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Feminspire | April 20, 2014

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Are My Unshaved Legs Really That Disgusting?

Are My Unshaved Legs Really That Disgusting?

First off, a small disclaimer, in case you weren’t already aware: Feminists are not just the stereotypes of the angry, non-leg shaving lesbians that society expects us to be. Some of us are, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but there is a lot of diversity in the feminist community, and we all share different views and lifestyles. One thing we do have in common is that we’re all fabulous, powerful individuals, with or without our leg hair.

Up until a few days ago, I had gone a decent number of weeks without shaving my legs or bikini line. I just didn’t have any reason to. It’s downright freezing where I am, so I’m not wearing any clothes where people can see my legs. I also haven’t been in a bathing suit in a while and I’m not sexually active. Shaving, or any type of hair removal, is a huge hassle, and after 6+ years of shaving I’m still pretty terrible at it. So because none of the factors that usually cause me to shave existed, I didn’t. Since no one was being forced to stare at my hair or touch it, I guess I expected more people to be accepting of that particular choice that I was making about my body. Instead, I received numerous comments from friends who had seen my pants ride up on my hair-covered ankles. After saying that I would need to shave my bikini line before going swimming, one friend expressed shock that I wasn’t following through with my personal “upkeep.” Excuse me, what?

Harper's Bazaar Underarm AdFor women, shaving our body hair is largely viewed as a Western concept that began in the early 20th century in response to rising hemlines and more revealing bathing suits. American women were pulled into the idea of a hairless body by Gillette with an underarm campaign that began in 1915 in a magazine called Harper’s Bazaar. The ad featured a woman in a slip-like toga outfit with her arms above her head and perfectly clear armpits. It read “Summer Dress and Modern Dancing combine to make necessary the removal of objectionable hair.”

As fashion began to favor these sleeveless and sheerer dresses, the shaving campaign of advertisers began to sway women toward getting rid of body hair that was now visible. This concept wasn’t entirely new, nor was it an entirely Western. Removal of female body hair has been considered good hygiene in many Middle Eastern societies for centuries and there is evidence of pubic hair removal in ancient Indian, Egyptian and Greek civilizations. In fact, there’s reasonable evidence that pubic hair removal was a common practice among many cultures until the 16th century, after which it went a bit more underground until it’s recent resurgence.

Both men and women contribute to an increasing trend in body hair removal. Yet while studies (of people in Australia and the US) reported a positive correlation between negative attitudes towards women with body hair and disgust in both men and women, women of the same background report no preference for little to no body hair on men. And although there are many people who quote cleanliness as a rationale for shaving pubic hair, removal of that hair is actually not healthier because it increases the risk of both internal and external infections. It’s a social expectation that women will shave their legs, underarms and pubic areas, as well as pluck or wax their eyebrows and lip areas. This creates an ironic paradox of what is attractive: Body hair is actually a natural biological indicator for sexual maturity, yet there is an almost overwhelming preference for women with smooth, hairless, young-looking bodies. The feminine ideal is not one that involves body hair, even though we all have it. Hair removal becomes this structural method of creating and reflecting conceptions about masculinity and femininity as well as strength and power. People have often had their heads shaved, or all body hair removed, as methods of humiliation or punishment — particularly noted in the Holocaust for concentration camp prisoners and after for women who collaborated with Nazis, also during European witch hunts.

These conceptions have become so established that it is difficult to accept those who don’t fall into the proper categories. This causes enough problems for those who identify with the gender ascribed to them at birth, but when someone identifies differently and as a result has an excess or lack of body hair that is perceived acceptable for their gender, it can increase the isolation they feel from their self-identified gender. Having body hair doesn’t make you any more of a man than having removed your body hair makes you a woman.

For me, at the core of how this issue relates to femininity was a quote from an article in the journal Sex Roles:

“As such, women’s depilatory practices…reinforce the view that underpins all the body-changing procedures, from make-up application to cosmetic surgery: that a woman’s body is unacceptable if left unaltered.

While there are reports of men shaving their own body hair, there is less societal pressure for them to do so in order to fit a construct of masculinity, or even supposed “cleanliness.” If a man wants to have a beard, he’s more or less free to make those decisions without comments of it being unclean or gross to have hair all over his face. Even in regards to pubic hair, there is less judgment on men who are sexually active yet do not shave their genitals. We also have strange concepts of what body hair is necessary to move and what is deemed acceptable. Why is arm hair, which is just as exposed as leg hair, okay to leave on your body? Or chest hair, if you’re a man, but not pubic hair?

