Feminism | Posted by Zad B on 10/30/2009

The Hairy Legs Dilemma

the joy of shaving

the joy of shaving

I am a very hairy person.

I’m okay with that, for the most part, but it seems the rest of the world isn’t.

I turn on tv (or the computer, or a magazine) and am immediately faced with an ad for an (incredibly painful) device that promises to give you sensual smooth skin, that will last for a whole five days!

The thought of shaving every five fucking days gives me shivers. My skin happens to be very sensitive. It does not enjoy being pulled from every pore. In fact, every time I shave I am bought to near tears by the piercing pain I feel. Nonetheless I do it. I purposefully hurt myself to change my natural body and fit the stereotype of what a girl is that society imposes on me. Why?

Patriarchy. Because of that fucking patriarchy.

If I tell people that though, they’ll just shrug and say, yeah, just don’t shave then.

Easy to say.

My hair is dark. It is black and very visible. If I go to the beach with my natural legs, I shall attract many weird disgusted looks and disturbing cat-calls. My friends and family will try in every way to convince me to shave that fucking hair, to avoid them the embrassement of being seen in company of such a freak. Some of my friends will, in fact, stop hanging out with me at the beach. They will not want to be put in the same category as me!

As to my love life, it would be even more null than it already is.

Those are the conseqences of a non-shaving demanour. And the truth is, I can’t. I can’t just sacrifice whatever is left of my social life (being a foreigner, a feminist, and mostly a non conformist, I am not at the highest place popularity-wise).

I’m not strong enough.

Since I joined the feminist movement, I shave less often, but I still shave. My legs are within acceptable limits of hairiness. The rest of my body I keep hairy, since it’s not too bad, even though occasionally I get causal male oglers comment on my growing moustache (if they think I am going to hurt even my face-something that I’ve tried and has resulted in lots of little red baubles all around my mouth- for their pleasure, I can only tell them to please get lost.) Everyone is happy. Except me.

It’s just so unfair that guys can grow a beard, or hair on their legs, and I, because I am a girl, have to be hairless. Whoever decided that hairiness was a boy thing anyway?

I am trying to gradually decrease my shaving until I am strong enough to face the social pressures hairy legs bring with them.

Until then, I shall continue spending an hour or so torturing myself every month. Or maybe I should just dedicate myself to masochism for the sake of it. At least that is supposed to bring on some enjoyement. Also, I would know that I would be doing it for myself, and not for others. I would not feel as weak and guilty and so fucking angry as I feel now.

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  • Harriet Jacobs @ at 12:27 pm, October 30th, 2009

    I remember when it occurred to me out of the blue in high school, “What if I didn’t shave?” I was honestly perplexed why I’d never thought of that as a solution to the nicks and cuts and red bumps — so obvious, duh!

    After *two days* of not shaving, I raised my hand in class and the boy next to me had a freakin’ spasm. “OH MY GOD GROSS!!!!!” he shouted. When I turned to stare at him, he seemed as surprised and embarrassed as I was by his outburst. I think the idea of a woman *not shaving* had come upon him as suddenly and provocatively as it had me, and he seemed really shocked by his own virulence.

    I remember thinking, my god, man, we’re sixteen years old, we’re educated, we’re intelligent beings, and it took us *this long* to realize that ladies got hairy bits. There’s something crazy wrong here, and it’s screwing you up as bad as it’s screwing up me.

    I wish I had some advice to give you. I go hairy 24/7 now, and it’s plenty dark and plenty thick. I don’t get catcalled, but I get plenty of nasty or horrified stares. I like to think most of those stares are like that boy in high school — I like to think I’m shocking people with the intensity of their own reactions to *hair*. That’s probably very optimistic.

    Not shaving has brought me to some interesting places, and I’ve met some interesting people. My bf has admitted that my hairiness was part of what attracted him to me. He finds nothing sexier than a woman all dressed up to the nines with hairy armpits, because that is obviously a woman who is sexy and gutsy and unashamed, and the overwhelming and unapologetic display of what is supposed to be a secret and hidden part of women just drives him wild.

    I also recently participated in a nude photo shoot for a friend putting together an art book. His vision had been to take nude photos of normal looking people, with wrinkles and cellulite and flab and scars. But woman after woman came in completely hairless, which he felt was needlessly pornographic and despairing to see in a book about looking *normal*. He had to specifically put out a call to hairy women, and I was the only one he found. Before he’d had that experience, I don’t think he’d connected shaving with oversexualization and sexual availability (I hadn’t thought it through quite that way either), and once he had, the craziness of that astounded him — that a female in her natural state was the opposite of what was supposed to be a “woman.”

