As my mother was preparing on Sunday to leave New York for much warmer climes, she remarked that she’s so relieved to have kept shaving her legs all winter long because now “they don’t look like a forest.”
“Mine do,” I said blithely.
“I noticed.” Her tone was one of ‘it’s-time-you-shaved.’
Perhaps the only reason that I love winter (well, besides my irrational love of the Christmas season) is my opportunity to wear black opaque tights. Like BeckySharper, I hate pantyhose. Give me tights any day, because then people tend to get the fuck off my back about not keeping my legs hairless and ladylike all year long.
Women grow hair on their legs. And on their vulva. And in their armpits. This is not a newsflash, obviously, but our society’s standards of womanly beauty sure likes to deny that we ladies grow hair in the same areas as men.
When I emailed my fellow Harpies to let them know I would be writing a post about this, it triggered an avalanche of gmail ad links for laser hair removal. Permanent hair removal. I understand the desire to do something permanent to your body — I have a breast reduction and a tattoo under my belt — but I just don’t understand the need to zap off your leg/pubic/underarm hair. When you plug “laser hair removal” into Google, it has 3.5 million results. 3.5 million. Clearly, a lot of women (and some men) do indeed want to be hairless in certain areas but is it really, honestly worth spending that kind of money?
I shave my legs in the spring/summer. I opt for hairless armpits. As for my ladybits, I will not be sharing that bit of information, other than to say that I am not the kind of lady who feels the need to do anything permanent down there. I remember those halcyon days when “Brazilian” was merely a way to describe Gisele Bundchen and “Sphinx” just referred to actual sphinxes and nobody seemed to be treating their pubic hair like topiaries. And I remember being endlessly confused when my best friend in elementary school shaved her forearms to try and get rid of the black hair on them. It’s just hair, right?
Body hair is a guy thing. Well, it is if you consider which gender is more likely to go out in public in this country with visible hair on all the body parts I’ve mentioned. Hairy legged women are anarchists, or atheists, or lesbians, or something like that. Hairy pitted women are just nasty and nobody wants to smell a woman without a splash of CK Obsession. Hairy vulva’d women never get laid because no guy would ever want to deal with that gross mess!
Really, it’s easier to spread your legs for a laser. And razor your skin to shreds on that tricky nook next to your knee. And grimace in pain when a huge fucking swath of pubic hair is torn off by a waxing specialist. That’s the way to be a real lady. Pain is beauty, right? RIGHT?!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go decide which shape I should sculpt my pubes in so I can drive my man wild. It’s going to be either poodle-shaped or Bart Simpson-shaped. Or maybe I should just date Edward Scissorhands.