Body hair doesn’t get to be private in our society. Most everyone has opinions about it – and they rarely keep those opinions to themselves. Playing into that are media norms, cultural stereotypes, whatever the advertising moguls have decided to sell – and personal perceptions as well.
With all that in mind, my own body hair has been a work in progress for a number of years. And now I’m on the final steps.
Step One: Pubic
I’ve long been lackadasical about my pubes – I experimented a few times with shaving (both doing it myself and having partners do it for me), and while the process, especially when I was able to lie back and relax, was pleasant enough, and a day or two of smoothness was lovely – the stubble and ingrown hairs and general awfulness of regrowth was terrible! I was not anxious to try waxing at all, and hair removal gels were singularly ineffective.
I also tried shaping and trimming, keeping it tidy and short. But that was also more trouble than it was worth – and frankly, I was a fan of pubic hair, especially my own. So I let it be, aside from the occasional minor tidy, and I treated it well with regular grooming and a conditioning treatment every once in a while.
Besides, who doesn’t like having something to grab on to?
Step Two: Underarms
This was a bit more challenging. Every cultural norm says that in our society and in our time, people who are perceived as ‘feminine’ (whatever the hell that means) shave under their arms. And if you don’t? You’re a lesbian, a slattern, a (gasp) European! Well, I sleep with women, if not exclusively; and I happily call myself a slut, if not a slattern. And while I’m not from Europe, my ancestors certainly were…
I stopped to think about it and I couldn’t figure out why I was shaving my pits. I was doing it because I started doing it as a teenager, because everyone else I knew that was a teenage girl was doing it.
So I stopped for a while, to see what it was like. And I loved it! I loved the feel of it, and the look of it, the gentle aroma of it (although it caught and held my anti-perspirant better than my shaved pits ever had). And now it’s three years later, and I’ve not shaved them once since. They’re there for anyone to see if they happen to look.
And so what if they do?
The one bodily area where hair really irritates me is my face – specifically, under my chin. My eyebrows are fine (in fact, I never touch them); my sideburns don’t bother me; and my pale moustache is sweet. But those hairs that kept on growing underneath my chin drive me nuts, and means I am at them with the tweezers most every day.
So this month – the month many people are letting their face sprout for Movember – I put those tweezers away, which has been really challenging! For the last three weeks I’ve been growing a beard of my own and I can’t decide if I like it or detest it… but I’m determined to leave it be for at least the rest of the month.
I also can’t tell if people notice it or not. Me, it’s the first thing I see in the mirror – those hairs are a centimetre long, and still growing! But I also know that it’s one small part of an enthusiastic and beautiful me. So who knows what people are paying attention to?
I’ve also let my legs go for the duration. My legs I can shave or leave – I’m not bothered either way. Usually I keep them smooth because hair snagging on my trousers annoys me, but I’ve been enjoying seeing the fur. So perhaps I’ll keep them fuzzy for a while longer (or maybe I won’t – who knows?).
Some people like to be completely smooth. Some like to be completely hairy. Some people like a bit of both. Some people like to follow the trends. Some people like to please their partner(s). Some people like to please themselves. And some people don’t know what they like. Whichever you happen to be, I’m not going to judge you (although society may). You’re yourself and that’s fine by me. Just as long as you’ve given some thought as to why you do the things you do to your body.
The only person I’m qualified to judge is myself – and I’m a continuing work-in-progress when it comes to learning to love every part of who I am. This month I’m learning to love my beard… and I think I’m doing pretty well.
| Curvaceous Dee