You can’t open a magazine without being bombarded by ads about hair. Cleaning it, changing it, or maintaining it. But this post is about body hair and our obsession with removing it. Let’s just face it, western culture has a really unhealthy relationship with body hair.
I remember the first time I realized the way my hair grows from my skin was a problem. My great aunt was a Sunday school teacher when I was a little girl and every Sunday I would accompany her to church. One Sunday after refreshments, a little boy walked over to me, pointed to the course hairs on my knuckles and said, “EW! WHAT’S THAT?” I was confused.
“It’s hair. You have it too.”
“Yeah, but you’re a girl!”
It was the first of many comments I would get from men and women alike.
“Why don’t you shave it?”
“It’s so thick!”
“I could never go out with my legs that hairy.”
Everyone has body hair, yet it seems taboo to be ok with it’s presence (when you’re a woman). For years I waxed, plucked and shaved. Not because I wanted to but because I didn’t want people to see my hair and think something negative. I didn’t want to look “unclean.” I didn’t want people to see my chin hairs and make jokes. (*insert eye roll emoji here*)
It wasn’t until I befriended a girl who was so unapologetically herself that I started to question why I stressed over something as menial as hair. She seemed so free and confident in herself and just watching her be comfortable in her skin inspired me to do the same.
Now I wear skirts and dresses even when I don’t have time to shave. I don’t care about stubble. I don’t nitpick over the coarseness of my hair.(and neither do the fellas) Some may not agree with that, but it’s about time we destigmatize bodyhair. It grows where it does for a reason. It literally belongs there. I still thread my eyebrows and I may wax here or there but it’s always for me and never to appease someone else.
I plan on making a series about learning to love myself shamlessly. Are there parts of your body that you are learning to love the way it is?