Shaving & Body Hair RemovalI’m not trying to make the point that there should be a mad rush to grow out our body hair and dance in the streets. I enjoy the feeling of cleanly shaved legs, but I also don’t see the point in doing it when I don’t want to, or when no one is going to be seeing me. That’s my choice — there are many who choose not to shave and are fearless about showing it to the world, and those who choose to keep a close shave at all times. Should any of us be judged for our choices?

Why should reactions toward the decisions I make about my body, ones don’t affect anyone else, be full of disgust? Why does body hair fundamentally incite such responses of disgust, especially when it appears on women?

If shaving your legs, underarms, bikini area, or even your pubic areas is something that makes you feel good about yourself, then by all means, shave away. No one should be shamed for making choices about their bodies, whether you subscribe to the societal norm or not. But those of us who choose not to modify our body hair should be able to enjoy ourselves au naturel. It’s our bodies, after all — shouldn’t we have that right?

Written by Ariela Schnyer

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jennifer-Elford/714525520 Jennifer Elford

    I love this. I tried to explain this to some people at my old workplace, and they were of the opinion that a woman who doesn’t shave is ‘inappropriate’, which infuriated me to no end. Really people?

  • Some guy

    Do whatever you want to your hair. Or don’t. I think it’s disgusting, but I’m not your problem.

  • Kiana

    I really hated this expectation in middle school. I didn’t feel comfortable using a razor (I was CONVINCED I’d cut myself by accident and end up bleeding to death – such a ridiculous notion, I know, but I was like 11) and I hate the smell of the chemical removers. Not to mention that the chemicals don’t even work on my hair since its so thick. I was teased relentlessly in middle school for having hairy legs and it really kind of stuck with me until today. Its one thing for women to be ridiculed for not shaving, but for younger girls? Its just down right wrong. It really damaged my self esteem and I’m still very insecure about my legs. Really loved this article :)

    • Kathy

      I had an older female friend berate me for not shaving when I was 12 and she noticed the hair on my legs was brown and not blonde anymore. I was basically shamed into shaving or I’d get insulted by the adults in my life.

      At 18 when I moved out I decided I’m not doing things I don’t want to do just for other people’s ideals. I don’t do anything with my eyebrows 99% of the time. I think I’ve shaped them 3 times in the last 10 years. I stopped shaving my legs. It always gave my sensitive skin a rash anyway. I’ve only shaved my pubic hair twice in my life: once to see what I looked like without it, and once so my husband could see. The only thing I sometimes do is shave my armpits, because my husband gets grossed out when the hair is full length. But that gives me a rash too so I’m going to compromise with a trimmer I think. Then I’ll still have hair so no rash, and it won’t be long and scary for the man so we’ll both be happy.

    • Jordan Moore

      I was picked on in school a lot for having visible arm hair and being a girl at the same time, so i started shaving my arms in 9th grade, then people noticed stubble and i got picked on for the fact that i had to shave my arms! we can’t win can we?! lol

      • happytobeme

        When i was a freshmen in high school i was picked on by these two mean boys i was wearing a short sleeve shirt my arm hair was totally visible and one of the boys said to me out aloud so everyone could hear “go outside with your hairy monkey arms” i was so embarrsed i almost cried so frm that date to my senior yr of highschool i was so terribly insecure and self concious that i would only wear long sleeve shirts and sweaters even in the blazing summer heat now tht im out of highschool im learng to accept myslef as i am (:

    • http://twitter.com/Tonks07 Mandy

      I feel you there. I remember an incident in middle school where I hadn’t shaved my pit hair in a while and was wearing a short sleeved tee-shirt. I raised my hand at some point and the boy sitting next to me noticed my pit hair and make some comment about how gross it was. I no longer even remember his exact words but I remember the shame and embarressment I felt. Now that I’m older I’m slowly getting more accepting of my own body hair. But even to this day (more than a decade later) my own Mother will occassionally see my unshaven pits and grimace and make comments about I’d better shave before I go out or put on a different shirt. Because God forbid anyone see my natural body right? It’s definitely an ongoing journey for me to come to accept and love my body hair.

