I’m not quiet about the fact that my leg hair and I have a rocky relationship, which can mostly be summed up by me doing everything short of plucking each individual hair out and my hair going “Fuck you and fuck your mother”, and then promptly growing back in the next two hours. Understandably, I’ve given up on this endless war and have resorted to shaving my legs on a schedule that depends on the weather. For example, if it’s cold and rainy, I won’t shave. If it’s sunny, I won’t shave. So basically, I don’t shave. If I do, it’s because I woke up super motivated to be an adult for the day and after shaving will proceed to clean my room and do laundry. So, like, once a month.
A couple weeks ago, my man friend and I were making out on his bed and when we realized where it was headed, we both stopped to quickly assess if we had accomplished enough personal hygiene for the day to be seen naked. A quick sniff and a fond memory of my last shower, I decided I was good to go. “So, shower after?” he asked. I nodded and we resumed where we left off. I pulled off my jeans and he grabbed my legs and suddenly paused. “Actually, let’s shower now.” “What? Why?” “It’s just… it’s a little… prickly right now.” I felt my face get hot, and then, oh the horror!, I started leaking embarrassing tears probably because I’m horribly insecure and his dislike of my physical appearance confirmed my worst nightmares. But that’s just a guess. Before he knew what was happening my furry legs and I ran into the bathroom and started shave-sobbing.
The more I shave-sobbed, the more my anger built, and with each stroke of the Razor of Justice, I spewed a rant through the bathroom door that included some, if not all, of the following statements: Who the hell do you think you are? Don’t you know what feminism is?! I don’t get turned off by your body hair! You’ve been tricked by the social beauty construct! Society! Big Brother! What about the hippies?! How do female Yetis get laid?! It was then that the angry/conflicted texting to my sister began. ME: So Man Friend basically told me he’d rather I shave my legs before sex and I can’t decide if I’m really really pissed at him or if that’s a valid opinion. SISTER: Well, it’s a socialized opinion. I mean, we shave our armpits and legs and pubic hair because we’re taught that women are only sexy when they’re hairless. ME: I FUCKING know that. (I’m a douchebag-know-it-all when I’m mad). SISTER: I know. So it’s hard to fight against socialized preferences. You can for sure but it’s uphill.
We exchanged some “Ugh, society” texts for a while and after we were done I started to feel better. And I realized something. Society aside, I want to make my partner happy. I definitely make him do certain things for me because I like it (for example, I love when he doesn’t cut his hair too short and whispers sports facts to me), so if he wants me to shave my legs, then by golly I’ll shave my legs. As long as he doesn’t say anything about the bushiness of my eyebrows, because I am NOT enduring the public humiliation and pain of getting my eyebrows plucked in the middle of busy mall again. No fucking way.