I haven't shaved in years. I choose to let my personal preferences dictate my body hair maintenance rather than societal expectations. That said, winter melting into springtime has made me reconsider shaving my legs in the past. Don't get me wrong; I adore the fuzzy aesthetic. But spending so many cold months in jeans and leggings used to have the potential to genuinely make me forget why I was making some of my beauty choices. The first few times I wore shorts or skirts as the seasons changed were characterized by a certain measure of embarrassment, ultimately forcing me to rebuild self-confidence in my body.
These kinds of setbacks made me question my identity to no end. If I was, in fact, a feminist who wanted others to feel free in making similar decisions that didn't coincide with gender or beauty expectations, then why couldn't I proudly own my body hair at all times?
Cultivating any kind of body positivity is a process, though. And oftentimes, believing and preaching something is far easier than effectively enacting it in your own life. Thankfully, I feel way more comfortable in my own skin these days — a product of changing my media intake, surrounding myself with self-identified body-positive people, and spending more time with my own body — and genuinely look forward to more opportunities to show off my legs (as well as other areas of my body, hairy or not).
Here are some reasons to blow off shaving your legs this spring, because hair removal simply isn't for everyone.
1. Razor Burns And Cuts Are No Fun
One great reason to set down the razor for good is simply that it can cause so much discomfort. Razor burns are sometimes unavoidable, at times symptomatic of a frequently-used or cheap razor combined with sensitive skin. For anyone who's had razor burn and is hip to the agony that it can cause, it's important to consider whether or not hairless legs are worth the pain in your book. With my incredibly sensitive skin and natural inclination toward hair, this didn't take me long to ponder.
2. Dryness Can Be Hard To Beat
Shaving can often exacerbate dry skin. Back in the day, trying to find the right moisturizer or body oil to soothe my parched post-shave skin led me to spend way more money than I care to think about. With shaving no longer a factor, I hardly have to give moisturizing my legs a second thought, often skipping over this ritual entirely in the warmer months.
3. Feeling The Wind Blowing Through Your Leg Hair Is Amazing
I feel grateful to have my fuzzy legs, and to be able to experience the sensation of a cool breeze tickling my hair. Those first gusts of mild wind in the new spring air can be invigorating and centering. But to feel them dance through all your hair is definitely a more immersive experience. Let your whole body experience the peace of entering a new (and warmer) season.
4. No Shaving = Carefree
Shaving can often feel like a chore, no matter how long you've been doing it for. Plus, remembering to keep up with it and maintain your aesthetic takes work and energy.
This is certainly at odds with my overwhelming need to feel as carefree as possible, particularly as the weather heats up. And after all these months spent indoors or shivering, we deserve to feel a little carefree! My advice is to abandon your unnecessary responsibilities, like body hair maintenance, and spend more time enjoying the gorgeous day instead.
5. A Shift In Seasons Is the Perfect Time To Enact A Shift In Thinking
As you emerge from millions of layers, replacing them for skirts and light jackets, you may feel like it's the perfect time for a little "spring cleaning" in your mind. Maybe you don't like shaving, but have been doing it for years for the sake of normalcy or because of a partner's preferences. Maybe you like shaving, but are ready to try something new and interrogate your own ideas of beauty. Whatever the case may be, trying out a new routine can be a great way to get to know yourself better and change things up a bit.
6. It Can Be Conducive To Positive Body Image
Choosing not to shave, especially when you're cautious of such a routine in the first place, can provide a great opportunity to display your hair as well as your self-love. Unfortunately, feminine people hitting the streets with unshaven legs are still considered pretty bold in our contemporary culture, so going hairy can often feel like a scary thing to do. Forcing your fuzzy legs into the spotlight can be so useful in helping you embrace your own natural form — something of utmost important — while remaining equally useful in actively dismantling patriarchal ideas of feminine beauty.
7. And It's An "Eff You" To Double Standards
Yep, not only is rocking hairy legs great for building confidence and positive body image, but it's also helpful in dismantling patriarchal rules for feminine beauty. The way women or feminine-appearing people are expected to keep their legs shaven is a blatant double standard, considering men can generally be as hairy as they want without so much of a second glance thrown their way.
Personally, I get a certain measure of thrill out of personal choices that challenge these frustrating "rules," feeling a little bit accomplished whenever I see a man staring at my hairy shins. This aesthetic choice supports my position regarding giving people the right to choose their own presentations, and I take pride in that.
8. Body Hair Is Beautiful
Leg hair is often soft and perfect for petting. Looking at it spread over my knees, shins, and ankles in slight disarray is absolutely beautiful to me, while staring at my legs post-shave is like looking at a starry night without the stars. It might sound cheesy, but I love my body hair for helping give my legs, armpits, and groin character, and for making me feel soft and fuzzy all over.
9. What You Choose To Do With Your Body Is Your Own Business
Above all, it's essential that we each exercise our right to choose things for our bodies, whether that means shaving or not shaving. The ultimate reason to do anything in this world, especially regarding your feminine body (which political conversations and patriarchal standards so often attempt to control), is arguably because you want to do it, and doing it feels good.
If you really love shaving and rocking hairless legs, then I fully support that decision. Doing whatever makes you feel most comfortable, beautiful, self-loving, and at peace with your gender is exactly what you should be doing. As for me, I can't wait to remind the world that I am a hairy and adorable individual, with the help of my favorite black and white floral skirt. Perhaps you'll consider doing the same, or trying out an entirely different method of hair removal. Whatever you opt for, don't be afraid of rocking your bare legs with pride during these warmer months.
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