  • Vivid Sammy

    I feel a little disgusted but mostly awed by woman with body hair. I’m so used to smooth bodies, it just looks kinda weird to me (I’m working on that! Because it shouldn’t be) But I feel a lot of respect for the women who don’t feel ashamed for their bodies and hopefully pave the way to women like me who just need to get over it! I sometimes walk around with hairy legs in summer, I never get a reaction but I just feel a bit out of place seeing all the other ladies with smoothly shaved legs.

  • Carla

    Love this article.

    When I stopped shaving, about a year ago, I was very self-conscious and avoided doing things that would show my armpits’ or legs’ hair, even though I didn’t want them to be removed — firstly because it was so boring to use the razor every 3 days to keep my legs smooth, secondly because my skin would become so irritated and would itch so much with the shaving! Slowly, I stopped caring, and nowadays I couldn’t care less if people think it’s disgusting. It’s my fucking body and no one else’s business. I hated shaving, so, in my case, not shaving was an act of self-love that makes me feel much more confident now that I’m comfortable with it.
    Also, I realised that I used to judge other people for not shaving when I used to do so (although I didn’t think it was unhealty, I thought it was disgusting), and now this prejudice is gone.

    • Kathy

      I still get self-conscious sometimes if I’m out in the summer with a skirt on and bare legs. But I find it interesting that people don’t notice the hair or don’t care if I’ve got tights on, even sheer ones.

  • Timothy

    Yes.

  • April

    Your sentiments are my sentiments, thanks for writing this!

  • Youdontneedit3

    Not a bit. As long as you’re not hairier than I am which is unlikely. If that’s you in the above pic, no, you’re not. However, we are mammals, and are SUPPOSED to have hair. Shaving is actually the unnatural thing, and some have opined that shaving esp. of the pubis mons/pubic mound on women is an effort to make them more nearly resemble prepubescent girls. Prepubescent hairless bodies, and big breasts.

    We have such a weird culture. I am a lover of nature, I prefer what’s real, what’s natural. So for what the anonymous opinion of some random guy on the internet is worth, it doesn’t bother me. My last girlfriend shaved her legs, (though not her bikini area) and I never understood why; I wanted to touch and kiss her everywhere, hair or not. She had hangups, I’m afraid, somehow she’d gotten the idea that she wasn’t supposed to have hair. It’s a shame when someone lets other people tell them what they’re worth and how they should look. Grow it out, girl!

  • Hineni

    I especially enjoy your emphasis on choice. The less of a statement we feel compelled to make with that which others can see in our appearance, the less of a distraction it is for who we really are and what we have to offer to the world. If the way I look distracts from my message or its delivery, I’m happy to drop the looks and focus on the message. Shaved or not shaved it makes no difference.

  • Laura

    I’m just going to quote Eve Ensler here:
    “I realized then that hair is there for a reason — it’s the leaf around the flower, the lawn around the house. You have to love hair in order to love the vagina. You can’t pick the parts you want.”

  • James Jay

    It’s not the legs that I have a problem with, its the face full of cotton candy that I have an issue with…

  • Mountain Bob

    Similarly, I wish people would realize that neckbeards on men are perfectly natural and not deserving of disgust. Neckbeards and legbeards unite!

  • Michael

    I genuinely don’t get why people are bothered by this. My wife and I have been married for 17 years; she hasn’t shaved her legs (or anything else) once in that time. I have trouble imagining how anything she does to change her appearance could make her more beautiful than she is.

  • http://twitter.com/ms_fire ms_fire

    I wholeheartedly agree. Sometimes I really like shaving, and sometimes I don’t care, but the main point is that my body gets my decisions. If you haven’t had a chance to read this article about the attempted shaming of a Sikh woman, and the resulting gem of cultural and gender tolerance that came from it, i highly recommend it as a follow up to your article: http://jezebel.com/5946643/reddit-users-attempt-to-shame-sikh-woman-get-righteously-schooled

  • http://www.facebook.com/EET22 Emily Tanner

    Wow. This. It’s perfect. It’s exactly how I feel. Living in a college suit with 5 other girls, I have been absolutely berated for the choices I make about my body hair. First, “No Shave November” was just a bet. Then I realized how much I love my body in its natural state. But I have heard it called nasty, disgusting, gross, repulsive, and even watched my roommates gag when they saw my armpits. Never once have I said anything about their body hair. Internalized misogyny… such a horrific thing.

