Sometimes I talk to women about why they shave their legs or their pits. They say things to me like, “I tried not shaving, and after two weeks it was driving me crazy. I shave now because -I- like it.”
Which is complete and utter bullshit.
Here’s how I know:
It took me ten years to like my hairy legs.
I started out not shaving in the winter because pants, but I still shaved in the summer. Then I stayed hairy in the summer, but still shaved on days I went swimming. Then I stayed hairy all summer, but I shaved for dates and parties. Then I stayed hairy full time, but I disliked the hair the whole time. And then sometime after THAT I finally got used to my hairy legs. Each of these stages took 2-3 years.
Your two weeks are a joke.
Additional reading: The Hairy Side of Body Acceptance
How long does it take to unwind the damage the kyriarchy has done to your self-image? How long does it take to throw off the mind control of capitalism?
So don’t explain to me that your two week walk on the wild side revealed all the facets of your motivations for shaving. When your “preference” magically aligns with the dominant ideology, it’s fair to be a little suspicious.
In I’m a Terrible Female Consumer I said that I wasn’t a better person for not buying into commercialized beauty crap. I mostly believe that. Everyone has limited energy and has to choose their battles. Oppressive beauty standards might not be your priority. If it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing.
So let’s make a deal. You don’t pretend that a choice about shaving is simple, casual, or freely made by women in our culture. And I’ll try not to act like I’m a better person for having all my body hair. What do you say?