10 years ago I picked up my first 2-bladed disposable razor. I was so small I could still comfortably sit on the weak counter top in my upstairs bathroom. The 6th grade dance was coming up and after lining up a “date” with my crush, I wanted to look and feel beautiful. I wanted to be society’s version of feminine beauty at any cost. This meant rejecting anything seen to be masculine, such as my thick leg hair. All of the girls around me had already started shaving their legs, but I wasn’t allowed to yet. My mom gave me nylons to wear instead, but no one else was going to wear them and they made me feel like a grandmother. So it was either wear tights or have smooth hairless legs. I never considered there was even another option.
That day 10 years ago kicked off what seemed like an endless journey to find the right hair removal product that worked for me. Since then, I’ve used electric razors, many different 5-bladed razors, men’s razors (I had heard they were better and shaved closer), nair and worst of all, waxing. But about five minutes after a very long process of hair removal with whatever means necessary, the sharp prickles would always come back. As a person with coarse, thick leg hair, I was known for having prickly legs basically all the time. People around me would police me through looks of disgust and comments such as, “needing better personal hygiene?” or “someone’s been lazy.”
About a year ago, I made the norm shattering decision to stop shaving all together. Since, I have saved time and water in the shower, money and stress shopping at CVS. Plus, ain’t nobody got time to enforce the gender binary in every aspect of their lives. I’m hoping by writing this people will become more accepting of those who choose to not shave. It doesn’t make someone have less personal hygiene. It doesn’t make them lazy. Everyone is entitled to live their lives the way they want to live them.
P.S. Gender is fake. Have a nice day.