  • Sully

    I do shave my legs (though only sporadically in the winter), but one thing I’ve never done is wax or tweeze my eyebrows. I just never felt it as the norm when I was younger, and then when I got older and realized that it is something most women do, I commented to a friend that I might try it and she told me that she wouldn’t recommend it if I wasn’t willing to tweeze our stray hairs every couple of days. I decided that’s too much work for just trying something out.

  • sarah_m_g

    Great article! Personally, I shave quite often. I find being clean shaven is more physically comfortable and don’t find shaving itself to be a hassle. That said, when my ex-boyfriend complained about my legs being a little prickly once and said that I needed to shave, I went quite awhile without shaving, despite feeling physical discomfort. It was defiant and passive-aggressive, yes, and there were better ways to address the issue, but at that point in my life, I had not yet learned how to be assertive. The only person I shave for is ME.

  • elle

    Hmmm, to be honest, I don’t wax/shave my legs often, even when it’s summer. And people do notice but they just say that I don’t have much hair anyway so it’s not too obvious or “disgusting.”

  • TJSmarini

    “one friend expressed shock that I wasn’t following through with my personal “upkeep”.”
    I kind of agree with this comment. Shouldn’t you be shaving your legs or not shaving because YOU want to? Why would you stop doing something you choose to do, like shave your legs, just because other people can’t see it anymore? Unless you’re doing it for them, not you? When I didn’t shave, I never shaved. Now that I shave my legs and wax my bikini line I do it whether or not it’s summer, whether or not anyone will see it. Because, I’m doing it for ME.

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  • Alyssa

    I only shave my legs for big dances that are fancy and i haven’t had one since my senior prom about a year and a half ago and i don’t think i’ve shaved since!! I have very light blonde hair on my legs so it’s really not noticeable but i do walk around with shorts on all summer. It was always a pain and my shower barely stays warm long enough for me to wash out all my conditioner, so i’d have to use a pitcher of water and a washcloth and it was really annoying! So i gave up. The only thing i regularly shave is my arm pit hair because it does sometimes trap the smell of sweat (which is the point i guess???) even after i’ve showered so yeah. As for pubic hair, i shaved it all once and got the worst rash of ingrown hairs ever, i was in near constant pain for like a week after, and then I tried just a bikini line trim and ended up cutting myself up where my thigh ends and that was a huge pain. bandaids aren’t meant for crotches, lol. I wear swimsuits with skirts and board shorts b/c of other reasons anyways so why bother. I do trim sometimes though.

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  • Anon

    I spent sometime in an isolated place doing biology field work and didn’t bring any shaving things with me. I was shocked at te number of people who reacted like it was really unhygenic to have hairy legs!

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  • Ammie Harrison

    I’ve never shaved. Ever. But there is a reason for that. I have absolutely no hair on my legs, barely any under my arms, and my “wonderland” is suppose to have hair dang it!
    I’ve only had one person ever complain. I told him the following: “If you are paying more attention to what is under my arms than what is to the right or left of them, then, quite frankly, I don’t need to be naked in front of you.”
    He kept his opinion to himself and got over it.
    Bottom line: Do what you want, and tell people to shove it.

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  • There’s a good reason why women are expected to shave. It’s not just your body either if you don’t shave and you go swimming then everyone has to look at it. Also, no guy wants to have sex with a monkey. Asking to be a loud to not shave your body hair is like asking why you can’t disfigure yourself or cut yourself in public and let the blood drip all over the place. Really, for everyone’s eye dignity, please shave.

    I know you’ll probably delete this but it’s true, no one wants to see a unshaven body.

    • Fliuchan

      “A loud” ….. ’nuff said.

    • Chris Allen

      Thank you for giving such a wonderful illustration of how senseless and silly social conventions can turn a normal human being into a mental lemming. Also, of how someone can totally weed out strong, self-confident people from their dating pool by perpetuating stupid, artificial stereotypes. Good job.

      As for me, body hair (or lack thereof) is just part of the person and/or their choices about their own body. Our beauty “standards” are nothing more than advertising gimmicks meant to make people feel the need to buy whatever it is to “fix” whatever it is they try to convince us is “wrong” with our bodies.

