- Kimberly Paige
Hairy Legs and All
When I was a sophomore in college, I was at a movie night hosted by our apartment complex with some roommates and a bunch of other students. I was sitting in a chair wearing a long, just-below-calf length, red skirt and a guy I barely knew who was sitting on the floor next to me reached over and rubbed his hand down my shin.
He then abruptly pulled his hand away (as if he had touched something completely *nasty*) and said “Ew, stubble”.
I was mortified. How embarrassing! How remiss I had been in not taking care of myself properly.
At 19, I was too shy and naïve to recognize that: 1) that guy had absolutely no right to touch me (asshole), 2) that guy could sense my insecurity and his intent was to make me feel small and ashamed—if it hadn’t been my stubble, it would have been my cellulite or dry skin (double asshole), 3) I didn’t owe this guy or anyone else on the planet freshly shaven legs, and 4) my body in its most natural state was not disgusting (this is a hard one for many of us because it goes against a lot of external messages we receive).
What’s up with pretending that body hair on females is unfeminine?
Spoiler alert…women have body hair.
I recently ran across an article entitled, I kid you not, People are Outraged that Adidas Featured a Model with Unshaved Legs.
Yes, this model dared to appear in a print ad with *unshaven legs* and it made people very uncomfortable. So uncomfortable that this model received hate mail, and rape threats (!), and a lot of cruel, low-minded criticism.
Of all things to be outraged about, I’m pretty sure unshaven legs falls pretty low on the hierarchy.
And why, why, why are women considered loathsome if they don’t pluck and wax and shave?
Sure, a woman can be beautiful when she is made up, and spanxed, and shaved AND ALSO a woman can be beautiful just hanging out au naturel.
Women are not inherently dainty creatures. We have bodily functions. We burp, and fart, and poop, and grow body hair too—just like the guys.
Why? Because we are all humans.
There is no shame in this.
I think the only way to challenge this idea that women must represent themselves a certain way is for each of us to get very comfortable in our own skin…comfortable with ourselves without make-up, without spanx, with a little stubble on our legs, and maybe a few stray eyebrow hairs, etc.
When enough of us are at peace with our unfiltered selves, some kind of tipping point will occur.
What do you think? Are you comfortable letting your own natural self out into the world? What kind of freedom would you experience if you didn't feel the need to fit the current beauty mold?
"We can either be shiny and admired or real and loved." ~Glennon Doyle Melton
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