    I also recently spent a day hanging out with a little boy at a big family picnic. After playing water balloons, he got shy and obviously was working up the guts to ask me something. Finally, he sputtered out, “I thought only boys had hair under their arms!” And I explained that girls did, too, but most of them shaved it off. He asked why, and I had to think how to explain this to a young child without words like “patriarchy.” Finally I said, “Some people don’t like that women grow hair on their bodies. Some people don’t even know women grow hair on their bodies, so they think it looks weird. But it’s a normal way to look, and there are other countries where women look this way all the time and nobody even notices. Our country isn’t that way, which I don’t like, because it means kids like you may grow up not knowing that women have hair.” “Will your hair grow FOREVER?” he asked, terrified. “Does yours?” “No…” “Mine won’t either.” “OKAY!” And then it was more water balloons.

    I like to think I helped save that boy from an embarrassing adolescent fumble in his future.

  • Clio @ at 12:30 pm, October 30th, 2009

    I use an epilator about once a week. Or every two weeks. Whenever I get around to it. I frequently go out in shorts with scruffy legs, but I am also blond so I sympathize with the dark haired people. I knew a girl in college so was so stressed by her body hair that she waxed her legs AND arms once a week. Ugh!

    There are products out there that will bleach your body hair. Maybe that would be more at your comfort level?

  • Myytinmurtaja @ at 12:46 pm, October 30th, 2009

    Easy solution for het women: If you shave your legs, it’s OK, provided that your man also has to do something extra for his appearance.

    For example:

    “I shave my legs, so you have to hit the gym and get yourself a handsome six-pack.”

  • Helen H. @ at 1:19 pm, October 30th, 2009

    Hair has been bothering me for a while.

    I blame the girls, though,
    A lot of Arab girls are actually quite hairy, but pretend they aren’t. I had an argument with a girl the other day about this.

    It’s disgusting, she said, not shaving your legs. It’s not natural.

    NOT NATURAL? What the hell?

    And I get that same dilemma, how everyone rolls their eyes and says, well, don’t shave, then, and spare us a headache. They don’t understand that it’s not that easy.

  • sunshinekate @ at 2:05 pm, October 30th, 2009

    Hey Rosa!

    I too, am a hairy person. I started shaving my legs in the third grade after a friend commented on how long my leg hair was. THE THIRD GRADE!!! I hated doing it all through middle and high school, (because it takes soooo long.) (and the boys didn’t have to)

    Then, I got to go to college. My school is pretty liberal, so the societal pressure to look a certain way is considerably low. Now, I see hair everywhere, and it is glorious! You can shave your legs if you want, you don’t have to if you don’t want. Most of the time, I choose to let my leg hair grow out, (it tickles when the wind blows by) and here at school, that’s not an issue. My friends and I go to the beach all the time, and I just kind of forget to think about hair.

    The problem is when I go home. My first reaction to friends’ and family’s comments was to be ashamed, but now I know I don’t have to feel that way, and I know why I feel that way: the Patriarchy (that wants women to be hairless and smooth as a pre-pubescent girl)(sooo creepy). Since I have this foundation, the same one you have, I have somewhere to stand.

    When my dad asked why I hadn’t shaved, I asked him the same question. He sputtered, since he could see my point about the unevenness of societal shaving requirements, but most people will say something about how men don’t have to shave their legs. Well, neither do we.

    Are strangers looking closely at your legs? This is definitely possible (women are objects, we’re here to be looked at), but if they are scrutinizing your legs, wouldn’t it be better/funnier to freak them out with hair than have them approve of non-hair?

    I guess the reason I wanted to write to you was just to say hold strong. I was there once, I hated shaving, and I hated that I felt like I would be shunned if I didn’t. But because I had the privilege of attending this great school where my societal worth is not based on my appearance, but on my actions, I no longer worry about it.

    I know from reading your blog entry that one day you will meet and become friends with beautiful people who won’t give a crap about the furriness of your body, they will love you for you. I’m excited for you!

    So much of my positive experience is based on where I go to school, but college isn’t a requirement for getting the patriarchy off your back. As long as you do what you love, you’ll meet other people with the same interests.

    But if you are thinking of attending college, I recommend checking out New College of Florida! Leg hair is rampant.

  • O'Phylia @ at 2:21 pm, October 30th, 2009

    When I was younger, I wasn’t allowed to shave my legs. I BEGGED my mother because everyone made fun of me.
    I use Veet now, and it keeps my legs pretty smooth. So you could use that if it really bothered you.

    I’m extremely hairy too, but I’m African-American so it doesn’t show up as badly on my legs. I don’t shave to attract men though. Really. I Veet because it feels good to me ^_^ I know it’s strange, but I love the feel of smooth legs.
    At the moment, I am trying to get my guy friends to shave their legs. No lie. They keep yelling at me about it but I won’t stop till they do it. Because frankly, their legs are just gross. I can’t stand it. I don’t care if a girl’s legs are hairy though. So I guess that’s my double standard.
    Sorry if that’s hard to follow~

  • poppystock @ at 2:46 pm, October 30th, 2009

    Being pale with dark hair is tough, and people are surprisingly unaccepting of it. I used to have horrifically low self-esteem due to this, even shaving my arms because I was ashamed of the way they looked. This is something a lot of women can definitely relate to.