      More and more people are realizing they need to work on being healthy and happy and confident… and their beauty shows, regardless of their body type, hair, etc. etc. And by “healthy” I mean “as healthy as one can be, including limitations caused by an ongoing condition or disease.” Health is in the energy in your body; but also in the sanity of your outlook, and your ability to love yourself for who and what you are. You can have arthritis, or thyroid issues, or cerebral palsy, and still pursue being as healthy as *you* can possibly be, and still be beautiful. :)

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  • christina

    YES. i’m tired of these femanazi movements trying to go against the general definition of what is and what is not attractive… regardless of whether or not YOU think it’s the hottest thing in the world or makes you want to puke, that’s only your opinion; trying to force everyone to agree with you is no better the cultural standards which you oppose. Nobody makes anyone decide what’s attractive, it’s just a personal opinion, which is why “pray the gay away” camps and such often do not work. There are some people that might agree that hairy people are hot, or fat people are hot, but i don’t. I think your hairy legs are disgusting and there’s not a thing you can do about it. Instead of trying to make everyone the same, let’s just work on everyone accepting each other’s differences and moving on.

  • george

    also christina is a man. pretty bad when you have to pretend to be a girl for fear of your comments being moderated. pretty sure that’s sexist against men.

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  • MadamBelladonna

    Honestly, I enjoy shaving my legs. Or rather, having smooth legs (shaving itself is kind of annoying). The only reason I hardly ever do it is because I have a lot of hair on my head (hair to past my waist) and it takes a while to maintain in the shower. Plus I tend to run out of hot water with alarming speed and I can’t stand sitting on the side of the tub to shave.

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  • Q.

    Hear hear! Excellent article, expresses my frustration to the T.

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  • GuyWhoSpeaksTruth

    No but colored nails are. Creepy.

  • Amber

    Yep, when cold weather rolls in (usually for about 5 days at a time here in Texas, but this winter was longer) no leg-shaving. Underarms only if they will be seen. Tights and jeans means I’m the only one who cares, so screw expectations.
    I actually thought that was normal for girls/women who aren’t sexually active when it’s too cold for bare legs… maybe not?

  • Christopher Burton

    Thanks for the article! I still remember a young woman in high school who grabbed my attention with her unshaven armpits and legs. I once glanced up to see her pubic hair spilling out from gym shorts, when she was climbing over a nearby desk in art class. I found her very sexy. It didn’t hurt that she had good proportions to start. But it seems that feminine clothing is at odds with hairy legs. That’s probably because much of it is simply scaled-up versions of what hairless little girls would wear. You know, frilly dresses, lacy socks and so on. Overtly feminine clothing serves to make grown women look markedly different from men, creating sexual tension and desire in (mostly male) onlookers. But that only works if women play the game by shaving. Me, I’d rather admire a naturally hairy woman who has the pluck to oppose a powerful societal ‘norm’. And I’ll always remember that hairy hottie in high school….

  • LaChelle

    I have never been that committed to shaving my legs. I also remember my friend being really offended when we (age: 12) were sitting and she noticed the hair that was growing out on my summer legs. I mean, I had been shaving about once a week or so – wasn’t that enough? Now, in my 30s, I’ve just decided to let it go. I need that $80 I would spend on waxing to move back to my school in California, and mostly, I feel like it is kind of cool. I love working out and fashion, and I feel like it gives me a carefree bohemian air. Maybe its all the time I’m saving. I don’t even blow dry my hair anymore. I love just showering and then getting out of there.

  • Chris Allen

    I’ve been working for a lot of years on de-programming myself in regard to hair removal. It’s always been frustrating: shaving leaves me with razor burn and ingrown hairs; waxing isn’t effective and is expensive, and chemical removers don’t get all of it but do burn my skin.

    I’ve finally gotten to the point that I shave only when *I* want to, and have learned to be more comfortable and accepting of my natural body when I choose *not* to shave. It’s liberating, and a great feeling! The hard part is when I put myself to the test when I start thinking about shaving: I have to ask myself, “Am I doing this because I truly want to, or is it because I fear negative reactions from some people if they see body hair when they aren’t expecting to see it?” If it’s the latter, I don’t shave. Period.

  • joy

    I am one of those women that has a beard. It will get just as thick and long as any mans. I hate shaving, it makes my face bloody and broken out. I want to just grow it, but the one time I did, I was harassed, called names, had things thrown at me, and threatened with violence. I don’t get how my facial hair gets in the way of other peoples lives and why they have to go out of their way to tell me so.

