Firstly I want to address any concerns that the reader might have that I am writing this post because I am putting off doing a dull/difficult piece of work. If this is what you were thinking then congratulations, you would be right. However, do not be overly concerned because this is something I’ve wanted to write about for quite a while now and although admittedly I wanted to think of a suitably hilarious title for the post, it has taken some nasty string quartet questions to motivate me to abandon my fears and inhibitions and write about the taboo which is female body hair. I am going to write that again, extra big so that you get used to the idea. FEMALE BODY HAIR. HAIR WHICH GROWS ON LADIES’ BODIES.
Yes, that’s right- it exists! And it doesn’t just exist on bodies but it bears down on our minds too. Planning hair removal, putting space in the budget for razors, creams, waxes, epilators etc, worrying about erupting bristles, what length sleeves to wear to cover up any evidence of this natural phenomenon.
This is something I have so many thoughts on I don’t know where exactly to start to make a coherent piece on it, but I think the starting point is that the notion that women (and not men…) should remove their body hair in the UK (I can’t account accurately for anywhere else, I’m not denying that it could be an issue elsewhere) is an entirely societal construct motivated by capitalist desires. Gilette (or however you spell it, as you may have noticed I don’t spend much time in that aisle) only started selling products for women to try and increase profit, and now we’re in a world where girls can feel embarrassed about the slightest sprouts of spruces of body hair. There really is no reason for this to be the case.
To be honest, I can think of more logical reasons not to remove hair than to remove hair. For starters: You save time. You save money. You avoid pain. Furthermore, your hair is there for a reason. It is an infection barrier. And by removing it you don’t only remove the barrier but create the idea site for infection to enter. Shaving creates microscopic wounds and waxing rips the pores open for all sorts of nasties to enter. There have also been increasingly common incidences of procedures in sensitive areas which have resulted in abscesses and more serious infections. Delicious.
I’ve thought this for years and been irritated by the pressure to shave it but finally I’ve summed up the courage to brave it! (And even enjoy it) I didn’t shave my legs at all in winter and I only did my armpits a couple of times when I was wearing a sleeveless dress. But then came summer. And I realised I faced what seemed to be an actual moral dilemma. A real issue of principles. At first I was tentative and generally covered it up then gradually wore ‘skin coloured’ tights as opposed to thick opaque ones and then socks before I was ready not to bother at all. It was hot and I was wearing a dress and I didn’t need to wear any extra layers for insulation, and I wasn’t going to let society make me think that I should censor my body’s natural properties (ie THE HAIR) any longer.
And it has been going well since and I’d love to encourage you to reconsider any attitudes you might have towards female body hair in light of this. And perhaps even encourage the cultivation of it yourself. Although it seems like a more extreme example, if women (but not men) were expected to remove all of their skin or if they wished to keep it it had to be concealed it would not be tolerated. This may seem a ridiculous comparison but I think it highlights how ridiculous this societally imposed expectation is.
Any questions, please go ahead and ask. Any abuse, I’d rather you left it. Any advice on dying underarm hair purple, do get in touch.