Hana Shafi I'm a Woman and I'm Hairy, Dammit!

My friends and I have all got a big night out planned. I wake up the day of, and think about what I’ve got to do. Hair done, nails done, everything did. Pick out my best lipstick and some waterproof mascara, of course. And then I remember, shit, I have to shave. That’s going to make this process even longer. But alas, it must be done or I will become the social pariah of the night, to say the least.

And as I’m struggling in the shower, killing my back trying to shave my knee caps (because holy shit it is so hard to shave over your knees), I can’t help but feel mildly depressed. Why, if it so naturally and freely grows on my body, do I have to get rid of my body hair? Why do I have to become a fucking acrobat in the shower trying to shave those hard to reach places? And then get even more depressed because shaving sucks and that stuff will grow back ASAP. 

I’m almost 100 per cent sure that all the ladies reading this are nodding and possibly wanting to chuck something heavy out the window because it conjures up memories of the weekly, sometimes daily nightmare, of body hair removal upkeep. Or that time that they shaved their bikini line and all hell breaks loose because when that stuff grows back it will become itchy as fuck at the precise moment you’re in public and your entire body is just twitching as you resist this overwhelming urge to become a public crotch-scratcher. 

But then, of course, shaving is just one of the options. Fear not, ladies! You also have the option to pour hot wax onto your bare vulnerable skin and have hair ripped out from the root. Oh and then it grows back and you’ve got to do it all over again. Or, better yet, spend thousands of dollars on laser hair removal. It still usually hurts and it costs more! Woohoo!!! So many options, what freedom!

Not to mention, if you’re Middle Eastern like me, all that body hair is dark, thick, and excessive, and you’ll shave one day and wake up the next morning and be like “holy shit did that grow back overnight?” Oh wait, I forgot that other ethnicities have that problem too. So what I’m trying to say is that women are fucking hairy. We are mammals and we grow hair. It exists, it’s normal, and no, it’s not dirty. 

My friends and I repeat passionate rants like these all the time. There’s nothing wrong with us! We shouldn’t have to remove what is naturally part of our bodies! But we still do. Time and time again, we spend our hard-earned money, take up our precious leisure time, and willingly put ourselves through physical pain to remove our body hair. Why? Because society hates women’s body hair. Men, and even loads of women, are often times, repulsed by it. Apparently, it’s ugly, it’s abnormal, it’s wrong. In fact, sometimes women who walk around hairy pits and all, are even considered dangerous, labelled as the “radical feminist.” Which, by the way, is such a misleading term. Radical feminism is not the unbridled hatred of men, it’s actually just a belief that society should not be patriarchal and male-dominated, but that we ought to be EQUAL. Wow, so radical.

What makes it worse is that even the cheaper options of hair removal (i.e. shaving) are still screwing you over big time. Firstly, because the hair grows back so fast and you’re gonna need more razor cartridges in no time. And secondly, because women’s razors are often more expensive, but less effective. Turns out, mens and women’s razors, basically the same shit. No you will not turn into a man if you use a men’s razor. In fact, the blades are sharper, so why did I just pay more money for this stupid pink razor that still makes me feel like crap. And then I spend more buying the women’s shaving gel, which is apparently supposed to smell like lavender or aloe or some aromatic shit, but it really doesn’t matter because I just want to shave my legs and get on with the day. Shaving my legs is not some goddamn spa treatment that I do while laughing in a bubble bath with candles alit. I’m in the shower, angry as fuck, and swearing profusely because I get out and realized I forgot a patch. Damn it!

Society’s absurd obsession with hairlessness is even starting to screw over the guys. It’s definitely not on the major scale that it screws over women, but more guys than you would realize are self-conscious about their body hair and the rate of men getting some kind of hair removal treatment or the other has risen. This can be mainly attributed to models in almost all advertising and big-name male celebrities resembling Ken Barbie dolls. And there are some women who say that they won’t fuck a guy with a hairy chest because they find it gross. Come on humanity, what the hell are you doing?

This bullshit really has to stop. What is it with popular media and its constant need to body-police and fill people with doubt, shame, and insecurity? I’ll tell you what it is: it’s profit-orientated business and it’s working. Because as much as I never want to spend another cent and another second of my life on body-hair removal, I risk being outcasted and lonely as a result of that. I know that the next time I go out, I’ll stick with my usual routine and engage in another battle with my razor. But the fight to embrace body hair is not a lost cause. The key is being open about it. Talk about it. Ladies, let your guy friends know what you go through. Let them know the crazy shit you have to put up with to get rid of your body hair. May the knee-cap shaving struggle never be forgotten!

Comments

Hair is sexy. This obsession with shaving is some form of neo Nazi control over women to keep them looking like little children. Yock!!!

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