Post-Pandemic, Removing My Body Hair No Longer Feels Important

woman shaving

Stocksy

A few years ago, I had an epiphany that helped me rethink the way I thought about removing my own body hair. Think about it: We remove signs of our womanhood in exchange for child-like smoothness. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with choosing to shave. But I am saying there also isn't anything wrong with choosing not to shave. 

Growing up, I learned women shaved their legs often and I never thought to ask why. In hindsight, they were only teaching me what they knew. I had this idea that if I didn’t shave, I was somehow less desirable. My mind had created a direct link between the amount of hair on my body and possible love and affection.

I went years shaving every week, throughout high school and into adulthood. I spent most of junior high shaving my arms, because god forbid anyone thought I was less feminine for having dark hair on my arms. I refused to wear shorts or dresses when my legs weren’t shaved. I didn't wear tank tops on days I forgot to shave my armpits. If I had a date, I'd up the anty and shave twice in the same week, on the rare chance they'd know I hadn't shaved in a few days. Needless to say, that shit was in my head—preconceived notions from conversations with my family and other women who grew up with the same made-up standards. 

The first step I took to body-hair freedom was letting my arm hair grow. And you want to know what? My arms still look like arms. I was able to stop thinking about how ugly I was with arm hair and, eventually, I stopped thinking about my arm hair altogether. A few years later, I moved to a different city on my own and my relationship with my body hair continued to change. I met, hung out with, and became friends with a new group of women. Women who, from what I saw, owned and loved their bodies. Wearing dresses with leg hair and bralettes with hair peeking out from their armpits. They were comfortable, powerful, inspiring—exactly how I wanted to be.  Around that time, I stopped shaving once a week and instantly felt liberated. Nobody even focused on my body hair, at least not anybody I paid attention to. I went to beaches and lakes wearing a swimsuit without meticulously trimming my bikini line hours before. I wore shorts after going two weeks without touching a razor. I was getting comfortable with my body and the hair on it.

The first step I took to body-hair freedom was letting my arm hair grow. And you want to know what? My arms still look like arms.

The first step I took to body-hair freedom was letting my arm hair grow. And you want to know what? My arms still look like arms. I was able to stop thinking about how ugly I was with arm hair and, eventually, I stopped thinking about my arm hair altogether. A few years later, I moved to a different city on my own and my relationship with my body hair continued to change. I met, hung out with, and became friends with a new group of women. Women who, from what I saw, owned and loved their bodies. Wearing dresses with leg hair and bralettes with hair peeking out from their armpits. They were comfortable, powerful, inspiring—exactly how I wanted to be.  Around that time, I stopped shaving once a week and instantly felt liberated. Nobody even focused on my body hair, at least not anybody I paid attention to. I went to beaches and lakes wearing a swimsuit without meticulously trimming my bikini line hours before. I wore shorts after going two weeks without touching a razor. I was getting comfortable with my body and the hair on it.

The first step I took to body-hair freedom was letting my arm hair grow. And you want to know what? My arms still look like arms. I was able to stop thinking about how ugly I was with arm hair and, eventually, I stopped thinking about my arm hair altogether. A few years later, I moved to a different city on my own and my relationship with my body hair continued to change. I met, hung out with, and became friends with a new group of women. Women who, from what I saw, owned and loved their bodies. Wearing dresses with leg hair and bralettes with hair peeking out from their armpits. They were comfortable, powerful, inspiring—exactly how I wanted to be.  Around that time, I stopped shaving once a week and instantly felt liberated. Nobody even focused on my body hair, at least not anybody I paid attention to. I went to beaches and lakes wearing a swimsuit without meticulously trimming my bikini line hours before. I wore shorts after going two weeks without touching a razor. I was getting comfortable with my body and the hair on it.

The first step I took to body-hair freedom was letting my arm hair grow. And you want to know what? My arms still look like arms. I was able to stop thinking about how ugly I was with arm hair and, eventually, I stopped thinking about my arm hair altogether. A few years later, I moved to a different city on my own and my relationship with my body hair continued to change. I met, hung out with, and became friends with a new group of women. Women who, from what I saw, owned and loved their bodies. Wearing dresses with leg hair and bralettes with hair peeking out from their armpits. They were comfortable, powerful, inspiring—exactly how I wanted to be.  Around that time, I stopped shaving once a week and instantly felt liberated. Nobody even focused on my body hair, at least not anybody I paid attention to. I went to beaches and lakes wearing a swimsuit without meticulously trimming my bikini line hours before. I wore shorts after going two weeks without touching a razor. I was getting comfortable with my body and the hair on it.

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