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I Stopped Shaving and I Still Feel Glorious

A month ago, I decided to ditch my razors and stop shaving. Armpits, legs, pubes, everything. I know this may sound extreme, but I was tired of altering myself for other people. I was tired of making my decisions through the gaze of others. Most of all, I was tired of the huge amount of effort and money that goes into shaving. So I thought, “Why not just stop?”

Deciding not to shave shouldn’t be a big deal, but I’ve found that most people consider female hair unsettling, or even unnatural. However, hair is the opposite of unnatural; by nature, we have hair everywhere. So why do we constantly stress over removing it?

The answer is simple: our entire lives, we are told that female hair is unladylike, disgusting, uncivilized, and dirty. But how can something completely natural be any of these things? We may try to convince ourselves that the only reason we shave is because it feels nice, but we need to face the hard truth. We shave because we are constantly bombarded by negativity surrounding female body hair.

Think about it: the “hairless female” trend only began in the 1940’s, near the start of World War II. Before then, women were never pressured to shave, and even if women wanted to, they didn’t even make female razors back then! Shaving only became popular at the start of World War II because with all of the men off at war, razor manufacturers had to find a new group to market to: women.

The razor industry created the trend of female shaving simply to find a new way to profit. If anything is “unnatural”, it’s shaving, not the other way around. Shaving is an trend solely created to take your money.

Look back and consider some of your favorite historical women that were around before the 1940’s.

Joan of Arc? Hairy.

Marie Antoinette? Hairy.

Susan B. Anthony? Hairy.

Abigail Adams? Hairy.

Queen Elizabeth I? Hairy.

Harriet Tubman? Hairy.

Imagine any female in history, and I can tell you she had hairy armpits, hairy legs, and hairy pubes. I cannot stress enough how natural it is.

Now, I’m not here to tell you that shaving is evil. But rather, that shaving is a choice. I’m saying that you should not let anyone pressure you into altering your natural body. If you decide to let your body hair grow, rock it! If you decide to shave, that’s your decision! Just recognize the societal pressures and gender expectations that may be influencing your decision to shave.

I completely understand if you are worried about people rejecting you for not shaving; I was worried about the same exact thing. However, I realized that refusing to shave is a perfect way of finding out who truly cares about you. If people are grossed out by your decision, screw them! I wouldn’t want to be hanging out with someone who thinks they can decide what I do with my body.

Deciding not to shave is hard. I must admit, at first I felt disgusting. But after some critical thinking, I had to recognize that I only felt disgusting because my whole life I have been trained to see female body hair as disgusting. So I decided to stick it out, predicting that the gross feeling would disappear after a while. And it did.

After a few weeks of adjusting to the change, I started seeing beauty in my hair. My hair represents self-love, freedom, and equality. Every time I look down at my hairy legs, it is a reminder of how awesome, powerful, and human I am. I wouldn’t trade that feeling for the world.

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Kelsey Cal Poly

Cal Poly '19

Forgive my chaotic 17 year old writing
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