Have you ever forced yourself to shave your legs because you’re going out or wearing a dress? Have you ever seen a woman with hair on her legs and thought ‘ew she has hairy legs?’ From the age of 12 shaving my legs has been the bane of my life. As soon as you have hair on your legs comes the constant pressure to make sure your legs are perfectly shaven, moisturised and glossy.
I’ve always absolutely hated shaving my legs, I’d always cut myself by accident, generally on my knees or on my ankles. The desired baby soft shaven legs lasted all of 24 hours, even less time if you experienced being cold (this makes the hairs come out sooner!). After those blissful 24 hours, you’re prickly and left feeling like it’s time to begin the process again.
I knew that coming away traveling, being in the warmth, and therefore shorts dresses and skirts everyday that I would be shaving my legs non-stop. This was an extremely tedious process for me and no doubt thousands of others. As I approached my 4th month of traveling and shaving my legs every other day, I decided I had had enough! Not only because it had become a tedious exercise and because the outcome would only last a couple of days but at this stage I’d actually developed a bit of a tan on my legs and every time I shaved my legs, off came my tan. It was such a frustrating situation being in the constant cycle of getting a tan, the hair on my legs growing past the ‘acceptable’ stage, feeling the need to shave them off because it’s something I’m totally accustomed to feeling like is just part an parcel of being a girl (like seriously wtf?), shaving my legs, and then having no tan on my legs again.
I eventually decided that I’d had enough. That I cared more about keeping the lovely glow I’d sat sweating in the sun for, than what passers by might think.
Let’s just dissect societies standards of leg hair further. Why are we expected to have Rapunzel-like locks on our heads yet men have easily maintainable and really easy short hair cuts, but then when it comes to our leg hair , armpit hair and everywhere else hair, the rules are in total reverse. Somehow in both scenarios it leaves the women with more work and more up-keep.
At first Mat made comments, probably because he too, has been made to associate leg hair with being a man and no leg hair with being a woman because of society and western beauty standards, despite us all being born with it. Now we’ve just made it a bit of a joke that I too have blonde hairy thighs like him. As expected, he doesn’t actually care in the slightest…and neither does anyone else. Whilst there might be the occasional person who sees me and because of societies view on leg hair, think that it’s odd…I can honestly say that I have never noticed that myself and even if I had, anyone who has time to give a second thought to the length of hair on my legs has too much time on their hands. I can comfortably say that I couldn’t care less about how much, where and why peoples body hair is the way it is, I feel sorry for the people that do!
In the three months I’ve been sporting my hairy thighs, I don’t remember a single person looking at them, staring, or anything. Maybe they have and I’m just totally oblivious to it, but I’m totally oblivious to it because there’s no doubt in my mind about my thigh-hair decisions. I’m not looking for people to stare because I am truly at peace with them and honestly wouldn’t care even if they did! It would say a hell of a lot more about them than me.
If you, like I used to, see women with hair on their legs and think ‘ew, hair on her legs that’s gross!’ then try giving less of a damn about other peoples hair. Try and remember that the state of someones leg hair or lack thereof is none of your business nor a defining feature of who they are. Try and remember that you no doubt don’t like leg hair or think you don’t because of the way society has made leg hair a masculine thing. Remember that we’ve been programmed into thinking we have to get rid of our hair because of society and absolutely no other reason. We have made something that grows naturally on both men and women, gender specific…imagine if we did the same about having eyelashes or ??? It’s 2019, men are growing their hair and mono brows are in fashion, live a little and let your leg hair be the least of your worries. If men having long hair (generally an attribute associated with women despite all depictions of men includes them having long hair) can be seen as attractive and not at all demeaning of their masculinity, then we as women can keep our leg hair and remain feminine, empowered and feel confident and attractive.
I genuinely think my thighs look so nice and I don’t care about anyone else’s opinion that might be different…because I genuinely believe it within, and when you’re confident in something and truly know it to be true within you, no one can come for that and that’s an incredibly empowering thing.
I actually think me ceasing to shave many legs has done me the world of good, its made me feel empowered as a women because I have learnt that I can still feel like a female, still ooze my femininity, whilst having hair on my legs. I like the hair on my thighs and as a personal preference, totally due to my own choice, get rid of the hair on my calves, but I can confidently say that I do that totally out of choice and not because I feel obliged to as a woman.
I can honestly say that now I’m happy with my shaving habits and I shave for me, not for Mat and definitely not because society tells me too! So next time you find yourself not wanting to shave, and normally you’d force yourself to do so because you’ve learnt that it’s ‘just what girls have to do’, think of happy, confident, empowered and most importantly, HAIRY me with my bleach blonde thighs, and give yourself a break… Megan’s orders.
I am sure to some even this post will seem cringe worthy or embarrassing that I’m sharing something like this. But to be honest I just want to share my experience and to share with people that it’s ok to have leg hair, we were born with the ability to grow it and it obviously has a purpose…so embrace it (if that’s something you want to do that is) because you’re your own person!
Until next time,