A Hairy Tale MAG

August 18, 2008
By Sydney Ramirez, Nashua, NH

Open your average Seventeen magazine and look at the ads. What are they selling? Razors. I find that perfectly acceptable; people shave and therefore need razors. There is something, however, that I’m not comfortable with: the message. Gillette Venus advertises that shaving your legs will help you release your “inner goddess.” Schick Quattro for Women says that shaving will free you. Nair has its own brand for women called Nair Pretty! What is this saying to the young women of America? They are being forced into an unnatural mold that is ruling their lives and ravaging girls’ self-esteem. What we eat, what we wear, how we act – it is all guided by the ultimate (virtually hairless) woman every man supposedly desires, and I have had enough.

Shaving is an American custom, and a foolish one at that. If we took the time to see the injustice in the social hierarchy our nation is built ­upon, perhaps we could understand beauty in a natural body. I realized how much time I wasted mutilating my body with a razor blade. How can people look positively on that? Whenever I shaved, I cut myself, which isn’t enjoyable. The constant stress of wondering Do I need to shave? is a nuisance. There was no reason for me to continue shaving if I didn’t want to.

So I stopped. The first day of summer, I put down the razor, thinking, Maybe I’ll just try this for a week. At that point it wasn’t even about the media’s incessant pressure, or rebellion against conventional thinking; I stopped purely for comfort. Even though my hair has grown, I realize how comfortable it has made me. It feels as though I’ve opened up a whole new part of my body I didn’t know I had. I feel ­closer to myself and more confident in my body. I wear tank tops and skirts; I’m proud of my body hair. I like to show it off, even for shock value. The choice is mine and I made it.

People talk about it, of course. I’ve lost friends ­because of it, which makes me realize that if someone is ignorant enough to worry about the state of my hair, I shouldn’t be associating with that person in the first place. It hurts to know that those I once valued and cared about are simply conforming clones, and it hurts to hear strangers, even small children, make rude comments about my body hair. I know my friends talk about it with their friends, saying, “She’s the girl with the armpit hair.”

Sometimes I feel like it’s going to prevent me from getting dates, with the way people react to it (mostly teenage boys, howling about how disgusting it is). One of my best friends told me that it was a bad choice. He said the fact that I didn’t shave made him angry, that my body hair made him angry. Needless to say, I don’t speak to him anymore.

Teenage girls judge me just as harshly. Another friend threatened, jokingly, to shave me in my sleep. I know there are girls reading this right now thinking, Shaving ­isn’t that hard. Stop whining and making such a big deal. Body hair is nasty! You were raised to think that way. In your home, on your television, in your bathtub, by your peers, they raised you to believe body hair is gross. I was raised that way too, but I broke through it.

My closest friend tells me that she considered not shaving under her arms, but she would never stop shaving her legs because she thinks she is too hairy. Nobody should judge you as too hairy. I want to scream, “Stop letting other people decide what you are and what you’re not!”

Acceptance is important to people, and yet I don’t understand how some can accept the biggest differences in people – sexual orientation, race, religion – yet find my disdain for shaving revolting and intolerable. You wouldn’t tell Jewish people that their yarmulkes are gross and that they should take them off, so why would you tell me that my body hair is vile and I should shave?

I question the fate of our generation. Think about it: if Miley Cyrus stopped shaving, adolescent girls all over the world would too. Most people will venture to say that they are different from everyone else, but they aren’t.

You can choose to focus on the physical aspect of what I’m doing, and you can point and laugh at my body hair. Or you can take the time to look deep into your beliefs about American culture and see that I have actually freed myself from corporate oppression. You can look down on me for being happy with the natural state of my body, or you can look up to me for thinking for myself and having the guts to say no to peer pressure. The choice is yours.


The author's comments:
I really hope this changed people's mind about body hair. I hope guys don't discriminate against girls who don't shave and I hope there are some girls who decide to say goodbye to their razors. For anyone who does, I have some advice: your old deoderant probably won't work. I suggest you use Ban roll on, because that way it won't (shudder) clump and it keeps the odor at bay.Also one last thing to the guys: you take for granted the sensation of leg hair blowing in the wind. I'm here to tell you that yes it is great and you should appreciate it because most girls can't :D

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This article has 285 comments.


on Aug. 23 2010 at 5:31 pm
the_crazy_one BRONZE, San Jose, California
3 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
Be yourself, and do what you want, because those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter.

