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!
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.
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 ;)
I don't mind my body hair. I have never been one to shave regularly. In highschool I shaved 1-2x a month during shorts season. Guys were always impressed that my friends ankle(she shaved about every other day) was pokey and mine was always smooth. I'm 30 now and the last few years I have been using clippers without the guards on my legs probably 5-6 times a year. Again mostly during shorts season. In Sacramento, CA it is shorts season for about 6-7 months of the year. I shave my arm pits every 2 weeks, only because I may notice bo. I would rather shave occasionally than wear deoderant for sure. Sweating out and eating clean definately help tho! I haven't been able to completely go 100% raw yet. I am probably 50-75% and then the rest cooked vegan. My hair on my head is changing for the better tho! For the last 4 months I have been using the baking soda/vinegar rinse and it has been working fine. My hair was shedding like crazy before that. I dont shed more than 2 hairs when using the b/v ...now I have noticed A LOT of hair growing back. The raw foods even got my wispys around the edge of my hair line by my forehead to start growing again! I have to say I notice a lot of difference when adding a lot of greens to my diet(about a quart added to smoothie). I really enjoy reading all these like minded women on here sharing their experiences and thoughts!! Thank you for these discussions! I don't know anyone who thinks like this.
I just stopped shaving about 4 months ago .... the wind and water feel so different I love it!!! I kinda feel stupid for shaving all this time. I think about all that poor irritated skin and wasted time... I'm sure I will face some times of instability but right now im totally rockin it with pride ... I have felt the pressure so strongly in the past and I have recently realized its no one's effin business what i do to or with my body and most of that pressure is in my head anyway ... its always all in how you look at it ... grateful to have these feelings and revelations and you guys to share it with <3