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Author Topic: What is it with me and hair?
ollie123
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Another body hair issue.

So hereís the thing Ė Iím sick to death of shaving because about 50% of my legs are now covered in ingrown hairs and bumps and itís a complete nuisance. Iíve tried loofahs and exfoliating and things, but nothing works, (maybe is has something to do with sensitive skin and thick hair? I don't know.) so Iíve decided that Iím just going to save myself the irritation and money and not shave.

I guess what Iím wondering is how do you deal with that? I know people will look at me and think that Iím dirty or crazy and Iíd like to say that wouldnít bother me, but It does. I know I wear pants most of the time anyway, so itís not like everyone will know, but still. I bathe everyday and take care of myself and it hurts when people make assumptions that because Iím a little different, Iím notÖ clean.

Anyone else out there whoís given up with shaving? How do you deal with it, or is it more of a non-issue? Is it a challenge to not start again due to peer pressure? Are you happier not shaving than you were with shaving?

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Lythani
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I rarely shave my legs becouse 95% of the time I am wearing long pants and I don't see the point. This fact bugs the crap out of my Mom becouse a proper women will shave to be attractive to guys. I don't understand the issue. I am happier not shaving becouse I am avoiding cuts irrieating shaving cream.

Still why would not shaving your legs make you not clean? You shower and I presume you do not have a strong body oder. Why would having shaved or unshaved legs matter? After all, if your not right next to a person who is looking who is going to notice?

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Once upon a time....

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Lilerse
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Yeah I absolutely hate this whole "hair = gross" idea (hair on women, that is. Hair on guys is apparently clean as a whistle. Psh). I haven't shaved my legs in almost a year. Almost no one notices or cares (though I'm sure part of that has to do with the fact that I'm usually at my hippie college or in my hippie hometown where I'm not the only girl with unshaved legs), though a middle-aged guy in Philadelphia randomly confronted me when I was there a few weeks ago and asked why I didn't. He said he noticed a lot of girls in college were starting to do this and asked me if I was making a "statement." Um, how about I'm just too lazy? Or don't see the point in shaving? It was a little creepy. But other than that I've never gotten any comments (except for my best friend teasing me..but we have very different views on hair; she shaves EVERYTHING whereas I really like hair). I do wear pants a lot though, so maybe I'd get more stares if I exposed my hairy legs more often. I'm also not super hairy so I think a lot of people just don't notice.

And it doesn't seem to turn off any of the guys I take an interest in. If it did, I don't think I'd want to date them anyway. I feel like girls tend to care more anyway (in my experience), and sometimes I do feel embarrassed, but I feel self-conscious and judged by other girls for a lot of things and try not to let it get me. They may tease you or talk behind your back just to have something to talk about, but they don't ACTUALLY care. Most of them are probably just jealous we have the confidence to go unshaved anyway.

But yeah. I get how you feel. I wish I never felt embarrassed or unsexy. Nothin wrong with hairy legs. But it is hard to ignore the societal pressure and the (occasional) stares & comments.

Hairy women unite! [Smile]

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Carpe Diem
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I abondonded shaving my legs ages ago.

It's just way too much work in the shower, and trying to posistion yourself so that you can shave them without falling over or hurting your back is a real feat, espically on the slippery shower floor!

I agree with Lilerse that if someone was bothered by my legs than I probably wouldn't want them in my life, who needs people around them who are so shallow spreading negative energy around?

My ex-partner actually really liked me unshaven, he called them my "cave-girl legs" with a lot of love and found them really endearing.

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"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain."
-Joseph Campbell

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Heather
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Save for certain occasions, I never really shaved my armpits, and still don't, 30 years after the appearance of those tufts. When I used to do some art modeling, I waxed them, but even then, I often went without.

I don't genitally shave, but now and then I'll wax my inner thighs. I shave my legs only when I feel like it, and in winter, usually don't mess with them at all.

I don't think most people in my life have looked at me and thought I was "dirty and crazy." Anyone who thought that probably thought that for reasons that have nothing to do with my body hair. [Smile]

In high school and college, no one really ever gave me any kind of crap about it that I can recall.

I mean, not people who weren't going to give me crap about something to do with me, regardless.

(Now that I think about it, I just remembered that a few of my friends who had shaved stopped because they felt emboldened by my not doing so. I'm remembering a couple comical episodes with a bunch of us raising our pits in a line and being quite proud about it.)

In my adult life, I've had a couple work situations where it was an issue, but only at workplaces where there were already other issues. In my partnerships, where my partners have varied by gender, it's also rarely been an issue. If and when it is, I figure the other person probably just isn't as attracted to me as they thought, since my body hair is part of me. But for people I have been with who are strongly attracted to me, my body hair has usually been something they express feelings attracted to, not bothered by.

By the by, as XX people age, body hair tends to get thinner and more sparse (save in strange places where you never had any before), so I also tend to figure that if I'm going to be without it for long periods of time, that'll take care of itself in due course.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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ollie123
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I was talking to some co-workers about Gabourey Sidibe Ė the woman who played Precious. A lot of them seemed to think she was disgusting because she chooses not to shave either. That and some of the girls at school think itís nasty for a woman to not shave her pubic hair. (Me, I think itís silly to wander around looking like a prepubescent girl, but itís just a personal preference.)

Iím not sure why some people think that body hair is unclean, but apparently a lot of the people that Iím around do think that. Maybe theyíre just saying those things to keep up with the group. I donít know.

