Morgan Mikenas.

A fitness blogger called Morgan Mikenas stopped shaving and people are losing their freaking minds.

Can I just point out that it is 2017? A woman doing whatever the fuck she wants with the hair on her body is totally fine, right?

 I gave up leg shavery back in 2014. No fucking regrets. I even eventually gave up the pits, because frankly, I have better things to do. If you choose to spend your time and money culling your body hair, that’s your business. However, if you choose to spend your time on the internet, policing those that don’t, I have a few things to say about that.

Morgan Mikenas a white female sitting with knees raised showing her legs which have hair on them

Source: Morgan Mikenas on Instagram

To the Faux Acceptance Crowd:

These are the ones saying things like “Well, I don’t like how it looks, but it’s her choice”, “It’s her opinion that she doesn’t need to shave. It’s my opinion that not shaving is gross but we are all entitled to an opinion!” and “It’s her body but everyone has their preferences and she can’t get upset if people don’t find her attractive like that”. Let me just drop this little truth-bomb for you: What you think of her body hair is evident. Your discomfort is obvious. You seem to be struggling with genuine acceptance because you feel the need to include the fact that you, personally, don’t like it. Which is irrelevant. People struggle with this concept so let me elaborate further.

You’re half-way there in recognising that it is not your decision but you almost negate that when you make your personal disapproval known. However, negative opinions on the depilatory choices of a stranger are unhelpful and only reinforce arbitrary beauty standards.

Morgan Mikenas is not trying to force you to be attracted to her. She is making her choices public not for your approval but to help change the rigorous standards women are held to.

You don’t have to like it or partake in it to accept it and move on without contributing your negativity. If her body hair makes you feel kind of uncomfortable, I get it. I’ve been there. It isn’t what we are used to as a society. Not yet. Recognising your discomfort and the fact that it is your issue gets you a step closer to not trying to make it anyone else’s problem. You can get past it without implying that other people should hide away or change to make you comfortable.

To the “But she’s wearing makeup!” Crowd:

“She has makeup on and her eyebrows have obviously been shaped!” was a recurrent theme. I have no idea if she wears makeup or if she gets her brows done but apparently, the idea is a little too much for some people.

makeup- body hair

The outrage was palpable. You can’t go au naturel in the hair department but then just wantonly slap on concealer and brow wax. If one has natural body hair, they must be consistently as nature intended in all aspects of their appearance and life. Who knew?

Really, the idea of a woman picking and choosing what she wants to do with her body is just a little too much for some people. They’d be horrified at my hairy legs and freshly microbladed brows!

To the Insulted Crowd:

“She’s making out that we are all repressed and unnatural if we shave our legs and that is just offensive”. Disappointingly, women seemed to have this reaction here and there in the comments.

No. She is taking charge of her own body. People like this, who subvert beauty standards, gain traction because they give permission for others to do the same. Not even permission; they offer solidarity and the knowledge that there are people who would accept and understand such choices when others would clearly not. A woman like Morgan Mikenas saying “Hey, I’m not shaving my body because I don’t want to conform to what society expects of me” is not saying that you must also do this. Reading through her posts online, she’s saying that she felt pressure to look a certain way and decided to disregard that pressure and be comfortable in her own body.

If that offends you, then maybe your internalised misogyny is showing. Try to be like Elsa, gang! Just try!

Shave or don’t, it’s your business. Just know that you do have a choice.

To the Hygiene Warriors:

“If she’s going to stop shaving, she might as well just give up bathing as well”, “Lazy, dirty hippy!” and “Not shaving and having body odour doesn’t make you a hero!”. For fuck’s sake, people.

I can’t believe this needs explaining, but here goes. Not removing your body hair doesn’t mean you are dirty, lazy or smelly. You know, as evidenced by the vast majority of men who live their lives covered in said body hair without wallowing in their own filth.

body hair- a white man wearing a blue shirt saying that his shoulders could be braided

It’s apparently totally fine for men to be fuzzy from head to fuckin’ toe, but for a woman? Call in the forensic cleaning team. Not taking off body hair is a sign that she’s completely lost the plot and basic cleanliness has gone out the window because we- what?- don’t know how to wash our bodies if there’s hair there? Fuck. Off.

