Limit #17: Women shouldn’t have body hair
Oh man, have I got this one covered. Or rather this one has got me covered.
You know that trick in high school when someone said, “the first sign of insanity is hairy palms,” and then laughed at you for checking, because it’s insane to think there would be hair on your palms?
Of course I checked. I still sometimes check. My body excels at producing hair and I would not be the slightest bit surprised to find it on my palms. Which used to be yet another reason I believed I ‘failed’ at being a woman. Because everyone knows the perfect woman is bald below the eyebrows.
Embarrassing secret of the day: I used to shave my arms. Not just armpits; my whole arms. I bought into that idea entirely.
But then I got into this whole body pos/feminism/fat acceptance world, and read a whole lot of articles like this one. The main part that stood out to me:
Patriarchy and capitalism worked (and continue to work) together in order to foster insecurities in women and thus encourage them to buy more products. And because the idealised image of a hairless woman is impossible to maintain, women are encouraged not only to perpetually spend money on depilatory practices but also to participate in a never-ending, time-consuming cycle of hair removal.
So we should all kick the patriarchy where it hurts and just let out hair grow wild and free! We could even dye it.
Now, I know what you’re thinking (because I’m just that good). ‘But Hannah, I prefer non-hairy legs. They just look better!’. Or whichever body part you’re particularly narky about keeping hair-free.
To which I shall answer; I know.
I absolutely expect people to take me just as I am if they want to stay in my life. I am a feminist. I do know that the whole hairless thing is yet another form of oppression, and I probably only think hairless is better because ‘everyone knows’ it is. But yes, I do shave my legs. Even in the depths of winter when nobody is going to see them. And on some particularly bad body days I even cover up my hairy arms.
Turns out I’m only human, and a work-in-progress too. I stopped shaving my arms years ago, when I realised that if someone is going to stop associating with me because I have hair on my arms, like pretty much every human being EVER, then they are not worth one second of my time. But I’m just not there yet with my legs.
Which is pretty darn weird considering that at least 10 people see my arms every day but I can’t remember the last time someone saw my legs. But that’s a different matter.
So, I think you’ll find I can have body hair. Check out these arms.
But sometimes I still wish I didn’t.