So I didn’t grow up in a household where shaving one’s body parts were placed in my head as a must do a thing because you are female. In fact, I wanted to shave my legs the first time because a friend had talked about it and I thought I was weird. Well, my mother has shaved her legs maybe three times in her life. But I was basically peer pressured into believing that you must shave if you are a woman.
Fast forward now to my 30s I still shave, but not as much as I used to. The thing is I have relatively fine leg hair and I can usually go about two weeks before it is noticeable. I enjoy the smooth feeling I get after shaving. But I also like not shaving because no one has time for that shit.
Having a daughter who has had body hair for several years now, I feel that I need to discuss with her the options she has about her body. I say options because that is what they are. I have given her the information and now she can do with it what she will. I do not want to pressure her into shaving if that isn’t what she wants to do.
Doing so will start the cycle of her thinking her body is not her own to make decisions with and that her body must be a certain way to be accepted. However, I have had a lot of commentary from my peers and even my mother (remember the lady who doesn’t shave) about how shaving is a must. And here is what I think of that shit.
“If you want to wear shorts you have to shave your legs.”If you want to wear shorts, you do not have to wear shorts! Click To Tweet
If you want to wear shorts, you need to go to the store find a super cute pair, try them on because that size is inconsistent in every damn store. Then give the lovely salesperson your money. Every day I realize how much we teach our children about gender roles and it is driving me crazy. I still find it odd when I see a woman with hairy legs in shorts or a skirt, but I step back and say, “Who cares?” Then go on about my business. It is too late for me. I am engrained to think it’s odd, but I will not give that thought process to my daughter.
“She’ll want to shave when her friends make fun of her.”
First, if they are picking on her, not her friends. I want her to know that above all else. Second, are you seriously going with the peer pressure argument? So, if someone is picking on her, because she isn’t doing drugs that are an okay excuse to push her towards doing drugs? No, abso-fucking-lutely not. I told her straight up, other kids may not like that you have hair. They may say something about it, they may make fun of you, BUT your body is your own and no one has the right to tell you what to do with it.
“You are a woman, no man will kiss you with a beard.”
Okay, no. If a man or woman for that matter has a problem with hair that grows on my body and sometimes on my face, they can see the door. I have lovely whiskers on my chin and they drive me crazy. They are stubbly little bastards. I get rid of them. I just like my face to feel smooth. But I am also a lazy groomer so sometimes those thick, black whiskers hang out on my cheek and Matt gives two shits. Hair is natural it happens.
“Men prefer it.”A man's preference has nothing to do with my body choices. Click To Tweet
Again, why am I doing anything with MY body for someone else? This is the problem.
Just stop and think.
We need to change the dialogue. We need to be better for our girls. We need them to feel good in their skin as is. As mothers, we need to stop with the negative self-talk. We need to walk around in the sports bra showing the C-section scars and mom belly. We need to show off our muscles. We need to be proud of our bodies but make it clear that there is no right way to be beautiful.
I know this started with body hair, but it starts a subtle message that grows as they get older. I hate the things I see girls doing to “be skinny” or have a thigh gap. Your body was already made perfectly flawed. And that
Look if you love a hairless body, rock on but maybe instead of starting this cycle let’s just be better. I know you want your girls to be happy and healthy. So, help them by being positive and giving them choices of what to do with their bodies. After all, do you want anyone telling you what to do? Then why tell your daughter what to do in regards to this?
Do you shave? Will you make it a thing that must be done? Comment below!