I am a young woman. As being nearly 19, I have come across many naked bodies in my short time and not the slightest ashamed to admit it. The naked body is very normal to me, and while that doesn’t mean I no longer find it attractive, I am not put off to aspects of it that others might find grotesque or a turn off. I have even found that what I find normal is quite disgusting and abnormal to most. One of these things being body hair.
Every human being on this planet has body hair. There are two noticeable places of the body that hair does not grow: the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. Arms, legs, chest, back, face, head, pubic region and everywhere in between; there is hair. Some have more hair, some have less hair. Some have really light barely there and you can hardly see their hair, and some have such dark hair that makes their skin looks darker than it actually is. I fall into the latter category.
[Warning. This post will get very graphic and very intimate, very quickly.]
I’ve been shaving my legs from about the age of 10-12, I can’t remember exactly when. But I felt pressured to shave. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I hit puberty at around eight years of age and have yet to stop it seems. I was always the black sheep out and so I tried to do everything I could to fit in. Shaving was one of them. It started with my legs. And ten years later, it hasn’t stopped.
I come from a Hispanic background, and so hair is galore; thick, black hair that covers much of my body. My legs would need [read further down for explanation] shaving every two days. My arms are thick and dark and the hair goes from my shoulders down to the back of my hands to my knuckles. My lower back is covered in a thin layer of hair. My stomach and chest and even my breasts have differing amounts of hair. My face is covered in hair and that’s not including the thick caterpillars over my eyes with the occasional mustache I amuse my friend by telling her when I take wax to it.
Women are expected to be hairless. Look at any Western female celebrity–or even non-Western because I have yet to see a Kpop idol that does not have the fucking smoothest legs known to man–and you will see that they are as hairless as a newborn baby.
Society can be cruel. It’s not often that you see a woman in the media with something not hairless and if you do, she’s compared to being a man. Which brings up the point that if women have body hair in the same places that men do, then why are women are the unhygienic ones? Want to explain that one to me?
Eyebrows. Mustache. Beard. Man or woman, these occur. Some are more obvious and some are not. Some men grow more hair, some women grow more hair. Some women have very little hair and so do some men.
I, as a matter of fact, have a shit ton of facial hair. I maintain my eyebrows because I adore the shape that it is and it makes my eyes pop. I also wax my mustache for the same reason. Yes. I grow a mustache because I am a human who grows hair. I’m not ashamed of it. It’s something I do for my own benefit because I like the way my face looks. Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean that I don’t have hair. And even though women are “expected” to be hairless, facial hair isn’t something we’re supposed to let men know we have.
But it’s there and regardless of how much there is or how noticeable is, it’s a preference and time issue of whether or not you want to take care of it. If you don’t, then okay. If you do, then okay.
This has been an area that bra bloggers have been attacked for in the past. Not shaving your armpits has been said to be unhygienic, which is a load of bull. I can easily, and most of the time do, go without shaving my underarms for weeks because…why? I still wear tank tops and still can do everything else I want. I mean, I shower, I mostly wear deodorant…and I’m clean.
If men aren’t considered unhygienic with underarm hair, then why would women be thrown into a different category? Having underarm hair is the same as having hair on any other part of the body…or not having hair. All up to you.
Arm and Leg Hair
Two of the most easily noticed parts of the body. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many people I know who shave either or both of these parts. I even attempted to shave both at one point. After discovering that shaving my arms creates the most unsightly ingrown hairs, I decided to leave it be. My legs…
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been shaving my legs for a good many years. Hitting puberty earlier created many issues for me in school and none of them I could control. Acne, breast growth, frame changes. All of that was out of my control. Except my leg hair. I could shave that and feel better about myself as I didn’t look so odd compared to all the other girls who simply hadn’t hit that stage where they looked older and so would be noticed for those simple things.
Pubic hair is hair that occurs with the onset of puberty in everyone. Absolutely everyone. Not one person [bar those that may have a deficiency in whatever causes hair growth] doesn’t have pubic hair at one point or another. But it seems to be a very common part that is classified as dirty. I would like to set the record straight.
Pubic hair does not equate uncleanliness. Want to know what it equates? Hair. Hair equates hair and I’m sure you can find a scientific quote to back that up.
Are we past that now? Good. Hair isn’t dirty. Glad you understand. Let’s move on.
Looking at porn, in many cases “hairy” is a fetish category. The women in this industry are hairless in so many different ways and often with dainty little designs etched into their pubic hair or the common “landing strip” style. It’s quite common for women to shave or “maintain” their pubic hair for sexual satisfaction.
Well…let me tell you something that all might not be aware of…pubic hair has no effect on the pleasure you may receive during sex. That is dependent on your partner. Now I understand that some say the hair gets in the way of oral sex, but at risk of the most horrid image ever, my friend intelligently stated, “It’s not as though the hair grows out of her vagina.”
When it comes to removing hair, you don’t have to shave. There are creams that remove the hair for you. Lasers. Waxes. So many things out there these days and so many women conforming as they always have to get rid of hair they’ve been convinced is wrong.
The legs and the underarms are two of the places that I hear men complain about the most when it comes to the presence of hair. It’s as though smooth legs are required for them to have sex with a woman. [I’m not generalizing, I’m stating based on experience.] It took me a while to come to terms with my body and I know I’m early to the party as most women my age are still struggling with that acceptance, but hair isn’t a big deal. Leg and underarm hair in general are places of the body that men have no requirement to shave or trim or maintenance like women, so why? Why does being hairless in these areas make you more feminine? I’m pretty sure my legs are the same shape with or without hair…
There’s a lot of social stigma that comes with not shaving and I, personally, find it very unfair. Hair doesn’t speak anything about anyone. Having a lot of hair, or having a little hair means nothing. It has nothing to do with their sexuality or their personal thoughts regarding themselves. Hair is just that, hair. If people want to dye it, trim it, shave it, wax it, put designs in it, then let them. If it doesn’t affect you, then why give it any thought?
Getting rid of body hair seemed like a chore. It was never an option that I had. It was something I had to do or be ridiculed for and I had enough problems that people gave me fuss about. As I said, shaving was something I could control and it was the silliest thing I could ever have done. It’s not like I blame those who prefer to shave and even like shaving, it’s become a personal preference of mine to shave whenever I want to. Some days I shave because I want to rub my legs together and have super soft skin. Some days I don’t shave because it’s extra energy that I can’t waste.
Since my fibromyalgia has worsened, showers have become more difficult and as such, shaving my legs isn’t a priority. I don’t know why I ever considered it to be one. I go weeks without even thinking about shaving them because why bother? Sure, they look nice without hair, they feel smooth but what’s wrong with them not shaved? Can’t think of anything? That’s because there’s nothing wrong with not shaving. Even when it began to bother my partner, I told him to get over it because my comfort trumps his.
Hair is on the body. The body is nice, regardless of shape or type. Hair is natural. Hair is good. Hair does not mean dirty. You don’t like hair? That’s okay. You like hair? That’s also okay.
I would also like to emphasize that these preferences that I mention throughout the post are personal preferences, not the preferences of society or even your partner. You have to please yourself before you can think of being able to please another.
I’d also like to make it clear that I have nothing against those who want to be hair free. I personally don’t care if you choose to have hair or choose not to. What I do care is if you judge another for hair simply because of the idea that it’s dirty. If you don’t like hair, that’s something between your partner and yourself and not something you should judge others based on.
Body Hair and Body Acceptance
[Photos are not my own and are courtesy of google]