I Didn't Shave My Legs This Summer, Here Is What Happened (Nothing)

Hello everyone

So it all started with me re-thinking my body hair this quarantine. Well, honestly it kind of started with my now-tween, and her worries about her (pretty much invisible) leg hair that led me to ask myself questions about beauty, body-acceptance and the role of society in our beauty standards

Also, I realised that in quarantine I couldn't be bothered to shave my legs. I had so much going on, and when I looked down at my shins and asked myself if the hair really bothered me that much, the answer was "nah". So I decided to roll with that for a while and see what happens. 

The most important thing that happened was that nothing happened. I got a few glances, exactly two persons (both close friends) commented on it (positively).

Also I got over myself. I realised that however I felt about my legs having or not having hair, it's just my personal thing and other people pretty much don't care. People are busy with things more important to them then my calves. And even if they look, and even if they did judge, it's very very unlikely that they devoted more than a couple of seconds to me, because again, I am not the main character of their film.

Funnily, as long as I was self-conscious about it I was thinking that people were looking at my leg hair. At a certain point I realised that I look at people's legs too, or at their feet, or at the rest of their body, for no particular reason. And when I got used to having leg hair, I stopped noticing if people noticed. It became just another thing in the background. It's a bit like getting a new haircut or hair colour -- in the first days you are very aware of it and see how people react; but soon you get used to it. And it can even take you a moment if someone comments on it.

I always said that removing or keeping (or changing) one's body hair is a choice. Yet although I saw quite a few women with untouched eyebrows or, armpit hair; I saw almost no other woman who chose to keep her leg hair. I still don't know why this is. I saw women with naturally grey hair, women going braless, but exactly one woman with leg hair.

Do legs with hair look better? Or not? I wondered why we see a man's leg we don't give a second thought to the hair, whereas on women it's somehow seen as unappealing. So it's not the hair itself, but the idea of a woman having body hair that is not acceptable. Even angry red post-shave rash seems to be more acceptable than leg hair.

I also found that people connect body hair with radical feminism, which is again food for thought. There is really nothing radical or courageous about not shaving. Courage is protesting, fighting for your rights, speaking up, caring for others.

I have no idea whether the razor is in my future or not, I will probably switch it up depending on my mood. What I do know is that I won't go back to my past self that used to be terrified to be seen with anything but perfectly hairless legs. I actually remember lugging an epilator to a camping place. Not going to happen again.

On this note I'd love it if you shared your views or experiences on keeping or removing body hair. What do you feel comfortable in? How would your choice be if literally nobody else could see you?

Photo credit: VenusianGlow

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