I’ve been meaning to subject you to a blog about my struggles with body hair for a few months now. After reading an article about Chinese student Xiao Meili and her armpit hair competition, I thought I would write a few words about it.
I became aware of my body hair in the last year of junior school. I was horrified to find that I had started to grow pubic hair and promptly shaved it off. The appearance of this hair made me feel dirty and I was emmbarrased by it. The tortuous itching that followed, when it started to grow back, made me vow to never shave it off again.
Then there was the leg hair, that had to come off too. It really ruined my desire to grow up, no one had told me that this would happen to my body. I found my changing body to be quite revolting. This was further cemented when I was doing backstroke in a Yr 7 swimming lesson. One of the girls saw my armpit hair and recoiled in horror. Suddenly, I was aware of how disgusting body hair on a girl was.
I started waxing my legs in my mid teens and I thought that I had it all under control. Then my upper lip started to sprout fine, long hairs. I started to bleach my upper lip but this seemed to make the hair growth worse. I’m not sure if it was a factor but I was incredibly underweight and have read that your hair grows longer to try to keep your body warm ….. Needless to say, I felt like a yeti and an ugly yeti at that.
My upper lip continued to cause me a lot of upset and my confidence (what little I had anyway!) floundered. The ‘icing on the cake’ came when my boss told me that I had better moustache than he did. I spent the next few weeks using my long hair to cover my face. The woman that waxed my legs said she could wax it off for me and do my eyebrows (which had never been touched). I agreed with gusto!
I can’t tell you how free I felt when that hair was ripped off. It bloody hurt and made my eyes water but I instantly felt more like a woman instead of a freak.
You may be reading this thinking why I’m making such a fuss about a few hairs (especially as I’m lucky to have fair hair that doesn’t show as much). I’m going to assume that you are either a man or a woman who has never had an issue with body hair. I can understand you thinking that of me, it is rather vain.
The thing is, when society tells you that body hair on girls and women is wrong, what do you do? Now, I know that some of you don’t remove your body hair and you are the women that I need to thank. Thank you for giving me the confidence to allow my body hair to grow …. A bit!
I’m not completely cured! I did grow my leg hair over the winter and goodness me, my skin had never been so smooth. Free from ingrown hairs and the itching that follows (and the bleeding and scarring from scratching my legs to pieces) my skin healed. I have to confess to waxing since Spring…. Also, any hair on my face that I don’t like, is plucked out! I don’t wax my upper lip anymore as it was giving me spots.
On that subject … Please don’t wax your bikini line! I used to get a brasilian wax done. It looked great for a few days and then went all spotty and made me look diseased! Not a nice look. My pubic hair now grows as it pleases 🙂 Which reminds me of something rather horrible (funny how memories come back like that ….). My ex husband hated body hair and insisted that my pubic area was completely shaved. He used to insist on shaving it off too with an electric razor. I feel sick at the thought 😦 I asked him why he wanted me to look like a prepubescent girl…..he said my hair got in the way and ruined (can’t bring myself to write anymore on this sorry ….).
So anyway, a thank you to the women who grow their body hair and to the women who aren’t ashamed to show it! You’ve all given me the confidence to put the razor down and, like when I first had my upper lip waxed) I feel free and liberated by it.
Love, tea and hugs