A Hairy Tale | Teen Ink

A Hairy Tale MAG

August 18, 2008
By Anonymous

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 287 comments.

on Sep. 25 2009 at 1:55 pm
HisTinyDancer GOLD, Mount Olive, North Carolina
14 articles 6 photos 12 comments
You are right. People should stop being sheep. Nobody should have to do something just because other people say that you should. I shave and i'm not going to stop. I tried stopping but I didn't like the feel of hair on my legs. And I have to shave them if a want to do my best during performances, and for people to notice that I did my best. Otherwise they would only notice the hair.

Rock On!

on Sep. 25 2009 at 9:47 am
SickImage SILVER, Klamath Falls, Oregon
9 articles 1 photo 74 comments

Favorite Quote:
The room was very quiet. I walked over to the TV set and turned it onto a dead channel-white noise at maximum decibels, a fine sound for sleeping, a powerful continuous hiss to drown out everything strange."

Awesome awesome awesome.

My sister is 26, married, and has a daughter. She hasn't shaved since she was about 17 (then again she also has dreadlocks, and other "hippie" habits lol) She always wears skirts n tank tops. I love it. And even though i don't shave all the time, i don't think i could show it off. i would feel uncomferatable.

But you go girl. Don't let society win!

Especially with things like this.

(You're making america a better place ;))

Deadjokr said...
on Sep. 3 2009 at 6:47 pm
Deadjokr, Childress, Texas
0 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight." Phyllis Diller

Very good. I shave mostly for sports, but I really like this article and how you stand up for your beliefs. You should continue to write, your really good at it.

on Sep. 3 2009 at 10:15 am
BellaLuna1 BRONZE, Ozone Park, New York
2 articles 0 photos 93 comments
ok i like it.....but i have to shave i mean i cant not do it it makes me nuts if i wear something that shows my legs and i have hairy legs but when u rnt going out i think its ok lol thts just me im not shallow but things like this always bother me because i grew up the fat girl, therefore making sure nothing else was wrong played a big part sometimes thats wy people do it

AmnyR BRONZE said...
on Sep. 3 2009 at 7:54 am
AmnyR BRONZE, Clifton, Texas
4 articles 0 photos 134 comments

Favorite Quote:
To the world, you may be just one person, but to one person, you may be the whole world. ~unknown

great work, i applaud your individuality! personally, i wax, not shave. call me insecure, but i'm more comfortable wearing shorts and skirts without hairy legs, but that's just me, anyone else can do whatever they want. your writting was great as well, very persuasive.

on Jul. 16 2009 at 1:06 pm
doverdrama SILVER, Dover, Delaware
7 articles 0 photos 19 comments
I disagree. I wasn't raised to "mutilate my body". Are you kidding? I shave because I like the feeling of running my hand up my leg, or underarm, and not feeling anything. And I guarentee you that if Miley Cyrus stopped shaving, I wouldn't. That is so rude, to say that people are so single-minded. Open your eyes. People like to shave. It doesn't mean they have succummed to peer pressure.

b1iznu52 said...
on Jun. 2 2009 at 2:22 pm
Again, I like your article! Girls should ditch the razor! I've seen photos of Miley with hairy arms, and she was awesome! I think that she would look lovely with hairy legs! There's no need for her to be insecure about having the hairiest legs! She should be proud of them and go ahead to wear her favorite skirt! She never should have started shaving in the first place! Girls' hairy legs are awesome!

b1iznu52 said...
on May. 19 2009 at 2:21 pm
Well put! I agree with you!

A.J.Evard said...
on May. 17 2009 at 4:10 am
A.J.Evard, Need My Address, California
0 articles 1 photo 1 comment
I love this article, and completely agree. But most swimmers, including a lot of guys, shave to reduce drag and improve our times. Just thought it should be mentioned that not all girls shave for vanity.

Trekky McCoy said...
on Apr. 20 2009 at 11:13 pm
You're article made me realise something very impostant. I am what's commenly known as a "nerd" (however I am a nerd who can't SPELL!) and I am always uncomfertable wih my body. I don't think I will be anymore. Who care's what those stupid popular girls think, let them cut themselves while shaving! Personly, i can't spare the blood!

