it’s the pits
I’m growing my body hair out in preparation for a wax. I generally shave, but I’m going overseas soon and I didn’t want to have to deal with shaving while I’m away. I’ve never had my legs waxed before, or my underarms, so the waxer told me it needed to be as long as possible before my appointment. That was around six weeks ago. You can imagine the hair on my body right now. There’s a lot. Particularly for someone from an Eastern European background with pale skin.
I repeat, there is a LOT.
I believe feminism is about choice and that choice obviously extends to how you choose to “manage” your body hair, or how you don’t choose to “manage” it. My body, my choices. I certainly don’t look askance at women with hair on their bodies or even notice it beyond a “huh, hair” thought, but I still have major issues with my own body hair. The dissonance is something I struggle with.
It’s warming up considerably in Brisbane and in the six weeks of growing the hair, I’ve still been able to wear tights and cardigans to hide it, but there have been a few days here and there where I sweated away in my long sleeves and leggings because I was too afraid to have that body hair on show.
My leg hair is exceptionally sensitive. My underarms are as well. I don’t really understand why the rest of my body is normal to oily, but my leg and underarms are mega sensitive. I have to make sure I exfoliate with a gentle exfoliant and a pair of gloves. The shaving cream I use has to be for sensitive skin and the only moisturiser my skin tolerates is non-scented sorbelene cream. However, if I decide I want to grow my hair, the itching, rashes, ingrown and general ickiness makes me feel even worse. It’s like I can’t win either way!
I’ve been called a “bad” feminist before because of my pubic hair choices and have felt guilty about those choices before. Yet, what these people don’t realise and what I didn’t realise myself is, hello, it’s my body and my choice to do what I want with my own body hair and that definitely includes my pubic hair!
However, I recognise my choices don’t exist in a vacuum and I am influenced by the patriarchy. I still have that worry about what someone will say. I’ll admit, some of this worry is to do with generalised anxiety/social anxiety, but the vast percentage of it is the wonder what others will say if they see my hair.
Because I am all about challenging myself, I took a couple of photographs and put them out there, for the internet to see. Yeah, that pit hair is going soon. Yeah, I’m in a relatively safe environment, I identify as female, I present as female and I’m not going to face too much backlash or hate for this photo. But it’s there to remind myself. To say it’s OK to occasionally let that hair run “wild”, just as it’s OK to get rid of it.
By acknowledging the external influences that are placed on my body, I can open up a dialogue and deal with my feelings regarding body hair, personal choice and the patriarchy.