Guess what: I do none of those things. I don't shave, wear makeup, or wear deodorant, and very rarely cut my hair. And I look just fine. None of my friends hate me for it, and some them have done the same thing.

Do you have an account here? Because if you do, then why don't you sign in and then put others down.

 


on Aug. 23 2010 at 3:12 pm
NomLoveMonster SILVER, Florence, Arizona
5 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"No one else will have me like you do, no one else will have me, only you."

I honestly hate shaving, so I rarely do it. My legs and armpits everyday for sure. My lady area, maybe like, once a week or so. Not even. &I'm proud of you for being so brave and comfortable with yourself<3

on Aug. 23 2010 at 1:21 pm
AfterLife SILVER, Amityville, New York
6 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
\" Icing Over A Secret Pain \" Third Eye Blind Song \"Jumper\"

Wow this is brave of you to say. Your right about that. i will keep shaving but i respect you choice not for me. but that getting mad over body hair. i bet they have alot more then you.i'm happy for you.:D

on Aug. 21 2010 at 5:01 pm
ThisBreRulezYouSonnn BRONZE, Wake Forest, North Carolina
4 articles 0 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all--
Into each life some rain must fall,
some days must be dark and dreary.
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Shaving is painful and dangerous! I remember that I was in the shower, shaving my arm, and instead of shaving hair, I accidently shaved off a huge chunk of skin :/

bubblygurl76 said...
on Aug. 16 2010 at 7:40 pm
Ehh...I'm sorry but that's just sick. What if you were wearing short shorts and walking through a field and lots of bugs and burrs got stuck in your leg hair?? Gross. And as long as we're buying into all the rest of the worlds image of 'beauty', why just stop shaving legs? Might as well stop cutting hair, putting on make-up, and wearing deoderant also. :P Yuck.

Adonis said...
on Aug. 4 2010 at 2:17 pm
Adonis,
0 articles 0 photos 21 comments
I like that.

Adonis said...
on Aug. 4 2010 at 2:15 pm
Adonis,
0 articles 0 photos 21 comments

Why do men shave their faces?

and why is a bear something you hardly ever see in the professional business world? what does the term 'clean-shaven' mean for guys?

in the end it's an insignificant personal choice that people may comment on, but ultimately it is something you can decide to do or not to do.


Sunny1 said...
on Jul. 26 2010 at 9:38 am

In sixth grade I was really concerned because I didn't shave my legs. I used to worry people thought I was weird. But then I learned that not only do people not even notice it (unless you're really weird and stare at legs a lot) they don't care if you do or don't! Plus, I'm super comfortable, and that 'silky smooth' also goes with hair. Besides, if everyone thought hair was really that gross, then they should be shaving their heads, too. :)

Great Job!


on Jul. 23 2010 at 5:08 pm
lizzymwrites GOLD, Miami, Florida
13 articles 0 photos 56 comments

Favorite Quote:
The only people for me are the mad ones... the ones who never yawn and say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders against the stars." - Jack Kerouac

This is awesome, but remember, everyone has a choice. You chose not to shave. I choose to do so, not because of peer pressure, but because it's really hot where I live, and shaved armpits and legs keep me cooler. I guess what I wanna say is, choices should be YOUR decisions, not products of peer pressure. If I stopped shaving because this article made me feel ridiculous, then I'd be giving in to peer pressure. See?

on Jul. 17 2010 at 8:44 pm
RonCame1993 SILVER, Farmington Hills, Michigan
9 articles 3 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
If I'm weird, what's normal?
Gullible isn't in the dictionary... (sad face)

I really like that you took a stand for what you believe in. It takes a confident person to go against the flow of pop culture.

