Hey y’all! Going to jump right into this post because it’s been on my mind for awhile. I encourage everyone to read this, not just females.
For ladies, summer means shaving everything. I’ve experienced immense fear and shame over the fact that I have body hair. I started shaving my legs in 5th grade; I was 11 years old and greatly ashamed of having leg hair. I remember being in 7th grade and going to the public pool with friends, I sat cross legged, looked down and realized that I was embarrassed of something my body naturally grew. From then on, I decided to rid myself of all hair on my body, besides my arms. It would come in spurts of shaving. I never talked about it with my mom, she told me once that I shouldn’t shave my pubic hair, and I thought that was normal. Freshman year of high school, during fall cheerleading, I wore shorts to practice and a teammate saw that I wasn’t keeping up on my hair. I vividly her remember her telling me that I was gross for not shaving.
I struggled with never wanting to shave and wanting to shave out of fear of being teased. I’ve always been a little lazy when it comes to shaving my legs and I’ll admit having blonde leg hair really does help. But I’ve never truly wanted to shave. It is so much work, it itches, and sometimes results in ingrown hair and being uncomfortable. Women are shamed into shaving because that’s what’s “feminine.” Men have hair, women do not. Regardless of the fact that we both grow hair in the same places. Yes, women even grow facial hair. Women have this expectation of what they should look like and how little body hair they should have.
There is a fine line between truly shaving because you want to and it’s what makes you feel good, and shaving because you feel like you have to. The latter shouldn’t be the case. Or if it is, be aware that you’re shaving for someone else. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad thing, but I want y’all to be self-aware. This goes either way, women and men should never make someone feel embarrassed about their body. Especially about something as natural as body hair. There is a reason we grow body hair.
I want y’all to be comfortable with your body hair. I was curious one day, so I did a search on Reddit’s r/askmen (for science, of course). I sought answers for how many men actually cared about female pubic hair, not that their opinion necessarily matters, but I know a lot of women shave completely because they think about guys’ preference, (I know I used to). The results were pretty far and scattered. Some men preferred women to have hair. Some men preferred women to have a landing strip. Some men preferred completely bald. Some men didn’t want to see any hair on women, to the point of disgust seeing leg hair. Some men, (my favorite response) “Couldn’t care less. Do what you like.” Majority of men did say that they wouldn’t stop what they’re doing to point out that a women has pubic hair. Having a talk with your significant other, or sexual partner, about each other’s preference should be necessary. I know that if a guy told me to shave, I’d shave him out of my life, not my hair.
Gender roles confuse me. I don’t fully understand why women should have this hairless body standard, but we do. My hope is that we are more aware of the reasons behind why we do the things that we do. There is nothing inherently wrong with having body hair, it is natural. Do what makes you happy. If that’s shaving, then shave. If it’s not shaving, don’t shave. I hope y’all won’t spend this summer embarrassed and in pain because your body hair makes other people uncomfortable.
Thanks for reading!
Side note: I can’t publish this post without addressing the shooting in Orlando. Please know that I am praying and sending all of my love to those mourning. If you’re in the Orlando area: donate blood, if the clinics are full, donate snacks and water! Anyone in the US: donate blood. Everyone: please pray and send love.