Long hair, short hair, coarse hair, soft hair, brown hair, blonde hair – who the heck cares?
I’ve always envied those badass women who don’t shave their armpits and still rock a tank top in the summertime… So I decided that for three weeks, I’d try to do the same.
I’ve always been a big fan of personal hygiene and self care, but then why do I follow so many beauty trends that make the two of these so hard? Over the past month I’ve been dedicating more time than usual to look at my lifestyle and see what I can pull away from and stop using/doing in order to make a more natural every day routine. Shaving was one of the first things I evaluated, right after I learned that wearing underwear to bed isn’t too hot for your lady parts. I researched articles, and kept finding titles like “what men think about what you wear to bed,” or “men think these things about how you are shaving.” THANK YOU, Cosmopolitan!! I’ve always wanted to know how my hair was thought of by men. These articles are so extremely helpful for my personal well-being.
In a study on the demographics and motivations for shaving “US women are more likely to groom their pubic hair if they are younger, white, and more educated. They also groom if their partner prefers them to do so without being based on actual sexual practices.” The demographics are interesting because they fit me exactly: a fairly educated, fairly young, fairly American, very white woman. BUT, in the same study, 59% of the women interviewed said that they shaved for personal hygiene. The only proven perk of shaving is to prevent pubic hair lice, which is indeed a method that works to prevent the spread. Although pubic lice, or “crabs,” sound scary, it’s very uncommon… Just keep your pants on in grimy areas if you don’t already. 🙂
But we’ve all done it – that little “ouch” moment in the shower or in front of the mirror where you cut your skin just a bit… Or should I say, open your skin up to risk of infection (because that is the reality of what you’ve just done.) There are some gross details that go along with the different methodologies behind shaving or waxing or any other removal, so why do we put up with it? It is healthier to have than not, so why is it so trendy?
So I put this into practice, and stopped shaving for three whole weeks.
The most common comment I got was “well, you’re blonde so you can’t see the hair.” Um, honey, I’m blonde on my head but even my eyebrows are brown…
- I only noticed when I was around other people
- No one made any comment unless I did first
- I found myself loving how my hair was feeling (no itching or uncomfy feels)
- I wasn’t wearing my tank tops to yoga because I was self conscious
- Yes – I caved and gave in to social standards.
- My showers were SO quick
- My armpits felt so much better when I was sweaty
I have so many more thoughts that went through my mind, but I wanted to make this honest post because I want to empower you all to think deeply about your hair habits, and reevaluate why we do the things we do.
Above all, do what feels best for you, BUT – strongly evaluate your terms for feeling your best, and make sure that it isn’t being influenced by porn-star standards or your partner’s preferences. Communication in a partnership is vital, unless it’s about altering your body to something you aren’t keen on…
Shaving is trendy mostly because it makes us look more like the 11 year old versions of ourselves, which stated like that sounds quite repulsive… So let’s let Mother Nature’s handiwork do it’s job. Let’s not let the trends get the best of us. I can hop on the avocado toast train, or even the winged eyeliner boat, but let’s make sure that the things we’re doing still satisfy our needs for self care and personal hygiene.
Sources and further readings, and some really interesting and nerdy articles – just how I like it… Enjoy, girl bosses.
4 thoughts on “Hair in all the right places.”
Love love love this! But quick question, do you think we can draw a line between personal preference and societal pressure? I’ve heard women who shave everywhere say they do it for them because they don’t enjoy the feeling of body hair. Do you think it’s just their preference or a matter of conditioning? Either way I’m glad you got to do this for yourself and hope you got something out of it 🙂
I think that it would be very hard to “unlearn” the societal messages we’ve received, so looking at other cultures’ trends would be the only way I could think of understanding this. But I do think that as much as we think it is personal preference, I think that our preference is strongly influenced by those societal standards.
This is a very interesting conversation in regards to young girls. I can only speak from my individual experiences, but shaving is often times connected to promiscuity. Often times mothers do not want their daughters to shave too early. For me, my mom didn’t want me to shave until I was about 16. I found it really odd, because for the majority of women in this article, they commented that they shaved for hygiene reasons. If that were the case, then why do we attribute young girls that shave, to sexual misconduct? It’s very odd, but I would be interested to see if there is any research on this topic. Overall, Good Job on an interesting post.
I think that’s a really good point. My mom did the same thing for me, not letting me shave until I was 15 I think… That’ll be something I’ll have to look into, with it being linked with promiscuity. I’d assume it’s linked because societally it’s regarded as sexy and attractive. I think that it would be really interesting to look into different countries’ and cultures’ societal standards for their body hair.