I though this might be a great place to talk about hair. Body Hair! When discussing the pressures placed on women to conform to wear make-up I feel a discussion about body hair is the next step. So here's my story, please share yours, your thoughts, or your questions.
I'm 28 years old and have for the most part been embracing my hair, all of it, for the past ten years. I did shave for part of high school but it wasn't long before I decided that ridding my body of its hair was wrong (for me) for so many reasons. I should add that this was also the time that I started using a diva cup and have since moved to washable pads. I also use washable toilet paper, but that requires its own discussion!
Part of my reasoning is environmental, part of it is the ridiculous double standards women are subjected to, but for the most part I think that shaving is a waste of my time. That said I have felt, on many occasions, the pressure to conform and shave here or there. About a year ago I moved across the country from a wonderful small town where I knew everyone and had build up a circle of like minded friends, many of whom were very hairy. Then when I got here I felt the pressure I'd rid myself of years ago creep up on me again, and I shaved. I just felt so overwhelmed with a new city (in fact just being in a city overwhelmed me), going back to school with people younger than me, and having to build up a new support network. I just didn't want to have attention directed at me solely because of my hairy armpits or legs. Now that I've been here a while and am feeling more comfortable in my skin and surroundings the hair has come back in full force.
People are used to it by now but I did get questions about it in the past. Yes sometimes I was smellier than I would have been had I shaved my pits, but that was on a meat diet! Since going 811 my bo has virtually disappeared and I've ceased using deodorants. In fact after a recent roller derby practice I was hanging out with a teammate, in our sweaty gear, and a discussion about body odor and veganism came up. I hadn't showered since the day before and she bravely leaned in for a good long deep sniff. And guess what? She was quite shocked that we'd just gotten all sweaty and I didn't smell one bit, in spite of the wondrous amount of hair in there. The second common question is regarding the opposite/same sex. Do I attract less potential partners? This one is simple. If someone is turned off by my natural beauty then I don't want 'em! This is about socialization right, so I'd rather let my hair filter out those who are unable to think beyond their socialization of what is beautiful and leave me with all of the awesome people who can appreciate a slap in the face of normative femininity when they see it. The short answer, I've been single for ~15 months of the past 8 years.
Being confident is the only prerequisite for letting it all grow out! And if you're mostly feeling good about it but still feel a bit awkward or uncomfortable I say fake it till you make it.
How do you feel about your body hair?
I think body hair is totally natural, native americans never shaved their body hair, except the males who COULD grow hair on their faces would trim it down in the summer but they weren't very hairy to begin with. I once read a study based on a theory that early humans were nearly hairless in the warm climates, so i think us humans losing touch with nature caused our increase of stinky smelly hair. but that's just one opinion!
i think it's great that you are able to be comfortable with your own hair, i have always been raised with the smooth legs of today's society and i personally love the feel of my smooth legs, or my boyfriend's for that matter XD
i do not shave my arms, that's a goofy thing to do i think and if i don't shave my armpits my boyfriend will give me hell for days and it simply is not comfortable for me.
although when we do our week long backpacking adventures in the middle of nowhere, anything goes, hair and all no shaving allowed and it's great to feel so free while we're out there.
what about the hair on your head? is it long and beautiful? I love long hair, am growing mine out finally, i've had it all sorts of short the past few years and it's finally time.
enough to ask to feel it and it wasn't pirckly or weird at all. more power to ya!!
Hey, the hair on my head is long...and beautiful :) I'm a hairy beastette and have thick hair everywhere. I've considered cutting it but I'm so low maintenance I don't think I could deal with a shorter cut. I like to just throw it back in a ponytail or bun when I need to.
