Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Hairy Legs Dilemma

Cross-posted from The F-Bomb

Today I'm loaded with homework so I'll just share this article of mine (smiles proudly) which has been published on the F-bomb.

The Hairy Legs Dilemma

I am a very hairy person.

I’m okay with that, for the most part, but it seems the rest of the world isn’t.

I turn on tv (or the computer, or a magazine) and am immediately faced with an ad for an (incredibly painful) device that promises to give you sensual smooth skin, that will last for a whole five days!

The thought of shaving every five fucking days gives me shivers. My skin happens to be very sensitive. It does not enjoy being pulled from every pore. In fact, every time I shave I am bought to near tears by the piercing pain I feel. Nonetheless I do it. I purposefully hurt myself to change my natural body and fit the stereotype of what a girl is that society imposes on me. Why?

Patriarchy. Because of that fucking patriarchy.

If I tell people that though, they’ll just shrug and say, yeah, just don’t shave then.

Easy to say.

My hair is dark. It is black and very visible. If I go to the beach with my natural legs, I shall attract many weird disgusted looks and disturbing cat-calls. My friends and family will try in every way to convince me to shave that fucking hair, to avoid them the embrassement of being seen in company of such a freak. Some of my friends will, in fact, stop hanging out with me at the beach. They will not want to be put in the same category as me!

As to my love life, it would be even more null than it already is.

Those are the conseqences of a non-shaving demanour. And the truth is, I can’t. I can’t just sacrifice whatever is left of my social life (being a foreigner, a feminist, and mostly a non conformist, I am not at the highest place popularity-wise).

I’m not strong enough.

Since I joined the feminist movement, I shave less often, but I still shave. My legs are within acceptable limits of hairiness. The rest of my body I keep hairy, since it’s not too bad, even though occasionally I get causal male oglers comment on my growing moustache (if they think I am going to hurt even my face-something that I’ve tried and has resulted in lots of little red baubles all around my mouth- for their pleasure, I can only tell them to please get lost.) Everyone is happy. Except me.

It’s just so unfair that guys can grow a beard of hair on their legs, and I, because I am a girl, have to be hairless. Whoever decided that hairiness was a boy thing anyway?

I am trying to gradually decrease my shaving until I am strong enough to face the social pressures hairy legs bring with them.

Until then, I shall continue spending an hour or so torturing myself every month. Or maybe I should just dedicate myself to masochism for the sake of it. At least that is supposed to bring on some enjoyement. Also, I would know that I would be doing it for myself, and not for others. I would not feel as weak and guilty and so fucking angry as I feel now.


  1. Oh! I hate this social crap that has become the norm that females must shave, pluck and rip our hair from our lip, eyebrows and other areas of bodies just to look sexy to the other sexes! How would they like it if they had to pour hot wax onto their bikini lines and yank the hair out with cotton strips? Not very much I bet!

    I'll tell you a story: I was born overdue by 2 weeks. This meant I had hair all over me. Most of it washed off and I was fine. But I had a lot on my arms and legs (which showed up in school photographs; and I was picked on badly at school!). However, there was an upside to this! Whenever it got really cold, I had insulation against it. I was warm in Winter most of the time; until I was around 15 and Mum said it was time to shave my legs; which looked like sticks when I first shaved (and I went through 3 shavers!). But since then, I haven't really fussed over my legs when I do get those forests showing up after Winter... after all for a good part of my childhood, they were a part of me. :D

    So, I wait until I absolutely have to shave and even then, I resort to home brand shaving cream most of the time because the stuff they have out on the market for us women leaves a horrible rash all over my legs.

  2. I really hate how dry it leaves your skin!
    I never shave in the winter (it keeps me warm) and only when my hair gets real long in the summer. I know some girls that dont shave their legs at all! But they were blessed with blond hair on their legs...so im thinking, what if we were to dye our leg hair too?> that could work.
    Armpits should be shaven by both sexes (the hair under there holds onto stink and deoderant...so just to cut down on B.O), but shaving arms? and that private ares? um no! do people not realize that there is hair down there for a reason? that it helps stop dirt and other germs from getting in and infecting you body... psh
    not to mention its prepubesent not to have hair there, and if a guy is into that(bald/shaven) it makes me wonder just how much else of little girls he like.

  3. It is sooooo unfair, you are right. Try to be strong about it. Best of luck.