Feminine Body Hair: Learning to Love What Society Says We Shouldn’t

Are you female? Do you hate having body hair? Do you spend hours (and lots of money) shaving, waxing, scrubbing hair away from places you don’t want it- legs, arms, under-arms, etc? Yeah, same.

At least, I used to. Now, to put it simply, I really don’t give a toss about my body hair, and here’s why you shouldn’t either!

So, the featured image for this post is of my pair of cute, furry legs. Pre-second year university Paige absolutely hated them, was disgusted by them, and would do anything to get rid of them. I would shave basically every other day, wax, or use the foul smelling hair removal cream, because I just couldn’t stand having leg hair – it’s dark, coarse, ugly and definitely not feminine. At least, that’s what I’d been conditioned to think. ‘Beautiful’ girls didn’t have hair anywhere that wasn’t the top of their head, after all, right?

Wrong. Everyone has body hair, in some shape or form; it could be short, invisibly light; dark, coarse and curly; or anywhere in-between. And as unsightly as it may seem at first, trust me; it’s not. And if you don’t trust me, then trust these words from Tina Belcher:

 

If you’ve seen this episode, then you’ll know the reason Tina decides to remove her leg hairs: she’s made to feel self-conscious about them. And who hasn’t been self-conscious or insecure about their body? I certainly have, especially regarding body hair. When I was thirteen, a guy I was ‘friends’ with said to me: “Did you know you have a moustache? It’s really dark.” Sure, I’d been bullied before, that was just something that happened – but never before had a friend told me something like that. It was awful. And from that year until last year, I was self-conscious about every hair on my body that could be considered masculine.

Growing up that way was shitty. I felt ashamed of possessing something that was completely natural; I refused to bare my legs unless they were freshly shaven or waxed or whatever else I had done to them. And that? Is the worst.

Keeping my legs hair free has definitely set me back easily more than £200. The cost of razors, wax strips, cream – these may seem small expenditures, but they sure add up over the years. I can think of more than a dozen things I would rather have spent that kind of money on – food, a cheap holiday, a Nintendo Switch…. you get what I’m saying.

Not to mention, the damage it causes my skin. For years my legs have suffered from an un-explainable itch that flares randomly, so bad at times that I will scratch my skin raw because nothing else soothes – not allergy pills, steroid creams prescribed by doctors, nothing. Whilst this happens when I have leg hair and when I don’t, the flare ups come more often after removing hair. I’ve scratched some places so bad that I have tiny little scars on my legs – this makes me self-conscious to not want bare legs even when they’re hairless, too. Really, despising my leg hair was a lose-lose situation any way I looked at it- so I stopped.

It wasn’t easy, and without the girls I surrounded myself with at university, it wouldn’t have been possible – women who just plainly didn’t care, wore their hairy legs with pride. Without them I would never have been able to work on changing my negative thought process – that it made me unattractive, would gross out any man or woman I tried to date, and it would cause people in the streets to stare to call out at me.

Well, it definitely hasn’t done any of those things. Or if it has, I genuinely haven’t noticed. And I like to think that if anyone did speak negatively towards me now about my body or my body hair, I just wouldn’t care. It would probably be on my mind for a day or two, as no comment never leaves me easily and immediately, but ultimately – I’m probably never going to see that stranger again, so who cares what they have to say. And what they may have said, how is that going to matter by tomorrow? It’s nothing to do with them. As for a potential love interest – again, nothing to do with them, and if they dislike it, there are plenty of other people out there.

It took a long time for me to be comfortable, and it might take long for you too – but I promise, it’s definitely worth giving it a try, especially if you’re sick of de-hairing yourself but feel pressurised to do so. But if you love having smooth, hairless legs, carry on! Your body, your rules.

I have a question, though, for any readers who do grow their leg hair: do you end up with split ends? Because I do (you may have seen this on my insta), particularly on my thigh area. It’s very odd, and I can’t find anything about it online beyond jokes of “how long do you let your hair get”. Look! Excuse the dry hands.

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