    Interestingly, while discussing hair removal with a group of friends recently, I discovered that several of them believed that people who don’t enjoy shaving pretty much don’t exist. Eeeevery one loves to shave, apparently. >:P

  • sammy @ at 3:50 pm, October 30th, 2009

    I stopped shaving my junior year of high school, kind of on a whim, and it was really hard, for years. I was embarrassed (and I have somewhat light hair) and would sit in certain ways to avoid garnering attention. I still find myself doing this, but now, I’m a lot more comfortable. I want people to stare, I dare people to say something to me. There’s nothing WRONG with my hairy legs – people seem to forget that if they didn’t shave, they’d have hairy legs too! And if we grew up in a society where shaving wasn’t encouraged or expected for girls, I don’t think many girls would put themselves through this ritual.

  • seabiscuit @ at 4:44 pm, October 30th, 2009

    I hate shaving with a passion. I’m just lazy though, and have really long, tall legs that take forever to shave, and are awkward to shave in tiny college shower cubicles. Honestly…it’s not like it’s affecting my love life, since it’s non-existent. Nobody really sees my legs since they’re always in jeans, unless they’re somehow managing to stare at them as I run past during cross country practice. And it’s not like I don’t like the feeling of smooth legs, because I do; I just am too lazy to do it often!

    Apparently I get to shave tonight though, since I’m going as a flapper for Halloween, and my friends have informed me that I’m not allowed out of the room unless I’ve shaved…I don’t think I’ve shaved since the beginning of September, which coincidentally was the last time I had a boyfriend. I think I see a connection here…

  • ellecarter @ at 4:50 pm, October 30th, 2009

    I love shaving my legs!! I like the feeling of soft smooth skin. Even in the winter when no one sees my legs I shave, I do it for ME not guys or my friends. Woman and girls should do what they are comfortable with and what makes them happy. Not all girls shave or alter their appearance for guys!

    p.s. if you exfoliate first(st.ives apricot scrub works), use shaving cream/gel made for sensitive skin, and fresh quality razor, then moisturize when your done it shouldn’t be that awfully painful. but like i said only shave if YOU want to.

  • Chelsea! @ at 5:57 pm, October 30th, 2009

    My sister went through a phase very similar…she didn’t shave at all for a veerrryy long time. And she was ok with it. You should just do what makes you happy. But it looks like you are so high fives!
    Haha.

    And about the mustache thing, this painter, Frida Kahlo, also had one, and she was totally ok with it, and in fact put it in most of her self portraits. We had to talk about her in photo. A little fun fact you may like to know haha

  • Lolli @ at 7:13 pm, October 30th, 2009

    I shave my legs sometimes. Then my body hair is really light and you can’t see it anywhere, so it doesn’t matter. I like smooth skin, I like it so much I once shaved my head. I figure shaving your head annulls about five years of shaving your legs ;)
    I’ve never done anything for the guys… I’m gay and don’t fight for their attention.

    But I must say I find shaving in winter absurd, especially if waxing or using another masochist method (I shave with a razor… 5 secs, no pain, done). Here the winters are very cold, ignoring the fact that no one will see your legs, the skin on them will probably be in a bad state during the whole winter due to being covered up all the time and changes in temperature. Why peel off more skin?

  • Sue @ at 7:20 pm, October 30th, 2009

    If you don’t want to shave and the only reason you are doing it is because of patriarchy, stop.

    Your love life will not become nonexistent. My best friend stopped shaving her legs while in a relationship and it did not end. Her boyfriend accepted and respected her choice, and any man worth dating would love you for YOUR choices and your strength to go against society. And trust me, those types of people are out there.

    But don’t let the foolish and ignorant actions of others influence your choices. This is YOUR life, and you are the only one who has to live it. So spend your time the way YOU decide. Best of luck.

  • Alex Catgirl @ at 7:45 pm, October 30th, 2009

    I’m in the “Hair is for bears” camp, the only place I have hair is on my head, and eyebrows…people look really weird without eyebrows. It is kinda painful but I don’t think I could stay smooth for 5 day, 3 tops, then I need touch-ups.

    Like O’Phylia, My friends and I are of the opinion boys should be smooth as a baby’s bottom as well.

  • Cait @ at 7:56 pm, October 30th, 2009

    I wax, but only in summer because a) I get really tanned, really fast & I don’t like the look of the hair & b) the feeling of really long hair on my legs kind of freaks me out.

    As with most image related things, I accept that they are perpetuated by the patriarchy, but I just deal & move on. I save my feminist energy for things that actually effect me.

