Tiny details. That’s what make up the big picture of discrimination in the world. Women’s rights are protected by law in certain areas, control over our bodies, equal pay, equal job opportunities. Great!
But laws can change. People frequently agitate to change them. Ever noticed how those who do are always men?
I don’t want to focus on these big items today, however.
Instead I want to question a small detail, one which I had all but forgotten about until very recently.
They’re tiny, and perfectly acceptable in the right places, but apparently taboo in the wrong ones. According to the great and powerful ‘society,’ women have nothing but wrong places. Except the top of our heads, that is.
Hair. That thing we all have all over our bodies except on the insides of our hands. You know, the thing women apparently find sexy in men? But not, apparently, the other way round? Right – that’s a learned response, if ever I saw one.
Women must be hairless – neat eyebrows (or none at all – but then we draw them on with pencil?!?!), smooth arms and legs, nothing under our arms and don’t get me started on our vaginas. Seriously, what the actual fuck?
Why are women expected to shave their legs and underarms? Because fashion companies have conditioned us to do so. When the first ads for sleeveless dresses appeared in the early part of the twentieth century, the ads showed an arm-hair-less model. They promoted talk that this was how women should wear this fashion. For decades, hair-removal product companies promoted the necessity of shaving or waxing. Trying to get women to adopt the fashion. Within twenty years, the ads no longer answered the question, ‘why remove hair?’ By then, they had convinced womenfolk, and they could now concentrate on ‘how best to remove hair.’ The battle to adopt the concept was won. Now it was all about market share.
When it comes to depilating bikini lines, thank you, Marketing, once again. And thank you, Porn. Without you, no woman would ever think of shaving her bikini line. But you kindly informed us about porn stars and sex models who target the weirdo market and told us we should try to be like them. Then you gave us swimwear that would clearly show whether we had followed your holy edicts. Then you indoctrinated us against the more comfortable and less showy swimwear options, starting with our most vulnerable citizens, teenage girls. Thank you so very, very much.
As for Brazilians, as far as I am concerned, every man who professes to like them should be prosecuted for criminal sexual thoughts about children. There’s a reason certain men like women bare down there: it’s because it makes them look prepubescent. And that is, apparently, a turn on. Um, SERIOUSLY???
Not to mention how fucking painful it is. Incredibly. Fucking. Painful.
Any woman who says she likes their nether regions hair-free is either kidding themselves because they’ve been conditioned to try to be what they’re supposed to be, is lying through her teeth in an attempt to please someone else, or is totally crazy. Crazy is not a bad thing, mind you. But it’s definitely the minority.
I like to swim. It takes time to find swimwear I’m comfortable in. But it’s worth it. No shaving or waxing around my vagina for me. (Honestly, reading back over what I’ve written there, the fact that a phrase like that even exists is ludicrous. Let me repeat it: no shaving or waxing around my vagina. For fuck’s sake!)
Leg hairs, ditto. I hate shaving (waste of time) and I hate waxing more (yeowch!). I am sick of it. I don’t see the need for it. If someone dislikes the sight of my hairy legs, I feel sorry that they are such sensitive little souls, but I’m certainly not sorry for anything else. My kids hate the feel of spiky regrowth and so do I. I hate the time it takes and the shaving products I’m obliged to buy. I hate that I have spent my whole life to this point feeling that I should do it.
Should? Think about that word. We use it when we mean something that’s important to our welfare, or someone else’s welfare. Let’s look at that: Shaving does me, personally no good at all. It does absolutely nothing for my kids. Perhaps if they were teens and feeling ashamed of me I might have a discussion with them, but I expect I could weather that one without compromising my own comfort or their fragile egos. Perhaps I just won’t swim around their friends for a few years. No biggie. As for anyone else’s welfare, well: my hairy legs won’t cause physical harm to anyone. And if anyone’s precious enough to feel offended at the sight, they have the perfect right and ability to look away. Remember, the same thing you can do if you are offended at the sight of a baby having a nutritious meal from the source: its mother’s non-sexual, perfectly humdrum breast. Look Away. And get over your stuck-up, overly-sexualised self.
As for me, I am in love with my unshaven legs. Love the body you have, right? Right!