I guess Iím sort of worried since theyíve all had bad reactions to it, and since I have pale skin and thick black hair, it is very noticeable. (And Iíve got fuzzy toes, which I actually like, but other people will probably gawk at.) But then, Iím not going to strut around in short-shorts, so people wonít know unless I tell themÖ

I am glad to hear that it doesnít usually put men off. I donít want to be with someone who canít accept me and my fuzzy body.

So I think Iím going to keep my chin up, toss out the razors, and tell people to mind their own business if they do take issue with it. Thanks for the reassurance, everyone! Iím happy to know that Iím not the only one who thinks itís a bit of a silly practice.

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Heather
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Something else?

Ten bucks says your co-workers haven't spent much time outside North America, or even the states.

Because if they had, they'd know that shaving, by and large, is actually fairly cultural, especially removing body hair on the whole body. And ideally, smart people question strong cultural beauty standards they hold, rather than endlessly voicing bias or projection.

Sounds like your co-workers have more important discussions to have, and you've got more nuanced, aware people to talk with about this, eh? [Smile]

(Btw, I have fuzzy toes, too, which I've also always liked. I call them my troll-toes. [Smile] )

I do want to make clear that I don't think it's silly to remove hair OR silly not to. Like the way someone does the hair on their head (or doesn't), this stuff is supposed to be about personal preference and identity. But I certainly do think it is...well, if not silly, unfortunate, when it's NOT about personal preference but about elective conformity and trying to dictate other people's preferences based on one's own insecurities or the way any one person wants to look, for themselves.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me ē Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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ollie123
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:

(Btw, I have fuzzy toes, too, which I've also always liked. I call them my troll-toes. [Smile] )

I do want to make clear that I don't think it's silly to remove hair OR silly not to. Like the way someone does the hair on their head (or doesn't), this stuff is supposed to be about personal preference and identity. But I certainly do think it is...well, if not silly, unfortunate, when it's NOT about personal preference but about elective conformity and trying to dictate other people's preferences based on one's own insecurities or the way any one person wants to look, for themselves.

Ah, I guess what I meant was it's silly that it some people think it's a requirement. If they want to, that's fine, but I don't like that they project their habits to the whole of society.

(And I call mine hobbit feet. [Big Grin] )

[ 07-12-2010, 04:06 PM: Message edited by: ollie123 ]

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Heather
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quote:
I don't like that they project their habits to the whole of society.
And I'm right there with you. Can I presume it's then obvious the issue isn't anyone's body hair, whatever they do with it or don't, then, and instead, other people's fascist beauty standards?

And if so, can we also then presume that you know there's no pleasing folks like that unless you conform to every single arbitrary standard they have, standards which are often constantly in flux; and as the very smart individualist you are, you have better things to do with your time? [Big Grin]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me ē Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Mi
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I've recently stopped shaving my legs. I'm just lazy about it and feel like I could be doing some else more productive. haha I occasionally shave my armpits. My bf will say something about it every once and a while but it doesn't stop him from hugging and touching me.

I just don't care about the hair anymore. =)

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copper86
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I am in agreement with you all! I shave my legs, armpits, everything all the time; and it is actually a very taxing and stressful experience. I never used to shave everything; but when I thought that it would be something my partner would want (and I'd never tried it before at that point, so I was curious), I started to shave everywhere. And though I really like the "clean" feeling that I get with no hair, it will anger me that within two days, there's stubble and you certainly can't shave that too soon (I've tried, and have had very unfortunate results!).

Which brings me to the point that I often think people don't truly understand that shaving can actually be quite bothersome. The hair usually grows back quite fast (depending on how often you shave); and if you cut yourself - especially in sensitive areas - it HURTS, and it bleeds. Heather is right in saying that it's a cultural thing. In Europe, North American girls would be the ones gawked at because they were shaven! It'd be funny to see that!

So I guess I shave, not for my partner's preference alone but also for my own; but also because I often feel more hygienic when I'm shaven (which is only how I myself feel - I've had lots of hair before shaving and was still clean and odorless! [Smile] ).

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"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

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moonlight bouncing off water
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I don't shave anything, however I spent many years shaving my armpits and legs. There were a variety of reasons that I started shaving my legs including the societal pressure to do so and especially the fact that doing so seemed to mean that I was growing up. I remember seeing a woman who hadn't shaved her underarms at Wonderland (a water park) and thinking that it was disgusting, simply because I'd absorbed the message that it was normal to shave. I also remember when we had an exchange student staying at our house who was from Europe and who was so embarassed by her unshaven legs that she wore pants all summer and refused to shave since she didn't want to get made fun of when she returned home!

I recently stopped shaving (say a year ago or so) and at first it was uncomfortable because I wasn't used to it but now I can't imagine having any body hair shaved. When I was dating my ex he was very adament that he wanted me to shave my legs (I was still shaving my arm pits at this point). I didn't really want to but I wanted to make him happy so I made a deal with him that if he would brush his teeth in the morning that I would shave my legs. There was a lot of stuff wrong with that relationship and I really don't feel good about it when I look back on it, so I also associate shaving with that relationship. But this isn't whay I don't shave, just perhaps something that might influence my descisionshould I wish to start again.

I think that should someone wish to shave its totally cools, its zir body! I just feel like people shouldn't feel pressured to do it if they have no reason beyond societal cnvention to do it.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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selina
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i have a waxing routine for my legs and shave under my arms every week but if i don't shave for a few days, the underarm kittens don't attract too much attnetion. i get a lot of people asking me why i don't do my upper lip or arms but it doesn't bother me so when i tell them, they think i'm crazy but ignore them. body hair is kind of fascinating. i would never take off all of my pubic hair, it doesn't seem natural to me
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