Gossamer said...
on Apr. 4 2009 at 2:54 am
Gossamer, North Hill, Other
0 articles 0 photos 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
Love. I don't care what happened or who did it to you. Love anyway.

(laughs) I love this! Not that I'm gonna stop shaving - I like the feel of my skin and almost never cut myself - but I don't think we should ever consider the way are bodies work gross. Body hair is around for a reason, people, and there's nothing wrong with it. Anyway, plenty of people where I'm from don't shave much and nobody hassles them about it - it's good to know we're not alone.

Nyx.. SILVER said...
on Mar. 27 2009 at 6:16 pm
Nyx.. SILVER, Greenfield, Indiana
9 articles 0 photos 13 comments
While I love your independence and respect you for standing up for your beliefs, I personally will continue to shave. It's not because the media has twisted my mind, or made me feel insecure. It's quite simply because I prefer to be shaved. I love shaving, and enjoy the feeling that comes from sleek, smooth legs.

But by all means, go natural. :] I think it's great.

Cathryn said...
on Feb. 13 2009 at 1:41 pm
Your Article is vary nice and vary smart. I don't normally shave, its to much of a hassle, takes to long. I perfer jeans to skirts and shorts so my legs never bother me, and most of my shirts have sleeves so the underarm doesn't get people. So..i'm a closet rebel? The only time i think it is discusting to have underarm hair is when the person doesn't have deoderant on and it stinks. That goes for boys or girls though. I have a friend who doesn't shave, least as long as i've known her she hasn't and she wears shirts that are a bit to tight and just doesn't care what others think about her and what society says so i applaud you! Course...well i have a girlfriend and she doesn't know... ^^;; i might end up shaving again for her, but society can shove it. After all, hair is itchy.

Sydney R said...
on Dec. 29 2008 at 9:52 pm
yes, they do. but it's the same thing you would do if your armpits weren't shaved, you just put on the right deoderant and that should work.

on Dec. 27 2008 at 12:29 am
I agree with your point on some companys marketing issues but I want to let you know that some girls shave for other reasons. My friends and I play sports (swimming, soccer,Basketball). During Physical Activity hair can give you a rash, or create drag, or interfere. I suggest you acknowledge this when writing articles further articles because I have other ways to unleash my inner goddess.Good Article though. Write On!

ObServer said...
on Dec. 23 2008 at 3:01 pm
> Posted by Lily89 @ November 29, 2008

> So if you find one, send him my way!

Maybee it'll be a good idea to create smth like web-community for all of those who are really natural. We need to unite. Let the world will see that it is a lot of us. And maybee they'll change their mind and come back to nature, or at least will be respectful to everyone who do not want to be an "artificial beauty body" :)

Ghostzsnodir said...
on Dec. 23 2008 at 2:35 am
I was wondering and im not asking in a mean way but as curious do your arm pits stink less or more when you have hair good article

Sarah-Little said...
on Dec. 2 2008 at 1:34 pm
I've never seen the point of shaving. My friends make fun of me and say that i need to go live in the forrest with some hippie recreating the 60's. HAHA.. and i would if i could. Natural for life!

Lily89 said...
on Nov. 29 2008 at 3:06 am
I was very happy to find this article. I'm so glad to have found someone else on this planet that doesn't shave either! Up until now I thought I had to hide my hair under jeans and jackets, since society couldn't handle the hair. But you know what, you have inspired me to completely break lose from society's chains. The next chance I get, I'm showing off my armpit hair, just to see reactions. Just a note about dating though- since there are so few of us who don't shave, there are even fewer guys who will want an unshaven all- natural girl. So if you find one, send him my way!

ObServer said...
on Nov. 28 2008 at 4:16 pm
It's amazing! I agree with every word!

It's disgusting to shave, but natural beauty is the best in the world :)

I'll be very happy to meet more people like you. I believe that soon it'll be modern to be natural and the era of legs/arms/pubic shaving will END!