  • selects @ at 8:32 pm, October 30th, 2009

    i refuse to shave, as i feel as it’s a ridiculous patriarchal double standard. sometimes i feel slightly self conscious wearing shorts, etc, but realistically i know i have nothing to be ashamed of. femininity is not equatable with hairlessness, imo. i also boycott veet products because they seem to have a penchant for broadcasting A NEW MORE FEMININE YOU in every. single. one. of their advertisements, and as aforementioned, i find that assertion offensive

  • SarahC @ at 8:54 pm, October 30th, 2009

    I hate shaving. I had a horrible experience where I shaved off not only the hair on my legs, but some of the skin, too. It was really painful, and I didn’t shave for two years after that. Now, I only shave in the summer, and only when I’m wearing shorts. I refuse to shave in the winter.

  • KC @ at 9:38 pm, October 30th, 2009

    I don’t shave except on special occasions where I have to get really dressed up and wear a nice dress or something. My husband couldn’t care less. My friends, on the other hand, could. I’m a college junior and my friend is as well and she can’t stand the fact that I don’t shave my legs. She says it’s disgusting. I find it funny that girls can criticize each other like they do. What ever happened to all that sisterhood back when the women’s movement was starting? I totally get it not being easy to just “not shave” because if I were entirely not affected by pressure I wouldn’t even shave for special events…It’s so stupid that we are expected to do all this shit. And it’s even worse when we’re young and in school like I am and most of you are…I think…we’re expected to really put an effort into being “hip”. Wtf?

  • Brooke @ at 10:49 pm, October 30th, 2009

    The funny thing is that guys are not exactly turned off by hair. I was just watching Bored to Death on HBO and there was a segment where one of the characters talked about his attraction to a woman because of, not in spite of, seeing a glimpse of her hairy armpits. A few weeks ago I expressed my jealously in guys being able to grow a beard and one of my male co-workers told me I would look good with one. I think some of the so-called patriarchy has more basis in what we perceive thanks to the media then what actually exists in the minds of men and people in general.

    Anyways I still shave sometimes. I always shave my armpits because otherwise I sweat more. But I don’t think I would need to just because I was in a relationship or to attract men.

  • Cookie @ at 1:45 am, October 31st, 2009

    I’m with Brooke! While I sympathise with your dilemma, don’t think that a love life is conditional on painfully maintaining silky smooth legs. My boyfriend doesn’t want to cuddle up to sandpaper skin and is completely content to see women’s legs in their natural state. And any boy worth your time is going to be attracted to your sharp mind and sense of humour, not your legs!

    Do whatever makes you feel most comfortable, and don’t let it have you feeling any less attractive!

  • Ruthie G @ at 11:57 am, October 31st, 2009

    One reason to love winter: I don’t have to shave my legs! I don’t go swimming because I hate shaving. I do get the whole smooth skin thing, but not that much. Hairy armpits do look weird to me though.

    Moustaches…I started bleaching mine when I was seven it’s so obvious. That and the taunts(I hold that little kids can be quite evil). I pluck it now (it doesn’t hurt anymore-I think I’ve been de-sensitized), and I would like to give it up. But I’m so used to it that I do it anyways.

    I think this is probably a personal thing as to what individuals prefer that has been dragged out as a what-you-must-like-on-pain-of-death thing that the media seems so keen to promote.

  • Rachel @ at 1:17 pm, October 31st, 2009

    I do not remove body hair, but I’m adamant that these things are a choice. My issue is not with women shaving their legs – my issue is with careless people saying “You should really shave those legs. (/cut your hair/wear these shoes/makeup/etc.)” It’s often followed by a “You would look so cute/pretty/not ugly.” And I just can’t stand that. I will do what I want to do, don’t tell me what I SHOULD do. I SHOULD do whatever the hell I want to as long as its within my rights and not infringing upon yours.

    A lot of people aren’t like this. But it’s the casual statements that slip out when you’re talking to someone, the disgusted looks when they find out you’re not perfectly normal, those come from people who don’t understand. From people I don’t really want to be around, who have a mindset that I wish didn’t exist.

    Which is a big part of the reason why I’m a feminist.

  • Liz @ at 1:28 pm, October 31st, 2009

    Funny — I grew up with a mom who never shaved anything — and she had Looooonnnnggg armpit hair. I didn’t care for years about any of that stuff. Since I’ve gotten older I just get rid of hair when I have to show off legs/armpits (armpit hair removal is for weddings/beach only). I wax my legs in summer and use nair or some such on the pits. As an aside, I think hair on guys is gross. My husband is mostly hair free. I guess it’s just a societal thing — Plenty of guys get their backs waxed too…

  • Steph @ at 2:07 pm, October 31st, 2009

    Being trans, I naturally have a slightly different attitude towards body hair, but yeah, I prefer to be smooth everywhere below my eyebrows.
    Then again, I also prefer BOYS to be smooth, too. I’ll third(fourth?) the shaved legs on boys = SEXY thing.

  • Jenna @ at 8:27 pm, October 31st, 2009

    Wtf kind of shaving cream/razors are you using? You’re pulling hair from the surface, not the pore when you shave, I fail to see how that could possibly hurt unless you nick yourself…

  • Nic @ at 9:05 pm, October 31st, 2009

    It took me a long time to finally stop shaving my legs and armpits. Especially the armpits -the looks I get on the bus when I wear tank tops are just ridiculous. However, I have since come to love my hairy legs and armpits. It’s soft and looks natural.

