Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Age 24

My family would pressure me to shave my legs when I was very young, because I had to wear a skirt every day to school. I hated it and I didn't understand why I had to do it, because none of the kids ever bothered me about it. But my family told me I was too hairy, and the kids would make fun of me for being like a monkey. This was long before puberty. I had no concept of why they were so worried. Then I got older, and my hair got coarser and darker and developed in the usual spots, and still nobody bothered me about it. Only my family ever fussed over how hairy and disgusting I was. Once, a boy in high school insulted me, but that was the only time anyone ever said anything to me about it. Even my boyfriends didn't mind.

Now I'm out of school and no longer forced to wear a uniform every day. The first freedom I had upon graduating from high school was freedom from shaving my legs. I decided nobody would ever force me to wear a dress again. I didn't shave for years until I had to wear a swimsuit to go into someone's pool. I was still ashamed of how hairy and animalistic my body was, and I couldn't just go out in public with my disgusting legs. All those years, I kept myself covered, even in summer heat.

I've met some queer girls and feminists since then, who also don't shave. They don't shave anything at all...not their armpits, or the fuzz on their lips...and it's ok. Their boyfriends and girlfriends are proud of them. They like their bodies and how furry they are. I've started wearing shorts again, but only when I'm around them. I'd never go out in public like that.

I can't bring myself to shave either, though.