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.
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.
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.
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.
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.