A hairy situation

Refusal to shave leads to new realizations


Photo by Racheal Sizemore

Photo illustration

Story by Katie Dusek, staff writer

There are things that are considered unspoken social rules for women to follow in their daily lives: wear flattering clothes, do their eyebrows, wear makeup, etc.  The list goes on and on. One of the main things expected of women is to keep a clean shaven body at all times. Whenever a woman chooses not to participate in this, there seems to be a hesitation from others. People may look down on her, or think her less of a women for it.

However, recently women have begun to stop shaving as a way to rebel against the stereotypes and prove that women do not need to bend to societal rules. This is a good way to make a statement. But not every women is trying to make a statement by skipping out on shaving. I am one of those women.

I remember how giddy I was the first time I was allowed to shave my legs in middle school. For months I had been ridiculed for being one of the only girls at school with hairy legs. I thought that this was my way to fit in. After the initial excitement of doing something grown up women do, I was underwhelmed to say the least. I resented shaving every day after that.

I resented how long it took me to shave every day. The razor bumps. The itchiness after the first day. Being told my legs were scratchy. Having to pay copious amounts of money just to be considered normal.

No one ever told me that I could stop if I wanted to, I was told that I had to keep shaving because I had started. It wasn’t until recently that I really understood that shaving my legs and armpits was something I could choose not to participate in if I wanted to.

In swim, the girls go four months without shaving their legs. The rest of the school ridiculed and laughed as we hairy ladies banded together to fend for ourselves. I kept thinking to myself that not shaving just felt right. It felt normal and natural. However, when the end of the four months approached me I reluctantly went back to the razor and continued to shave even though I hated it.

It wasn’t until my junior year when the four months was over when I decided not to pick up the razor again because I didn’t want to. I just stopped shaving my legs.

I can now take a shower in under 10 minutes and I don’t have to spend unnecessary amounts of money on bottles of shaving cream and different types of razors that will give me the best outcome. It’s sort of liberating not to shave.

Surprisingly I haven’t gotten that much backlash besides a few uneasy looks from boys when I wear shorts. I usually don’t talk about it that much because I know I will get lectured on why it is “disgusting for women to not shave.” Even if I did get ridiculed for it, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to shaving because it made me feel uneasy.

I didn’t stop shaving to make a political statement. I didn’t do it because I think women shouldn’t shave. Women should have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies. I did it simply because I don’t like to, so I don’t have to.