait…
Anyway. Ladies shouldn’t have leg hair. It’s a rule.
So when I finally shed my winter layers only to be confronted with the reality that my legs had become a furry forest, I was sort of disturbed, although not surprised. I hate shaving. ALL women hate shaving. It’s not convenient. It irritates the skin covering a large surface area of the body. Shaving sucks! Being smooth and hairless, however, IS pretty awesome, even if it only lasts for like 3 hours. So we endure.
While I was debating whether to sell a kidney to purchase razor blades– because God knows those fuckers aren’t cheap– I read this article from the Vagenda. The article was written by a girl who decided one day that her relationship with her body hair was unhealthy, and the only way to fix it was to come completely to terms with it. To let all of it grow in.
I must confess, I was not as dedicated to this experiment as Emer. I can completely explain why I maintain the other furry parts: hair traps odors– no thank you, not for me. I suppose we could get into a whole debate regarding acceptance of human stink, but lets stay on topic… Her article really drove the point home: none of us can explain WHY we shave our legs. It’s like tanning, or hair highlighting, except EVERY single woman in America has it forced into her psyche as a non-option. We are supposed to spend 5-10 minutes each shower removing hair from a large portion of our body. Like brushing our teeth, it’s just expected. As though women with leg hair are unsanitary.
As weeks went by and I watched the fur continue to grow, I remained on the fence about shaving it. In principle, I do find it completely sexist and ludicrous that women are ridiculed for keeping our bodies the way they were made, hair and all. But, on the other side of that, I love wearing short skirts almost as much as I love ice cream, and furry legs attract the wrong kind of attention. Like it or not. The weather began getting nicer and nicer, the blonde stubble had taken over, and I was still torn!
I began soliciting opinions and advice. Most men, to my surprise, were not bothered in the least by my fur. They did not think of me as less of a female and, I suspect, would not have rejected any advances due to lack of shaving. Men and women alike seemed to completely understand why a lady wouldn’t bother.
A girl friend of mine who hasn’t shaved in years advised that I try wearing shorts or a skirt to see how I felt about it. This is really where my opinion solidified. Of course, because I am great at timing things, I chose an evening where I was going out for a nice dinner. The moment I set foot outside my house, I felt like an insecure Sasquatch. I ran back inside, opted for hosiery, and shaved my legs the next day.
So what did I learn? Well, my skin was grateful for the break from the razor, and I actually developed an odd affection for my leg hair. It made me feel free and primal, like an Amazon warrior. On the other side of that, I learned that confidence comes from simple things sometimes. I work pretty hard to keep my legs toned, and consider them one of my best features– having them look touchably smooth makes me feel infinitely more confident.
Beauty is pain, people!