8 Things Feminine People Who Don't Shave Are Tired Of Hearing Because Bikini Season Doesn't Have To Mean Shaving
Despite what society and things like "No Shave November" tell you, the art of not shaving is not a boys-only club. But women who don't shave get a lot of grief for their hairy bits nonetheless. Historically, for those of us who are feminine or identify as female, we are told to keep our bodies free of hair to achieve a smoother, more conventionally feminine look and feel. And if mom doesn't tell you this enough, you've got the media, your peers, and even your partner driving home the same hairless message.
However, the reality is that shaving is just not everyone's cup of tea. Just as there's nothing wrong with feminine people choosing to shave, there is nothing wrong with those who choose not to. It's your body, after all!
Whether it be for political purposes or not, it is a personal choice that differs in every individual, and should be based on comfort level and not gender norms. From an early age, I was not comfortable with the idea of shaving and only sometimes succumbed to the practice during the summertime. At this point in my life, however, the only hair that I shave is that on the sides of my head to maintain my short cut. Otherwise, I'm hairy and proud!
But not everyone agrees with the way I look, and I've dealt with many a rude comment and stare, specifically when it comes to my armpit hair. Here are some of the invasive and totally inappropriate things that have been said to me over the years that I'm absolutely sick of hearing, and the responses I wish I had given:
1. "When was the last time you shaved?"
Thanks for being so concerned with my personal habits and maintenance. It's been years since I've shaved my legs and six months since I've shaved my armpits. And I don't plan to shave anytime in the near future. When was the last time you shaved?
2. "But what does your partner think?"
My partner thinks my hair is sexy, and likes that I present in exactly the way that makes me feel most comfortable and beautiful. And if they didn't like it, I wouldn't care, because it's my body! I would never be with someone who wants me to change the most fundamental things about myself that make me happy and unique.
3. "Bikini season is coming up. Are you going to shave for summer?"
No, I won't be doing that. Why would I want to hide or get rid of my hair? Summer is the perfect opportunity to show off my body hair with shorts, skirts, sleeveless tops, and bathing suits. My personal beliefs don't change with the seasons.
4. "You better keep your arms down, I think you forgot to shave."
Please do not mistake my personal choices with my body hair for neglect. I most certainly did not forget to shave; I just don't shave! Thanks for noticing my hairy pits in all their glory, though.
5. "Does that make you sweat/smell more?"
I am no smellier hairy than I am hairless. And if having hair made me sweat and stink to a point of causing me discomfort, I would've shaved my head years ago. Nope, just because you see hair on my feminine body doesn't mean I'm not clean.
6. "Doesn't that make you itch?"
Yeah, sometimes! Just like any hair on your body, the hair follicles in my armpits and legs can get irritated from lotion, deodorant, stress, and sometimes heat. It can be a pain sometimes but it doesn't affect my decision. When my scalp is itchy, the next logical thought for me is not to shave my head. I like all my hair exactly where it is for now, thanks.
7. "Why don't you want to shave?"
Because my preferences and comfort zone may not align with your silly gender norms. I don't shave because I don't want to shave. And I'm not about to start just because you think I should.
8. "Did you stop shaving because you're a feminist?"
Feminism affects every part of my life as a queer, gender fluid woman. And I respect anyone who stops shaving or does anything out of protest against gender norms, misogyny, queerphobia, etc., but that's simply not the case for me. Just because I'm a queer feminist doesn't mean everything I do is political. I don't shave because that's what feels most natural and good for me, and this is different for everyone.
Feminism allows me to make this choice, and do whatever I want with my life and body regardless of societal norms and systems of oppression. My choice to be the most authentic version of myself is not a political statement. I don't have to be a man or an activist to claim the right to have body hair.