It seems that in order to be a feminist blogger one has to have an opinion on female body hair. Since I do aspire to feminist bloggerdom, I hereby opine on female body hair.
I think we obsess about it too much. I think the patriarchy in general and advertisers in particular reinforce that obsession. Adverts tell us we cannot go to the beach with hairy legs, we cannot go out for the evening with hairy legs, we cannot wear shorts or skirts if our legs are unshaven.
Perhaps this is rooted in the infantilisation of women. We are meant to look pre-pubescent forever, our bodies are meant to look different from, and purer than, male bodies – and body hair just doesn’t fit the picture. Perhaps body hair scares them, because it makes us look like grown-ups. So they turn reality on its head and tell us that only by shaving off our body hair can we be women. They try to flog us razors, lotions, hair removal creams and sprays and whatnot, home electrolysis kits, waxing kits, sugaring kits – screaming hairless=lovely, hairy=disgusting over and over again.
Personally, I can rarely be bothered with it and would happily never shave or otherwise de-fuzz any part of my body again.
I am conditioned, like all of us, to see my hairy legs, armpits and whatever else, and to flinch inside. At how-horrible-they-are. At what-people-must-think-when-they-see-that. So every now and then – at least in the summer when I do wear shorts and skirts and sleeveless tops – I scrape off the worst of it and hope that it will do. I resent feeling like I have to do this, and I submit in the most grudging and minimalist way possible. But still I submit.