The Hairy Legs Dilemma

I am a very hairy person.

I'm okay with that, for the most part, but it seems the rest of the world isn't.

I turn on tv (or the computer, or a magazine) and am immediately faced with an ad for an (incredibly painful) device that promises to give you sensual smooth skin, that will last for a whole five days!

The thought of shaving every five fucking days gives me shivers. My skin happens to be very sensitive. It does not enjoy being pulled from every pore. In fact, every time I shave I am bought to near tears by the piercing pain I feel. Nonetheless I do it. I purposefully hurt myself to change my natural body and fit the stereotype of what a girl is that society imposes on me. Why?

Patriarchy. Because of that fucking patriarchy.

If I tell people that though, they'll just shrug and say, yeah, just don't shave then.

Easy to say.

My hair is dark. It is black and very visible. If I go to the beach with my natural legs, I shall attract many weird disgusted looks and disturbing cat-calls. My friends and family will try in every way to convince me to shave that fucking hair, to avoid them the embrassement of being seen in company of such a freak. Some of my friends will, in fact, stop hanging out with me at the beach. They will not want to be put in the same category as me!

As to my love life, it would be even more null than it already is.

Those are the conseqences of a non-shaving demanour. And the truth is, I can't. I can't just sacrifice whatever is left of my social life (being a foreigner, a feminist, and mostly a non conformist, I am not at the highest place popularity-wise).

I'm not strong enough.

Since I joined the feminist movement, I shave less often, but I still shave. My legs are within acceptable limits of hairiness. The rest of my body I keep hairy, since it's not too bad, even though occasionally I get causal male oglers comment on my growing moustache (if they think I am going to hurt even my face-something that I've tried and has resulted in lots of little red baubles all around my mouth- for their pleasure, I can only tell them to please get lost.) Everyone is happy. Except me.

It's just so unfair that guys can grow a beard, or hair on their legs, and I, because I am a girl, have to be hairless. Whoever decided that hairiness was a boy thing anyway?

I am trying to gradually decrease my shaving until I am strong enough to face the social pressures hairy legs bring with them.

Until then, I shall continue spending an hour or so torturing myself every month. Or maybe I should just dedicate myself to masochism for the sake of it. At least that is supposed to bring on some enjoyement. Also, I would know that I would be doing it for myself, and not for others. I would not feel as weak and guilty and so fucking angry as I feel now.

More articles by Category: Feminism
More articles by Tag: Activism and advocacy



Zad B
Sign up for our Newsletter

Learn more about topics like these by signing up for Women’s Media Center’s newsletter.