I remember at a very young age asking my mother when I could start shaving my legs. Everyone in my class was doing it, talking about it, and in my mind it was this rite of passage, this transition into womanhood. I remember the whispers in the hallway, the chatter in the change rooms and feeling so incredibly isolated from the crowd. I had this desperate need and longing to fit in, and I was willing to do whatever it took to make that happen, including asking my mother weekly when I could start shaving my legs.
I remember feeling ecstatic when she finally said yes, and then only hours later, overwhelmed as I hopelessly stared at an entire aisle of products designed to meet my need of crowd appeasing hair removal. I finally gathered my purchases and with that rush of excitement, paired with serious nerves I went to work in the bathroom. It wasn’t long before the magic and muster wore off…
When I was in the throws of daily grooming I remember feeling nothing but utter frustration, torture and pain. From ingrown hairs, to itchy bumps & 5 o’clock shadow I was miserable. It went from being this exciting rite of passage to this daunting horrible task that was thrust upon me. Shaving almost daily for mere hours of soft smooth skin. I remember the backaches from being hunched over in my bathroom performing yoga moves to get every last hair. The endless bandaids and bits of blood all over my bathroom from desperately trying to navigate around knees and ankles. Every day I would ask myself “why the fuck am I even doing this?!” But inevitably I would continue… until one day, I finally didn’t.
It wasn’t this grand feminist movement, or calculated choice. It was simply a woman seriously fed up with the years of discomfort for societies approval. I never shaved my hair for me, it was always to be in that space of “fitting in”, and so finally I allowed myself the space to release the old story and habit, to figure out if I really even needed to get rid of my hair as a preference to me. At the end of the day, my body should be ABOUT ME! How would I know if I even cared about my hair if I never gave myself a chance to experience it?
So I let it grow wild, I let it come in… and to be honest initially I was SOOOOOO UNCOMFORTABLE! But much like my journey with my body image I wanted to see if I could normalize it for myself, and eventually I did. It went from being the thing I couldn’t help but see, to something that I didn’t even think about. It went from being a big deal, to something that hardly ever crossed my mind. I started to seriously appreciate the extra time, the saved money, and the detachment to this idea that I needed to remove it. I got really comfortable with the idea of simply doing whatever I felt like, and so some days I would remove it on a whim, a desire to try something new, much like I would with a new haircut or colour. Other times I would let it grow in areas for months or even years. I had successfully removed my attachment to the notion of not being able to be beautiful or desirable without removing my body hair. I was free to choose what my heart wanted, and it was wildly empowering.
Is this to say that you should or shouldn’t have hair? LORD NO! It’s merely a conversation spark. Something to get you asking the questions like “am I doing this for me?” Because at the end of the day, that’s what matters most. Whatever you do, you’ve got to do for you, Boo. Do what makes you comfortable, what makes you happy & what makes you feel like an absolute QUEEN!