Friday, February 02, 2007

To Shave or Not To Shave.

Shazia Mirza, a comedian who has long made me giggle, was on Woman's Hour yesterday, talking about her decision to stop removing her body hair. You can listen to the interview here for a few more days at least.

She is not doing this for overtly feminist reasons, she is tired of all the time it takes to maintain unnaturally hair-free legs, underarms, and anywhere else. Not to mention the money - the amount she said she had previously spent on all this was quite obscene!

One of the weirdest arguments against women having body hair is that it is 'not natural' and 'not feminine'. Well, it *is* natural - it's the shaving and waxing and bleaching and dissolving that adds the somewhat unnatural element to things. Similarly as to whether it's 'feminine' or not (whatever that means anyway), if feminine means how women are supposed to be, then, well, read the previous sentence again.

I stopped shaving various bodily areas some years ago. Partly for 'raar' feminist reasons, partly because it seemed an awful lot of effort, partly because having so many razors around me wasn't so wise at that time, and partly because I just wanted to. I had always thought that not shaving underarm hairs was 'unhygienic' which is, of course, bollocks. I haven't shaved for years now, I can't remember the last time I did. I don't feel masculine, nor have I ever done. I feel like I am living in my body as it is supposed to be (at least in terms of having hair, it's hardly a conventional body by any stretch of the imagination...!).

Richard Madeley apparently said that body hair on women makes him feel sick. Well, we know already that RM is an annoying idiot, and anything which might encourage him to go away or shut up, I fully encourage.

I have no need at all to get rid of these leg hairs. They don't worry me. I like to think I'd be as determined if I was a skirt type-of-person, but as I virtually always wear trousers it's not even much of a political statement. How can it be, if noone sees?! But I don't have to do things just to make a feminist statement (I'm growing up, see?!), I can do them because they feel right, they fit in with the rest of my life, philosophy, and body.

I enjoy my Lush baths, and I'm glad that I don't have to waste part of the totally luxurious experience with a razor in hand and, if I remember rightly, always missing some kind of thin streak of hairs up the back of my calves anyway. I don't have to rinse away chopped off hairs. I don't have to have grim accidents with old razors, and I don't have to be subjected to sharp objects every time I go into my bathroom!

I also just have no desire to make any parts of my body look pre-pubescent, yanno? I've been there, done that, when I actually was pre-pubescent. I was so glad when puberty was finally over that there's no way I want to mimic that time again ever. And if I had a partner who desired me to look that way I would be very concerned indeed. So, you want me to look like I'm 9 years old? Fuck off then. Freak.

I'd be very happy if more and more women stopped shaving various parts of their bodies. I've certainly no intention of doing otherwise.

Technorati tags: ; ; ; .


Leia Organa said...

As I said in my own blog - I agree with you wholeheartedly. I could have written this post myself if only I were half as eloquent as yourself!

Midgetqueen said...

Huzzah! Way to stick it to that nasty razor. You're an inspiration to womenfolks like me, who share the frustration but not the confidence (yet?) to actually act on it.

Found ya via Anji's blog, by the way.

ms. jared said...

i'm a non-shaver too. although i must admit that not shving my legs is a bit harder to get used to than my underarms. i always wear short pants or capris so you can see my leg hairs and this does make me self-conscious from time to time. i actually stopped shaving my legs a year ago for about 2 months then started shaving again because it was summer and i was embarrassed, but i quit again in october. (mostly because i just kept forgetting to and now i'm like "why start again?")

i don't plan to shave anymore and i'm working on not being self-conscious about it. annd i'm doing it for political reasons as well as for the simple fact that it's not fair that women's natural state is considered obscene or grody or UN-natural or unhygenic. millions of years of evolution can't be wrong, can they?

Unknown said...

Thanks all for supportive and fabulous comments.

Ms Jared - good luck with the self-consciousness. Unfortunately we still live in the misogynist society which makes us self-conscious about these things, even though we know in ourselves that we are doing the right thing. Hang on in there!