The other day, I was having my legs waxed, and because I find it boring and painful, I started a conversation with the beautician, and the subject was, as it often is, the tyranny of hairless legs. She said, “that’s very true, men don’t have to go through it. I wonder why, it’s so unfair. But I have to say it looks prettier and certainly feels cleaner when your legs are waxed.” I raised an eyebrow. I think I get to hear this sentence every single time I go to the beautician. No it’s not cleaner and why would we look better without it? Isn’t it the most natural state of the body? Also, why the fuck should we always smile and be pretty?
Now, I’m not blaming my beautician. I’m not blaming anyone really. It just makes me really angry to think that female body hair are so stigmatized. Also, to be contradictory because hey, I’m human, I wax and shave and epilate. All of these. And I hate it. But I do like how it looks. So you won’t find any definitive statement about body hair here, just a reflexion on this very summery subject, that I’m forced to face, only wanting to wear dresses and skirts because of the heatwave we’ve been having.
My mum doesn’t have any body hair really, and is a little bit proud about it, which really did not help when as a teen, I had to use Jolen cream on my mustache to dye it blond.
Today, I read a great article on Man Repeller written by Haley Nahman, the piece is titled, “4 Women on Loving and Growing Their Body Hair“. It’s a brilliant conversation, and definitely made me think, yet again, about how absurd having to shave/wax/epilate all the hair on our bodies is. One of the women being interviewed said something that stuck with me, “Your hair is who you come from, just like your eyes, lips and teeth. I love that. When I think about my bush, I think of bodies in the wilderness; we grow a natural blanket of protection.”
This really added a new perspective on my morning which I’ve spent exfoliating and shaving because I’m going away this weekend. Truth be told, when I read the article and scrolled down to see the pictures of hairy women, I was like ” hum, that’s a bit intense isn’t it? Oh wow, that’s how some women look with hair on their legs“. Because you know what? I’ve only, once in my lifetime, seen a woman sporting hair on her legs. I was in SF for a work trip, and this lady on the bus had a gorgeous dress and super long dark legs hair. Isn’t it crazy that it was the first time I’d seen hair on a woman’s legs?
My mum doesn’t have any body hair really, and is a little bit proud about it, which really did not help when as a teen, I had to use Jolen cream on my mustache to dye it blond. I was so envious of her and so self-conscious about my body hair. Though to be fair, she did tried her best to help me out you know, with dealing with those unwanted hair. I think I first got my legs waxed at 13 because she did not want me to shave, and told me that if I kept on waxing, I’d have way less hair as an adult. Of course, one summer, tired of having to watch my hair grow enough so I could get them waxed, I got my first razor, and the rest is history.
Boys definitely did not help with the body hair and stache situation. I grew up in the 90’s, I don’t think it got better, and have no idea how kids deal with it nowadays. But back in the days, it was very painful, and it has ruined the “already-not-that-high” self confidence I had. I’m actually so thankful for beauty bloggers who speak out about how they get rid of their body hair, and also thankful for this article on Man Repeller. You do you, for sure. I believe it’s brave in a way to let your hair go au naturel. I certainly don’t feel like I could do it anytime soon. Yet this article really made me think about the endless conversations about body hair with my beautician, my sisters, my friends… And after reading it, and reminiscing all the hair removal questions that I had when I was a kid, and all the shaming there is around body hair, I kept thinking : “Why should our eyelashes be dark and long and our body hair non-existent?”
On that topic, I’d recommend you read Haley Nahman’s article, and read Man Repeller all together because it’s a super smart website. Nadine Baggott and Emma Guns did a good video about hair removal if you feel like you need advice in that department, oh and this conversation on, you guessed it, Man Repeller, is super interesting as well.
Anyway, no real answers but a lot of questions, thank me later right? I’d love to know what you think about this topic though!