    Oddly enough, the most flax I got was from my feminist friends who would laugh at me for shaving.

    Stay strong and take your time. You will be ready in your own time.

  • Maria D @ at 12:08 pm, November 1st, 2009

    This really is a personal choice and unfortunately, most people fob off their personal experiences on others. I know I look a little askance at people who don’t shave their armpits. But that’s because, personally, I sweat a lot more and smell a LOT worse if I don’t shave my underarms.

    As for my legs, it would be HELLA lot easier to just keep them hairy and sometimes I do (I’m another very hairy lady with very dark, noticeable hair) but when I don’t shave, I start getting ingrown hairs. So for me, that is a much bigger ouch.

  • David @ at 2:50 pm, November 1st, 2009

    I just want to inform you ladies that there are allot of guys out there albeit in the closet that love unshaven hairy women and i don’t just mean hippies (not that i have anything against hippies either), Lots of normal everyday guys that you see everywhere are turned on by hairy natural women but like me, are afraid to tell their friends about it for fear of being ridiculed, little children are hairless, and i have no need for my mature woman to be hairless like and infant, but i would certainly be made fun of for not appreciating a girl who is shaved downstairs and everywhere for that matter.

  • Brenna @ at 3:08 pm, November 1st, 2009

    I haven’t shaved my legs in a month and a half and I think they still look beautiful. My boyfriend jokes that they’re gross, but I don’t think he actually minds too much.

    Even though I think they look fine, I’ll probably never have the courage to expose my hairy legs in public, because I’m afraid of the looks, comments, and what people might think. I wish it was acceptable for EVERYONE to do whatever they wanted with their body.

  • Maggie Jo @ at 7:51 pm, November 1st, 2009

    So wait… do you want the kind of guy who is attracted to women that conform to patriarchal standards?

    I for one prefer women with hairy legs, its creepy and very pedophilic to be attracted to bald bodies… thats just not what adults look like.

  • Mara @ at 9:35 pm, November 1st, 2009

    Do whatever feels right for you… and it sounds like not shaving is right for you! I personally choose to shave my legs… the key word there is CHOOSE! I didn’t shave my legs at one point, and while it was nice to save the time, I personally didn’t like how they looked and felt. Incidentally, my boyfriend was totally fine with my hairy legs, which helped. But I prefer my legs hairless, and that’s my choice. Whatever you decide should be your choice, too. Don’t let your friends bully you into making a decision about YOUR body… that’s not their business, and if they do that, they’re not being the best of friends.

  • k @ at 2:25 am, November 2nd, 2009

    I’m sorry about your dilemma, I totally understand the whole wanting-to-be-feminist but not being strong enough to face the societal pressures. ): It happens to me all the time. Anyway, I hope one day you are able to make a choice that won’t hurt you.

    I personally like to shave because I like smooth legs. I wouldn’t mind totally hairy legs that much, I guess, but I hate the stubbly-growing-back in period. :’)

  • Toongrrl @ at 5:32 pm, November 2nd, 2009

    As a shaver, I see why you don’t shave Rosa and I really don’t find it an issue. It’s your own legs and your own business! Why should people care? Do your au naturel thang, sister.

  • K8AH @ at 10:47 pm, November 2nd, 2009

    I was a pro water skier at a family theme park that I will refrain from naming. It was pretty much in my job description to be virtually hairless. My job was in a bathing suit! Men were to be “clean shaven” in the face and have a clean haircut… I have girlfriend from work who had very dark coarse hair too. It was horrible, no matter what fancy expensive razor and cream she would use, her pores would bleed when she shaved. I remember at one point at work about 4 of us girls were helping her extract the hair from the backs of her thighs with tweezers. It was always an ordeal… Guys don’t have to worry about this shit. Guys don’t have to put makeup on their faces to be socially acceptable… I really do resent these double standards in a major way! My mom sometimes will even hand me a tube of lipstick and be all like “don’t you want to put some make up on?” If I were her son rather than daughter would she make this request???

  • kenzi @ at 8:40 am, November 6th, 2009

    i don’t shave. period. legs, armpits…nada. i stopped when i was 16 and havent turned back. i sometimes get stares but never any comments. and my boyfriend really likes it. just try it for the winter and you will grow to really like it! i tried shaving my legs and armpits since then and i feel like an over-developed 10 year old alien. maybe by summer you will love it too much to care! good luck.

  • PatriarchySlayer @ at 11:43 pm, November 8th, 2009

    I’m like a lot of people I know who believe that the hair issue is totally a choice. I recognize the pressure though on us ladies to keep up the smooth appearances. As one commenter mentioned, I like the feeling of being smooth-shaven.

    It’s not really about looks, it’s more about how I feel. And since I don’t have a boyfriend, it’s not like anyone sees it anyway.

