By L.R. Zimmerman
I just want to preface this and say that this essay isn’t meant to persuade or permit growing body hair. My intention is to make body hair normal, because it is. It is natural and it is one hundred percent normal for everyone to have it; wherever it may be.
When I was a young, prepubescent girl, I remember sitting outside of Albertson’s grocery store on 32nd Street in my mother’s SUV with my recently matured sisters. I remember trying to convince them that, I too, harbored these marvelous strands of dead cells.
“See, I told you that I have pubes.” I said to them as I tugged on the three measly hairs that I had.
They laughed at me and, I, inevitably sat with my arms crossed in the back seat; humiliated and upset. I couldn’t even grasp the full concept of puberty, all I knew was that they had it and I wanted it.
Flash forward a few years, I am on the brink of puberty and my lower legs and armpits are covered in long, dark hair. Razor commercials and magazine ads were filling my ultra impressionable mind. The insecurities and heavy judgement were very real at my middle school and I couldn’t stand it anymore.
I begged my mom, “Please, let me shave my legs!”
And she did. We sat on the edge of the bathtub and she showed me how to lather on shaving cream and at which angles to hold the razor.
At first she wouldn’t let me shave above my knee, because you know, that’s “for sluts only.” But believe me, the first time I had a razor and the bathroom to myself, I shaved it all!
What’s wrong with this picture? At first I wanted it, and now I want to get rid of it?
I eventually tried other hair removal products and spoiler, they all were painful and a huge waste of time, and money.
Now zoom forward to present day and here I am, writing an article about body hair normalization. My armpit hair is out of control, but I will probably look in the mirror at some point in my day to tweeze out my chin hairs. And thats okay. I think it is totally normal to be selective about what hair you decide to keep or get rid of. Society is becoming less interested in pressuring women to keep themselves as hairless as infants seven days a week. And now that we’re living in the era of body hair – which sounds ridiculous to say, considering body hair didn’t magically appear out of nowhere – it’s easy for people to assume that growing out your body hair is only to protest the unrealistic beauty standards of being hairless. For me, body hair is simply another opportunity for women to exercise their ability to choose. It’s a trend about choice, not politics. It’s more about one’s desire to feel in control of their own grooming habits and definitions of beauty.
So, after years of experimenting with hair removal methods, and by years I mean decades, I just want to give the middle finger to body hair and anyone who cares about it. If I decide to shave my legs or grow them out, that’s up to me. So if you’re reading this, never tell me that I need to shave again. My armpit hair fucking rocks and I love it.
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