We could all learn something from 19-year old Yasmin Gasimova — the computer science major at Liverpool University recently published a piece to her student newspaper's blog chronicling her decision to quit regularly shaving at the age of 11. ELEVEN. I'd give up binge-watching to have that kid's wherewithal. Let's all take a moment to appreciate her badassery.
"As someone of Turkic origin, I don’t remember ever not having hair. In fact, as early as 10, boys were making fun of my moustache and I was trying to shave my noticeably hairy stomach. I was never not self-conscious of my hair, but now I embrace it. I stopped caring when I was 11, as having naturally thick, fast-growing hair meant I’d need to waste an hour just to get prickly dots on my legs, which would grow back in a week. It’s a huge inconvenience for me, as it never made me feel comfortable, gave me loads of ingrown hairs, and my hairless legs wouldn’t match the rest of my hairy body. So why bother?"
She adds that she might shave her legs and/or trim her bikini line for a beach day, a swimming lesson, or in preparation for a one night stand. And do not get it twisted: her eyebrow game is always "on fleek." On these occasions, she writes, "I still unfortunately prefer the inconvenience of shaving to the inevitable dirty looks and rejection." But on the whole, she bucks the convention of being a perpetually smooth feminine goddess in favor of dealing with her body hair on her terms, managing it based on her preferences and convenience.
And if that means she rolls up to class like this, so be it:
Of course, she's dealt with her mom telling her she looks sloppy, her friends telling her she's unhygienic, and — by far the worst offender — an ex-boyfriend requesting that she shave her stomach. But she still carries hope in this delightfully feminist re-imagining of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech:
"I dream of the day I can walk around in the summer in shorts, without being conscious of people judging me. It will, however, take many of my sisters joining me and ridding the public of the shock. If you think the au naturel look is gross, it isn’t – you only believe that because you’ve been conditioned to see it that way your entire life."
You can read Yasmin's story in its entirety here. But also, if you're a dude, please don't Facebook friend her and ask her out on a date as a result of her body hair-related viral fame, because that's been happening, and she seems creeped out by it.
Images: Yasmin Gasimova/Facebook