Trio123 GOLD said...
on Jul. 15 2010 at 6:01 pm
Trio123 GOLD, Sunnyvale, California
13 articles 46 photos 119 comments
I found this article very interesting. Every time I shave, I wonder: How did we get to this point? Why do we shave, when having hair is perfectly normal? Everybody has it! Why do women, and not men, shave their legs, etc? But I still do it, and I am not against it, probably because a part of me is ingrained in this culture.

on Jul. 9 2010 at 1:06 pm
JamieStarr GOLD, Sevierville, Tennessee
11 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
o! thats why i love you. :) i love you.

i was just wanting to know how she got rid of it. and if you could get rid of it easily

 


on Jul. 8 2010 at 5:07 pm
Niftygrrl BRONZE, Norfolk, Virginia
4 articles 0 photos 39 comments

Favorite Quote:
“We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”- dr suess

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."
— John Green

In my school everyone who is anyone is stick thin and dresses like a hooker.I dont shave my legs either, But I never really had friends to begin with.The "Cool" people are extremly rude to me beacuse of it. I would be offended but i know that they are so insecure and Im not. I love my body! With or with out hair =]

on Jul. 8 2010 at 5:01 pm
Niftygrrl BRONZE, Norfolk, Virginia
4 articles 0 photos 39 comments

Favorite Quote:
“We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”- dr suess

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."
— John Green

Everyone has hair over their lips.

Some have more than others, But everyone has it.I personaly leave it.Why are you even asking her?


on Jul. 5 2010 at 10:44 am
SRobserver GOLD, Montreal, Other
11 articles 1 photo 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
" Be yourself , everyone else is taken"

It is true that some hairs on our body are hygienicand keep out dust. But " Some" is what I was trying to emphasise on. Its the " accumulation" of hair that is a factory for bacteria. If you let the hair uder your armpits or other sensitive areas grow , then sweat will smell worse, and deodorant will not work properly. This allows the growth of fungus as well. I guess if you have very little hair, then you can get away with not shaving. But those who have thicker growth should probably not adapt this approach.

Shelly-T GOLD said...
on Jun. 29 2010 at 5:20 pm
Shelly-T GOLD, Romeoville, Illinois
13 articles 0 photos 72 comments
I never really thought about that, but you're right.  That's awesome of you to right this. 

on Jun. 23 2010 at 6:11 pm
Lindsey Knepshield BRONZE, Old Lyme, Connecticut
3 articles 0 photos 2 comments
I agree with what you're saying but (there's always a but, right?) I don't think I could ever not shave. I admire your courage to be different and take a stand, but i feel more confident, prettier when I've shaved, and if it makes me feel good and doesn't hurt me or those around me why stop? I feel like people should just do what makes them comfortable, and if it's comfortable for you to not shave then go for it. Advertising is advertising though, and if you have a problem with Venus' commercials than you'd have a problem with every commercial (Hotwheels-beat that is saying pretty much the same thing as Venus, you'll be great if you use my product). So basically what I'm saying is that if you ask everyone not to judge you for not shaving don't judge me for choosing to do so. I won't call you disgusting if you don't call me a product of the man, agreed?

Sonata16 GOLD said...
on Jun. 23 2010 at 3:22 pm
Sonata16 GOLD, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
12 articles 0 photos 43 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you." --Zora Neil Hurston

It's really funny, a combination of reading your article and something my boyfriend tells me every now and then showed me you are absolutely right.

I am so self conscious about shaving, and i just happened to go a day without it and my boyfriend came over. I was thinking to myself that he would be grossed out and bla bla bla and he ran his hands um my leg, unknowing I hadn't shaved. I kinda cringed and he said," Um, I know you didn't shave today, and I'm okay with that.  I think its ridiculous how society thinks girls need to be shave all the time. When really, we need to be focusing on the people they really are. Not appearances."


GamerGirl75 said...
on Jun. 22 2010 at 12:48 pm
GamerGirl75, Ontario, California
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments
As someone mentioned before, I don't get how women are chosen as the hairless gender. I have to shave my underarms (I get irritated if I don't) but my legs aren't really that big of a deal. I've had friends ask me why I don't shave and I'll just reply with, I don't need to, and yet they still look at me like I'm insane. I think women are always being targeted to conform and be sterotypical. It's refreshing to see someone who has decided to stray from the norm. I applaud you :)

on Jun. 21 2010 at 1:36 am
JamieStarr GOLD, Sevierville, Tennessee
11 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
o! thats why i love you. :) i love you.

this was good. i dont know how you have the courage to do this. i wasnt aloud to shave until i was 13 and i would wear shorts to school and come home crying and then when i turned 13 i shaved and i felt so much better. i have one question have you gotten a boy friend while you havent been shaveing?

 



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