I’ve seen a lot on social media and generally online recently about body hair on women. And, as the feminist I am, I wanted to weigh in with my two cents worth.
(TL:DR version – I have hair, I don’t care and nor should you.)
I’ve been blessed with thick, flowing locks on my head. They’re dark, they’re full and when I say thick, I mean, they take literal hours to dry after washing.
Unfortunately, this isn’t reserved for the hair on my head.
Sure, I get hair in the usual places (ie, everywhere, like most other people) but my hair is especially noticeable. Very dark, very obvious and always in the way, apparently.
There are kids at work who tell me, “you have hairy arms” and my response is now just “I know! Now, why don’t we take your shoes off.”
If I shave my legs in the morning, there is stubble by the evening. I get one day of hair free shorts or dresses before the razor has to come out again and I slice my skin to a million pieces. Or I go back to wearing jeans in accordance to society’s rule.
Crop tops are a big no-go because of the patch of fur on my lower back, and I can grow a beard some guys would be jealous of.
I’m just coming to terms with all of this. It was only until recently that I would actually flinch if the word ‘hairy’ was used around me – it felt like my own personal kind of slur, designed to hurt and shame me.
By 13, I’d already been shaving my legs for three years, my armpits for a year longer. Puberty hits young sometimes.
There’s my little sob story. I know, it could have been much worse for me as a kid, and I’m blessed that only a few people snickered about it in the girls changing room. But you still feel like shit when you’re crying over another slashed kneecap, or your sitting in front of a nurse with an infection in your armpit due to shaving, or you’re dry shaving because you’re at guide camp; shorts are a necessity but you have no running water.
I’m over it. I’m done feeling like “hairy” is a dirty word. Like the hair on my legs is gross, but it’s A-Okay on my brother. Like I have to scrape off layers of skin, getting scarred and pock-marked in the process, for hours of wearing a skirt, just to then have days of itchy, dry skin.
I’m not saying I’m not going to stop getting rid of the hair. I’m just going to stop feeling guilty over having it in the first place.