  • Golda @ at 7:13 pm, November 18th, 2009

    I have had men actually kiss my armpit and leg hair. My favorite was my first one-night stand. He took off my shirt and I said kinda quietly, “um, I don’t shave my armpits… just so you know.” And this guy whose name I can’t even remember KISSED my armpit hair.

    Don’t shave ever again because you think it’ll affect your love life. Men who are attracted to women don’t care. And lesbians are used to it.

    And for all you women out there going “oh, I’m so afraid of looks or comments” you think Rosa Parks wasn’t afraid of rude comments? Be the change you wish to see in the world, for crying out loud! Big fucking deal some asshole with a striped shirt and gelled hair thinks you’re gross. Those people can suck my clit.

  • Golda @ at 7:22 pm, November 18th, 2009

    Oh, okay and one more comment: David- If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Tell your friends that adult women have body hair and that you like adult women.

  • Alex MacDonald @ at 3:11 pm, November 26th, 2009

    Discerning guys actually like to see girls who are hairier than average — heavy moustache growth is usually an indication of a girl who’s likely to be very keen on the physical side of a relationship.

  • Steph @ at 3:06 pm, November 28th, 2009

    I go to a liberal women’s college.

    I shaved sporadically in high school, to make people happy, and because I wanted to fit in.

    I stopped shaving over the summer to be radical. My mom and sisters eventually intervened.

    Once I got to school, I think I shaved my legs about once, and then I just kind of forgot.

    I still shave my underarms/face (I would rather shave than use dangerous chemicals to remove facial hair) on occasion, because I’m not quite bold enough to completely stop altogether.

    But, in a setting where I’m not so constantly subjected to the male gaze, it’s a hell of a lot easier to be myself.

    Kudos to you for starting to fight the system. And, for the record, anyone who rejects you for your hair isn’t worth hanging out with anyways.

  • Bree @ at 8:14 pm, November 30th, 2009

    I go to church with hairy legs and a skirt, and all the guys stare at my legs now. It’s quite amusing.

    My philosophy: if they can’t deal with hair, there’s no reason I should deal with them.

  • ImDownWithThat @ at 5:56 am, December 8th, 2009

    As a guy allow me to comment here if that’s ok? This is a subject that continually pisses me off. Sure I personally like natural women, in fact I think it’s rather beautiful, but regardless of my personal preferences (*blush*), the societal expectation that women should be bald from the neck down is utterly unfair, profoundly unreasonable and morally wrong. We should all be free to choose how to be without fear of some narrow minded fwit imparting a disparaging comment or being brow-beaten into conformity. There are far, far more important issues in this world of ours and it’s frankly ridiculous that so much angst and weight is placed on what is really a perfectly natural and, in the grand scheme of things, a perfectly normal state of affairs, it’s the judgmental shaving Nazis that are abnormal. It’s not just a patriarchal issue either, as far as I can see women, brainwashed by advertising, are equally guilty of trying to impose their will on their more natural sisters. To all those naysayers of either gender…grow the fuck up!

    Um. excuse my language :-)

  • Julio @ at 6:47 pm, January 17th, 2010

    Hi, to all you girls who said you do get hairy, I am surprised. I’ve been wanting to mee a girl who gets hairy because I find hairy legs on girls attractive. Is there any way of meeting a girl who doesn’t shave much? To ask out of the blue obviously would come off weird. Or maybe could I talk to any of you girls here who have posted and the original topic creator? Please let me know. Thanks.

  • ChicagoDude @ at 5:16 pm, February 3rd, 2010

    I met my future wife when I was 12; she was 15, and at the time, she had more hair on her legs than I did. Actually, I prefered girls with hair on their legs, though not excessive, of course; and she prefered boys with long, slender, and yes, naturally smooth legs. Needless to say, she would’ve never wanted, nor expected, me to shave them, but she loved to see me in shorts. Of course, I had only very slight blonde hair on my legs at the time, but still, it felt kind of weird, since boys were supposed to be more hairy. Nevertheless, I was the “hairless” one, and we got along just fine. Do what works best for you, and don’t be ashamed of your natural state. It wasn’t until I was about 17 that I caught up with her, in hairyness anyway, but she just adored the young boy look I had until then. To each his own, I suppose. Besides, we never would’ve stayed together this long, had we each not accepted the other just the way nature made them. To those women who prefer to shave, great; to those who don’t, it’s fine by me.

  • Kid @ at 9:18 pm, March 17th, 2010

    I really dont know what to do. I’ve never shaved a day in my life and im only in middle school. ( I havnt had a boyfriend yet either which is really sad) I dont know if it would stay that was through high school too if i didnt shave because my legs are SUPER hairy. Everyone says its a bother to shave every few days and stuff plus WHAT IF I CUT MYSELF!

