SHAVING IN THE NAME OF FEMINISM



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by INES


Yesterday, as I was putting on ten layers of knitwear it hit me. Winter. Is. Here. That dramatic pause between the words illustrates the extent of my shock. It hit me like a sharp knife! A knife to the back, so to speak. Let me just add that I somehow didn't expect winter to come so soon. It came suddenly and insidiously, like menstruation at the beginning of a vacation. There are only two things I love about this terrible time of year: long coats and long hair. The former because I like to feel like a walking human burrito, the latter solely because of my tendency to be lazy. I could also say that I associate body hair in some way with feminism and the disobedience of trends today, which again coincides with my personal views. Disobedient and furry, I walked ever so boldly to face the cold, siberian weather.

But don't get confused, as I mentioned before, the hair transformation didn't start with noble reasons. As with other women (I think), the length of body hair correlates with the length of the pants. The longer your pants are, the longer your hair will be. Simple! We are not even halfway there, but the sophistication of this text already amazes me. Pulitzer material, for sure. In short... At first, the abundance of my body hair didn't bother me as much because it was hidden beneth layers of tights and long pants most of the time. The only itme it was only on display was during the morning shower. Let me also tell you, for the sake of the story, that the work in the shaving department has stopped on all parts of my body. All of them... And there, somewhere in the shelter of my bathroom, came a change of mind, most likely triggered by my boyfriend's comments. He of course, was not exactly impressed with my newly acquired hairy coat. His cute yet sarcastic comments were followed by me feeling insulted, which came out in the form of some ultra-smart, semi- feminist commentary. So, the hair grew on, but this time mainly out of defiance. At the same time, a question started to pop up in my head "How deeply is the ideal of smooth skin rooted in our culture?" Both women and men have been exposed to beauty ideals since birth, which, among other things, equate feminine attraction with a smooth body. The ideology of smooth skin is embedded in our brains at the very core. Beautiful woman equals a shaved woman. Is there any way to get out of this? I myself have inadvertently succumbed to this way of thinking. During my experiment I struggled with my beliefs and my outlook on the situation on a daily basis. My emancipated half of the brain was telling me not to succumb to this shit, but on the other hand, my sense of aesthetics liked a perfectly trimmed bush and super smooth skin. The struggles in my head were constant. I was bipolarly transitioning from a state of feminist contentment to myself, to a state where I felt completely unsettled. Almost dirty. Towards the end, I also began to think that I was no less emancipated with shaved legs. This is, after all, my decision and my preference.

The saga ended the day before my gynecologist's visit, when I reached for a razor out of politeness and hygienic reasons. I don't want any gynecological tools to get tangled up in my tender parts you know. All in all, my experience was too short to properly form an opinion on what it was like to be a hairy Mary for a longer period of time. Especially in the summer when you're not only "judged" by your partner and your gynecologists but also by random people on the street. But I can say that despite my laziness, I wouldn't last a month. Maybe that's why I'll never get into one of those feminist clubs? Maybe I'll even get rejected by those hippie/hipster babes who flaunt their hair like they just don't care. God knows. I respect both sides, as each has its own truth and preferences. As long as the decision comes from ourselves and not from the environment, everything is okay. Let's not overdo it because it's just hair which, by the way, is still growing after fifteen years of waxing.



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