It’s been a while since I went on a Hair Removal Hiatus. It was a reasonably smooth transition. (See what I did there?!)
Basically, I spent about 3 months trying to figure out what I was comfortable with. In the end, I kept up the arm pit shaving and ignored the legs. I pluck my eyebrows every now and then, when the mood takes me. In the last ten months, I have shaved my legs twice. Once, for a wedding. I felt like it, it looked nice to my eyes so I went with it. The second time was 2 weeks ago and was for no reason other than novelty value. I very much doubt I will take it up full time again- I couldn’t be bothered and I quite like my fuzzy legs.
I tried leaving my arm pits au naturel but, as much as I want to say I started shaving them again for me, it isn’t true. I got quite a few smirks and odd looks and I admit, I felt uncomfortable and I just couldn’t shake it. Interestingly, no one seems to notice the legs. Or I just haven’t noticed them noticing, perhaps?
I realise, though, that I have essentially let other people’s reactions dictate my own actions but at the same time, I value my own comfort and nobody likes those kind of looks for daring to wear a singlet top. It actually pisses me right off to dwell on.
So it was with great interest that I read about a movement in China to encourage women to grow their arm pit hair if they damn well please.
Women’s rights activist Xiao Meili, who made headlines when she walked 2,000 miles to raise awareness of sexual abuse and to petition for change, launched a competition asking women to post armpit selfies on Weibo, which is a China- based microblogging site (like Twitter). In China, activism is a pretty big deal. 5 Chinese feminist activists were arrested just before International Women’s Day because they planned to protest sexual violence. So to see these women still fighting against gender inequality and gender based societal expectations is pretty inspirational. Also, first prize is 100 condoms which is hilariously rad.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 9, 2015
Then, just recently, I read about Jemima Kirke, who stars alongside Lena Dunham in Girls. Kirke went to an awards night in a killer two piece outfit and looked freaking amazing. I’m pretty sure everyone thought so, too, until they saw her armpits which look remarkably similar to this photo she posted on her twitter feed a couple of months ago:
— Jemima Kirke (@jemimakirke) April 24, 2015
Naturally, celeb and gossip news sites went into a predicatably sexist and boring meltdown, summarised here:
And Kirke responded awesomely:
“I love it … I only recently started doing it because my sister did it first and I was like, ‘That looks good! I want to do that.”
Twitter apparently went into it’s own meltdown, too, so she gave another great response:
— Jemima Kirke (@jemimakirke) June 3, 2015
She’s right. We should be doing whatever we prefer to do with our bodies. Hair removal is a personal choice and shouldn’t be so remarkable.
Most of the looks and stares I have experienced were from other women. And the only negative response I got was when the post I initially wrote was republished at Parenting Central– again, from another woman. I could go on about the patriarchy and internalised misogyny and all that fun stuff (and it would all be true!) but at the heart of it, sometimes I just wish women were more supportive of each other’s choices because then we could actually break down all this bullshit at the same time.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
#IBOT @ Essentially Jess
#Brilliant Blog Posts @ Honest Mum