Also (and I'm totally not trying to tell you what to do) you'd be surprised how easy it is to get significant others used to body hair. Partners and friends have accepted it readily and surprisingly it's been my mother who's still hoping I'll shave, after ten years!
thank you for this discussion post... certainly a good topic.
i love not feeling the need to shave. it really is time consuming. funny to me how soft and smooth my legs and arms are because that is some people's reason to shave in the first place!! they say hair is spikey...well not if you just let it grrrooww.
i am enjoying seeing how my hair grows as it gets fuller and longer. i find my armpit hair wispy and beautiful! i shaved it a month ago for dance class, but realized that was just personal anxiety because my teacher doesn't care, and if she did, i shouldn't care either...and people can think what they want but hair is natural.
my lack of odor and sometimes sweet smell is due to HCRV, so if i smelled crazy, i would probably want to wear deoderant and shave. i am still detoxing, so i go through different smell phases, but i mostly smell sweet as if i am wearing a natural perfume. i noticed one week while eating onions, that i could smell them haha. i also went on a bit of a cooked food spree for 3 nights, which left me very bloated and not as sweet smelling or feeling.
also i have had a friend compliment me on how nice my armpit hairs are! pretty wild :)
It IS smooth hey! I think if more people let it grow past the prickly stage they'd be converts to the hairy dark side.
One of the coolest feelings my legs have ever experienced was the first time I swam and let them air dry in the air/wind. Sooooo neat.
it is SO true! I have let my hair everywhere grow out before and it just barely made it passed the prickly phase but i understand what you mean.
my boyfriend is a true raw vegan whereas I am 75% raw 25% cooked vegan, and i don't think he would care if i let my hair grow out everywhere or not, it is most natural anyway!
i don't want to cut the hair on my head, i love how long it is getting and how soft and smooth and sweet smelling it is.
i don't know about my armpits though, most likely because i am only 75% raw, when i eat certain cooked foods my sweat stinks, this past week i have lived off a lot of rice and lentil dishes and i can smell the seasonings haha (main reason i gave up on garlic and onions ahhh!!) but i was finally able to buy some mangos and tomatos and i don't smell now, lots of water and lots of sweat flushes any smells out.
maybe in winter i will "grow out my coat" and see how it feels.
haha yesss winter is the time for a coat :) also a time for pants and tights and blankets, all of which hide leg hair. i was growing my head hair out and it was the longest it had ever been, but one day in a craze of emotions (before adopting this lifestyle, might i add) i went to town on it with some scissors. i am happy it is growing out, but next month i am getting a free cut from my hairstylist-friend for a hair show and it is going to be soo short and "mod". i guess my hair is destined to be short for now. i am pretty stoked, though. haven't had a pro cut my hair in ages. long hair is amazing so maybe some day i will join the club...likely in the winter time
xoxo to all
When I was your age in the seventies it was a mark of being a liberated woman to not shave any body hair and to go braless. I did both. The bras are back ( I have mixed emotions about that--lol) and I do not see hairy legs any more. It's a personal choice. I am blessed to have the love of a man who wants me to do whatever is comfy for me.
I'm still not a fan of body hair, facial hair...never have been. This has nothing to do with what men/women think of me, either...I just don't like the idea of having it. Shaving isn't toxic, so I've never seen the reason to stop. But, that's my personal opinion, and I respect those who disagree.
Hi, I was so happy to read this. I haven't shaved for 15 years except a couple times when I was living in San Francisco. For the past several years I was living in a place where that was totally normal and nobody cared. But a couple years ago I moved to a different town...even though it is a hippie town, I am still the odd one now. Have become a lot more self-conscious about it, even thought about shaving, but can't bring myself to do it. Actually I never want to shave my armpit hair again...it used to get so irritated under there! Feels so good now and normally don't have much b.o. (none when i'm doing raw 80-10-10). But the legs I am self-conscious about. So, thanks for writing this!
Oh and my self-consciousness has nothing to do with men — in the past 15 years I haven't been with a guy who's cared at all. Maybe because I only go for a certain type of guy who would be OK with it! If they were upset by it, they probably wouldn't be my type. But I'm more conscious just doing stuff in town. Kind of funny huh. Kind of like my other issue — more self-conscious in a bathing suit than I am naked. Not sure what that's about, maybe because places where I'd be naked are full of people I feel less self-conscious around!
I don't shave, it damages the skin.. but I do use an electric plucker under my arms and sometimes (2-3 times a year max) on my legs because the hairs tend to tickle and irritate me and I always end up being very red from scratching and sometimes even bleeding :S scratch in my sleep so its very hard.. but I don't care what other people think, I can go out side in a short dress/skirt and have hairy legs and not care even a little bit ;)