You could’ve seen the title and thought, Oh, God. Another goddamn hairy feminist. I’m able to say this because at one point I probably would’ve thought this.
Not that I’ve ever had anything against ACTUAL feminists, but I was always a little–skeptical?–when it came to people who didn’t shave and slapped “because feminism” over their leg hair.
I do–and did–get that there’s a stigma surrounding body hair. The weird thing is, though, that it’s probably less likely to go away than the stigma around most mental illnesses. Which is strange, isn’t it? Body hair is such a trivial thing, but we’re so programmed to be disgusted by it.
I haven’t shaved anything other than my armpits (because I’m not a fan of velcroing my arms to my sides) in several months. Initially, it began as pure laziness, but then I read Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication for the Rights of Woman and kind of realized that women for most of history had to fight for the right to be treated as rational human beings. Ultimately, this realization helped me to decide that wasting my time on something as trivial as shaving when I could be reading or writing instead isn’t something that I want to do right now.
At the same time, I realize that if shaving your legs is something that makes you happy, then shave your legs! Taking time for yourself is incredibly individual and important. For me, this used to mean reading, writing, straightening my hair, painting, and shaving my arms, legs, and pubic region. I’m just narrowing down this list in order to spend time on what I find most important at this point in my life.
I also just happen to like the feeling of my arm and leg hair blowing in the wind.