  • Justin @ at 2:55 pm, April 11th, 2010

    I don’t shave either, although it is for a slightly different reason. I am a girl and I want to be a boy. I used to shave until I was 16, and then I stopped. There was one time that I shaved my pits because I was fooling around with this guy(yes I still like men and he thought it was gross. I was ashamed of myself after for shaving just so that a boy would find me more attractive, and I have swore never to do it again. I have dark hair and I wear shorts in public and in school, but they are men’s shorts so they cover more. Still it is scary. My biggest worry is that no guy would ever find me attractive. Now that I think about it, I agree that it is so stupid and creepy that women are expected to be hairless. I think that women look better unshaved, except for maybe their armpits. However, if I liked girls and was dating a girl who didn’t want to shave her armpits I could certainly accept this! On the flip side, I think that some women shave because they like how it feel, not because they are conformists.

  • Deandra Schnake @ at 4:54 pm, April 29th, 2010

    Enjoy your post. Perhaps mens dress shoe source might guide someone out there.

  • jen @ at 3:05 am, May 22nd, 2010

    wow..im glad i’ve seen this page. wheeww.. i’ve been having same dilemma.i cant wear shorts and skirts bec im afraid of the stares, questions etc. i really want to be natural and dont want to conform with what society tells us about beauty! im fr se asia, and hairy legs are acceptable. my legs are nice though, its just hairy..people love my legs! but when i moved here in america, i cant wear shorts no more.. :( i’ll try to be courageous nxt month. this will be my first attempt to wear shorts and show my hairy legs! (wish me luck).
    thanks for listening to my ordeal :D

  • jen @ at 3:08 am, May 22nd, 2010

    @imdownwiththat, julio and everyone

    tnx for the post!that gives us hairy women a courage to go out there and show the people the true natural beauty.. :D

  • linda @ at 1:00 am, July 18th, 2010

    i’ve read a bunch of comments and i’m just really glad i’m not the only girl out there not shaving their legs. i mean seriously, when ever i go out i see these girls decked out in shorts and guess what? NO HAIR!i tried shaving once- terrible experience, i couldn’t really shave the back of my thighs so…yeah.^_^* where have you all been in my life, where middle school is full of these bald legs! *shiver* i just mean those people who shave just because they HAVE to “fit in with the popular crowd” or to be “cool”. i’m down with people who do it for the feel of smooth legs :D i just shave the armpits – they just feel uncomfortable with hair. =_= All-well most – of you gave me the courage to feel good and not to be embarrassed to wear shorts in public! thank you very much!
    (btw i’m asian with pale skin and dark leg hair :P )

  • HannahC @ at 3:20 pm, August 31st, 2010

    I stopped shaving my legs and under arms 3 weeks ago. I can easily say it is the single greatest thing I have ever chosen to do. I’m 16 and have been shaving since I was 10 (My friend was doing it and I wanted to be cool). And though shaving for those first 2 years made me feel grown up, I quickly became bored with the tedious act. So for the last 3 years I have been forcing my self to commit what I consider the most grueling, mundane, time consuming act imaginable. Then out of nowhere I decided to just stop. It didn’t require much thought process, I mean I was giving up doing something I hated, of all things it made more sense! A few of my friends thought it was ridicules of me not to shave but quickly realized at my body hair didn’t affect them or their lives. The best response I received about my choice to stop shaving was my boyfriends, his only reply was “hot”

  • Natalia @ at 3:11 pm, January 11th, 2011

    I feel the same way you do. As a feminist I really would love to have the guts to stop shaving. But I obviously haven’t since I’m still shaving and I’m spending $150 a month on laser hair removal for my bikini area. I am also shaving less than I used to but I haven’t stopped completely. I really do hope thatI’ll have the guts to do it one day,.

  • David @ at 6:35 pm, February 3rd, 2011

    In my experience, those that are most horrified by hairy legs a!nd armpits are women themselves. There really are many men out there that love the natural look and the sensuality of unshaved women and don’t care a whit about the hairless “American” standard of beauty. The unfortunate thing is, this standard is now spreading across the world. Women, please take your bodies and beauty back from Madison Avenue!

  • Jason @ at 7:14 pm, February 5th, 2011

    Hi lovely to hear there are natural women out there and dont get pressurised into shaving by society. I believe a woman with hairy legs is liberated and extremely sexy, so good on ur girls for let ur hair grow. Wandering if any of you have actually met any guys that find hair on women attractive? I doubt im alone.

  • Amy @ at 1:53 am, April 25th, 2011

    Omg I thought I was the only one who didn’t shave. I’m 15, and to me it seemed like absolutely everyone shaved there legs at school. I wax them and occasionally epilate but there is still that growing back period of hairiness. I have to admit, I do feel uncomfortable, and I hope that one day I will be as mentally strong as you guys and get that confidence. Its really hard as I love sport but everyone else out there in the field has silky smooth skin! I have also found that in different natural light like where the sun is positioned that your legs can look less hairy. So in a way, we are educating ourselves more than shavers, I bet they don’t know different angles work best for them. One thing I don’t like, my legs don’t feel as amazingly smooth as the shavers, any ideas for this? I have to pretend I hate people touching my legs just so they won’t feel my bumpy hairy skin :/

  • Victoria @ at 3:30 pm, October 5th, 2011

    I have to space out my shaving because my hair will become in-grown and infected. but I have a deal with my boyfriend: I shave my legs and he shaves his face. Both of us prefer smooth skin, but see it more as an occasional perk than a daily sensation

  • Mark @ at 6:32 am, November 1st, 2011

    Well said, ZaDg B! Natural women are much sexier than shaved ones and we need more of you. Congratulations to all you lovely natural women out there and ditch those razors for good.

