Hair. I spend at least 10 minutes in the shower, at least once a week, contorting myself into ridiculous positions (mainly due to the constraints of my tiny Uni shower), removing it. Why? Because even though it’s ridiculous, I find my body hair unattractive. And I know that’s purely because of society - I definitely didn’t see my hair as ‘bad’ when I was younger, it was just there, as part of me as my eyebrows.
It wasn’t until secondary school, when in the PE changing rooms, that I was exposed to the attitudes that hair, or being hairy, was unattractive. My classmates lamented over shaving or how ‘horrible’ their hairy legs were. It was only then that I started meticulously shaving myself bare, seeing my hair as ‘ugly’ and something that needed removing. It also wasn’t just a cosmetic choice- it was also a hygienic one, because of course hair is only unhygienic when it’s on girls. Over the years I have outgrown that stupidity, and I’m not fazed by being a little bit ‘stubbly’ or hairy- though I still feel the need to apologise to my boyfriend for not being perfectly shaved and smooth 24/7, even though he definitely does not care.[pullquote]And I certainly don’t see body hair on other women as being ugly. In fact I admire it[/pullquote]And I certainly don’t see body hair on other women as being ugly. In fact I admire it, and love that they celebrate their natural body. In a world where visible body hair on a woman is seen as shocking enough to warrant articles (think Miley Cyrus, Drew Barrymore and a few other bold women) having body hair is seen as a political statement. It’s seen as being a feminist choice. However, it’s important to remember that being hairless is also feminist - feminism is and has always been for me, about having the power to make your own choices - to shave or not to shave. However, how many of our choices are driven by society? Would I still shave if I hadn’t been manipulated by others into thinking it’s attractive?
If I’m being honest with myself, probably not. I don’t mind the hair so much now, but I definitely enjoy the feeling of being as smooth as a baby dolphin. I’m not going to waste every other day making sure a hair doesn’t sprout up, but, if I want to do some self-care, I’ll shave my legs. It makes me feel put together, it makes me feel sexy - and that’s all that matters. Whether you want to shave or not, you do you - but it’s worth examining your relationship with your body and your hair. It's you, it's natural, and a naked hairy bod is just as sexy as a hairless one.