(I don’t actually know if people are triggered by the above-mentioned things; maybe “made uncomfortable” would be a better expression. If that’s you, feel free to discontinue with this post. No hard feelings, I promise.)
Last night as we were snuggling each other in the orange sing (previous post: The Thing That Holds Me), my daughter looked up and said, “mommy, lift your arm. I want to feel the hair.”
She gets a kick out of my pits. Thinks they’re hilarious. Pubes, too – if she catches a flash of me dashing from the bathroom to the bedroom, she and her brother fall into hysterics over my “penis” (yes, they know all the proper terminology – my daughter started saying “vulva” around a year and a half; regardless, everything down below is still a “penis,” I have no idea why).
I haven’t shaved since last fall: I am The Hairy One.
Now, I don’t personally mind. I absolutely loathe shaving, so to me, being hairy is a natural consequence arising out of that hatred. And I’m cool with that. My husband also doesn’t mind. That’s helpful.
Back when I had money to burn and lived in a city where I could walk three blocks to the nearest waxing salon, I threw hundreds of dollars at the friendly estheticians who could rip all the hair out of my body within the span of a half hour. I wouldn’t call it painless, but in hindsight it wasn’t like childbirth or anything – and you could drink afterwards, so whatevs.
That is no longer my reality (the money nor the walk).
And so, I start to get a little self-conscious, this time of year. It’s finally warming up. It’s going to be a high of 75 on Wednesday. It’s time.
It’s time to shed the comfortable layers of winter, those lovely layers that hide all the “unpleasantness” (the mommy tummy, the chunky thighs . . . the hairy pits). It’s time for t-shirts and shorts: soon, it will be sundresses and swimsuits. Eek!
By this time of year, the hair is reaching epic lengths. Let’s just say I may need to borrow my husband’s clippers before I can get a razor anywhere near this mess.
But razor it I will: it may be fine for me to tramp around like an untamed wildebeast on my own property, unobserved by the (non-familial) human eye, but out there in the civilized world, women must be “silky-smooth” and “hair-free.” Prepubescent.
Let me just pause for a moment to comment: this is complete and utter bullshit.
I am acutely aware of the fact that my husband does not for one moment pause to consider whether his legs are too hairy to wear shorts. Or whether a bit of armpit hair might be peeking out of his t-shirt sleeve. Because he’s a man.
He also has a full beard, and hair in all the other normal, full-grown human, places. And nobody bats an eye. Why should they? “Silky-smooth” is not an expectation for men. (Well, maybe in some social circles, but not in the “the highlight of my week is shopping at Costco on Saturday in my camo” circles that we run in.)
I am a feminist, and I feel like the whole hairlessness thing is one of the final frontiers: well, once we address the wage gap, lack of maternity leave, male politicians trying to control our bodies, and a few other pesky details. But once we’ve got those ironed out, you better believe I’ll be leading the charge to recycle our razors. Oh, and burning the bras, again, because that one didn’t seem to stick.