  • Marina @ at 6:51 pm, November 19th, 2011

    I’m so sorry to hear this – maybe it’s something about where you live? I’m not sure. I’m a hairy girl and never had issues with guys wanting to sleep with me (okay, so I don’t get a lot, but I think that’s because I’m shy, and I’ve never had a non-existent love life) or with friends not wanting to be seen with me. Either you’ve like a yeti whereas I’m less hairy (but still, that wouldn’t explain it) or somehow you’ve got the short end of the straw with regards to family or where you live. Not that I’m intending to make you feel bad about it, but to give you hope that it’s not always like that! Anyway, best of luck, just to let you know there are similar women out there!

  • almorr @ at 4:50 pm, March 21st, 2012

    Chicagodude,that is true, guys are supposed to be more hairy than girls, but it is not always the case as you yourself have said.

    I remember years ago seeing this young couple walking hand in hand in the park, I noticed that one of them had quite hairy arms,I thought, OK, boyfriend with hairy arms, no big deal, but when the couple turned round, I noticed that it was the girl who had the hairy arms, her boyfriend was completely zero bare with not 1 hair on his arms. So don’t worry, there are a few couples like you where the female is the ‘hairy one’.

    Personally, I would feel a little envious if my girlfriend, now wife was hairier than I am, but in our care I am the hairier of the 2 of us. I was lucky, the girl I met just never shaved, waxed or cut her hair, except head, she felt it was better to stay natural, and that is the way I like it.

  • EmoGal @ at 11:50 pm, September 15th, 2012

    What an amazing article!
    I’ve stumbled upon your article while I was looking for a solution for really hairy women, and I was so frustrated at first because I couldn’t find anything that could help me. But reading this kinda did. I’ve always felt like a freak comparing to almost all women and girls where I live because none of them is as hairy as me.. well except for my sister who is married and her husband gets grossed out by her now because she’s too tired to wax after taking care of 3 kids all day long.
    And her case of hairiness isn’t quite as bad as mine.
    It was very nice to see how many guys on here that don’t mind hairy women and don’t get grossed out by them, but unfortunately that kinda guys doesn’t exist where I live. In my country (an Arab country) guys expect women to be as hairless as a baby bottom, and any hairy woman or girl would be considered unclean with bad hygiene level to them. and because we tend to have really thick hair most of us can’t even shave it we have to wax it or it will grow out to be so rough that anyone that touches it would scratch himself in the process :|
    Of course not EVERY woman here is like that but a lot of them are, and most of them wax once every one or two weeks tops.
    But I can’t do it it hurts sooo much and I feel like I’m hating each and everyone that ever told me to wax while doing it.
    But now after reading this I don’t think I’m gonna feel that bad about myself anymore, now I know I’m not alone :)

  • Jeff @ at 10:41 am, October 20th, 2013

    I don’t understand what the big deal in shaving is. So what if it’s not natural?! It’s socially acceptable.We do so many unnatural things everyday to become socially acceptable. We take baths everyday to remain clean even though we’re not supposed to, we cut our nails, we cut our hair, we apply perfume to change how we smell, we wear clothes..The list can go on and on. Being socially acceptable is an integral part of being a human being and there is nothing wrong with it. If you think its unnatural, go live in a jungle.

  • Veronica Sanchez @ at 4:15 pm, August 15th, 2014

    I’m 15 and have never shaved my legs or pits; no way! I make my boyfriend, who’s 16, shave his face and legs cause I don’t want to feel stubble on his face, and I think the look of hair on his legs is unsightly, as he’s a pretty hairy guy. He had no problem shaving his face, but kinda fought against shaving his legs, which I did expect him to. At first he said no, but then I told him, no shave, no romance. He got the message alright. When we did get close up, naked, his shaved legs were incredibly smooth and silky, not what you’d expect from a guy. I just love caressing his smooth legs, especially the backs of his long, slender thighs. I could really feel the difference in our sex lives. Shaving made his legs incredibly sensitive to touch, and it just drives him out of his mind when I gently stroke his legs with my feet. Much to my surprise, he agreed to shave his legs from then on. Neither of us think of it as feminine or gay. I discovered it gives me a certain sense of dominance over him, that is, to make him do something he really doesn’t want to do, or would do, but he wants to please me so badly, he’ll do whatever I tell him now. Girls, make your boy do what you want, whether it’s to shave or not. It’s your choice.

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