Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Ew, Hair.

And so to the minor feminist issues, the ones which don't - or shouldn't - really matter, but hell, we know what kind of world we're living in and we have to deal with them.

Body hair, specifically women's body hair, is gross and weird and wrong and should never ever have to be viewed by the human eye. This is what we learn from a pretty young age. We see the world shocked and outraged by Julia Roberts displaying armpit hair in public, and we all know that the shock and outrage goes beyond the shameless display of said hair in public and extends to a misogynistic disgust at the existence of body hair at all.

It's bizarre, when you think about it. A woman raises an arm to wave at a friend, or her adoring public, and the whole world goes, "Ewwww! Hair!" And the world can say whatever shit it likes about reasons of hygiene, but if that had any real weight then men would be expected to do it too. Suggest that to any given man (well, except Len Goodman) and watch him try to comprehend what on earth might possess him to do such a thing. It's really a nonsensical thing to do. But I do it, just like most women do it. My mother is a professional waxer and does my armpits every few weeks. I'm a bit more lax with my legs. I have less hair there, and I'm English. My legs never see daylight. My bikini line is off-limits. I've tried it, it hurts, it's bloody stupid. My mother is also a practitioner of electrolysis, and if you think pouring hot wax on your crotch is stupid, try having an electrical current zapped through it. I only let her do that once.

This is one of those subjects where we all have an opinion and none of us have an answer. I mean, we could all rise up as one and chuck out our wax and razors and blow a giant raspberry at men and tabloids alike, but some women like being hairless. It's also one of those subjects where we all have to make some sort of compromise between the ideal and real life, and I've made mine: I will remove public hair, not pubic hair. I will remove societally-condemned hair that will be exposed to the world in general, but societally-condemned hair that remains a secret between me and my underwear will stay where it is. I'm quite alright with it being there. I don't feel unclean, it doesn't make me uncomfortable, and removing it is a real pain in the arse (or somewhere thereabouts). Any man that has a problem with this doesn't get to go down there. It's as simple as that. I've been fortunate enough never to be with a man who demanded or even slyly encouraged me to get rid of it, but now that I have been thrust back into the world of singledom with a new and fundamental distrust that I will ever meet a nice man who will accept me, I anticipate such an event with a sort of gloomy resignation. And when it does happen, I will tell him to go first. Oh, and get his back waxed. And keep it waxed.

As I've said before, I hate this stupid idea of feminine mystery, and any man I ever go out with is going to know what a time-consuming, expensive, painful and ultimately pointless process I and most other women go through in order to look the way we're supposed to. If no sex is preferable to sex plus hair, I will not go there. I will wax if I'm going to be out in public in a vest top, but I cannot and will not sleep with a man who expects to see shiny hairless me every single time we have sex. Sometimes I have hairy armpits. I'm a person. Deal with it.


sickboy said...

True, but we have to shave our faces on a daily, well semi daily, hmmmm, well I have a goatee just to go on even longer, hmmmm, well anyways , you don't know your born.

Of course the whole, 'no hair down there' thing is the most worrying. I mean I can remember having these conversations at school, 'eww but no hair, that's like a young girl right? weirdo'.

Does this disgust of pubic hair mean we are all turning Japanese? And not in a good way like when your on your own and feeling slightly randy/bored, I mean in a obsession with women looking all 'china doll'.

It is indeed a slippery runway, I mean slope that we are on.

lorMarie said...

Great post! And I agree...I've got no intention of getting rid of my "hair" just to please a man.