To My Personal Favourite- The Hypocrite:

If you are a bloke with a fucking beard on your face, go you. I love a good beard. Hawt.

body hair- Rollo from Vikings, a handsome, bearded white man says hello

But if you are a bloke with a beard on your face and you are going to have a go at a woman who doesn’t shave, you’re a douchecanoe. If you can’t even recognise the irony here, you go from douchecanoe to whatever the next level of douchebaggery is. It’s bad enough that blokes who don’t shave their legs and faces decide their opinion on female body hair is a relevant and valuable part of the discussion. Worse still is the bloke who opts out of shaving because it is his choice to do so but still thinks women should shave, to accomodate his preference.

We live in a society where women routinely remove body hair. It’s expected of us. Women with body hair are not routinely portrayed in the media, in advertising or in entertainment. Not engaging in the practice of shaving, waxing or zapping it off shouldn’t be a revolutionary act. But it clearly still is.

There were, thankfully, some positive responses in amongst all the frustrating dingbats that threw their 5 cents worth in, which gives me hope that things are, ever-so-sloooowly,  changing.

 

Cover image- my actual legs on my actual blanket, taken by me.

Gifs via Giphy.

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  • Gah! Hairy legs here, mostly because I don’t want to feel I HAVE to shave them, and it’s a way of pushing back against the “feminine” template, which is still incredibly tightly drawn, with a healthy dose of can’t be arsed.

  • It’s funny – male facial hair as a trend comes in and out. Female hairlessness doesn’t – only to the point of less or even more less (eg. XXX waxing).

  • I admire your ability to crank this out after a night shift. I also admire your cleverness at always zeroing in on what I’m thinking, but struggling to articulate.

    Sometimes I shave, sometimes I don’t, I couldn’t really give a shit what others think about it either way… but that’s not really the point, is it? The point is, I’m actually a little confronted by the hairiness of this gorgeous woman and that disturbs me. I see her photo and I think, “She’s TOO hairy to GET AWAY with not shaving.” Of course I hate myself for this reaction, but I wanted to be honest.

    We are all a product of the bullshit our society feeds us. It’s hard to rise above it, but I’ll forever be trying.

    • That’s the exact thing- recognising it. I know what you mean. It takes a fair while to get past it, truly.

  • It’s a funny one. Sure, shave or don’t shave – and I often go between both…but my hairiness is usually because I’m lazy, not because I’m making a conscious decision not to shave. I feel better when they are shaved – but not because they look better, but because I feel better. Yet, I have very hairy arms that don’t worry me a jot. #TeamLovinLife

  • I have never heard of her, personally I don’t think I could let my legs get that hairy but that is just me.

    • That’s the culture we live in. it takes some undoing.

  • Min Write of the Middle

    Hmmm…it’s quite confronting seeing her hairy legs but that is because of what we are conditioned to seeing a women’s legs look like. I think she has a right to do as she pleases. I don’t shave much during winter but my legs and armpits are hidden away under clothes. It’s a laziness thing not a statement kind of decision. Why shave when noone is going to see anyway?! #TeamLovinLife

    • That’s exactly it- but why everyone doesn’t recognise the conditioning is beyond me!

  • Some days I have no interest in things like hair removal (okay most) – some days I do. It just seems like a pretty trivial thing to get riled up about. Like someone wearing blue when I like to wear green.

  • I love douchecanoe! Totally stealing that one 😉

  • Tash Laughton

    What a world we live in, today. I feel like there are judgements everywhere… Everything is becoming controversial 😩

  • Fi Morrison

    Haha douchecanoe. What a classic.
    Everyone has to have an opinion don’t they?!

  • Amanda

    Her body – nobody else’s business.

  • Lauren Threadgate

    Well said Amy! I especially like the point about hygiene. The double standard on that one point alone does my head in

  • Earl Tower

    At the end of the day it really comes down to what works for the individual. If a woman is in a job where they have a set image, say a runway model, then she might be pushed to shave. But if she has no career or relationship need to shave, why should she? The same goes for men. As for my own situation, I have been married for 19 years, and both the wife and I have what we prefer in the other, so we accommodate each other. She hates me having facial hair, so I shave twice a day. She shaves her legs every other day. And it works out. But at the end of the day, it is still our individual choices to make.