    • Random

      I know how hard it is, I deal with it every day. I wish I could find a way to contact you!

      • joy

        Just look up joy clays on Facebook. I am in Clovis ca.

  • Satvir

    I’m a Sikh by religion and my religion encourages me to keep my body in natural state as much as possible; hence I don’t shave any part of my body or wear makeup. I wear skirts to work and my leg hair is showing most of the time (knee down). It took me some time to be comfortable wearing knee length skirts but now I’m ok with it. I did shave/wax my legs a couple of times when I was a little younger but I always thought it was such a hassle.

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  • Sammy

    What’s worse for the world?: Showing off hairy legs or wasting all that water shaving them… As someone who has a ton of dark body (and head) hair, this has been absolutely crippling. Shaving for me has always been painful. I have thick hair and when it grows back, it hurts and is super coarse.

    When I was in middle school, my parents informed me it was improper for me to wear anything that showed a little leg (including past mid-calf length capris), so I stopped shaving my legs, and I haven’t shaved my legs in 10 years which also means, my legs haven’t seen daylight in 10 years. This is no longer because I am trying to follow the modesty rules of my parents, but now because I can’t bear the pain and anguish of shaving my legs. I used to shave just a few inches above my foot in case my pants rid up. My boyfriend actually complained about how prickly my legs felt at the bottom. He never complained or even commented on my soft hairy legs!

    My mom insists that every time I go to the DOCTOR, I shave my entire body. What the heck? I am not going to go through years of growing out my body hair and letting it become soft because of a doctor visit. I just graduated from college and instead of being super excited about that, my family keeps telling me to “take care of myself” by going to the parlor and having my body hair waxed. I have been taking care of myself for the past few years BY NOT caring what anyone else thinks of my body. It’s mine, and I’ll do whatever I want with it, thank you very much. Now, if you have something to tell me that will actually improve my health and benefit me, I’m all ears.

  • Dave

    As a mature male I just yearn for the days where women embraced their natural god given beauty including hair – I admit to finding it arousing but accept the right for the woman to choose – pressure to shave – even I have started because its deemed more acceptable – is a tad unfair – I don’t envy women having to comply with so called “norms”

  • Clemency D.

    Hear hear!
    How sick am I of people saying it’s “disgusting” for women to leave their body hair alone. What’s disgusting is that there are people out there so shallow, cruel, and narrow-minded that they actually make this kind of a judgment call based on someone’s physical appearance. You, my non-friends, are the disgusting ones, because you are aesthetically unappealing on the INSIDE, where that shit actually counts. Everyone has their own personal preferences about the aesthetic appeal of body hair/lack thereof, but just because something isn’t your personal preference by no means makes it “disgusting”, “repulsive” or “unacceptable.” C’mon world. Grow the eff up.
    I shave my legs, cause I like the way it looks and feels better, but I leave my underarms and pubic hair alone, because I like the way that looks and feels better. I associate underarm and pubic hair with sexual maturity, and I find au natural hair in these places to be sexy, womanly and sensual for me personally. Leg hair I don’t really have the same connotation with, and I feel sexier and more confident with it gone. For me, you can’t beat a nicely shaven leg with a gorgeous high heel and a fabulous dress.
    The point is, sexy/pretty/aesthetically appealing doesn’t come from what you decide to shave or not shave, it comes from making your own decisions about what YOU like best, and OWNING those decisions. A woman who feels most comfortable and confident with no body hair at all, because that’s just the way that SHE feels good, is going to look just as sexy as a woman who feels most comfortable and confident with all her body hair, because that’s just the way that SHE feels good. It’s not about the hair, it’s about the feeling of comfort, confidence and empowerment of making your own calls outside of the crippling corset of societal norms.
    I had the great fortune of being taught this lesson as a pre-teen. Going to the beach with some of my older brother’s friends, one of the ladies was a VERY hairy girl, some chin whiskers, pubic hair that crept down her inner thighs and up to her belly button, but she just stripped right down to her bikini, body hair just out there doing its thing, and I thought “Wow…. I didn’t realize someone could be comfortable looking like that, but she IS comfortable, and so confident, and gosh darn it, just drop dead GORGEOUS because of it!” My twelve-year-old mind was blown, and it has helped me to be confident in my own decisions about my body ever since.
    Anyone who calls you disgusting for the choices you make about your own body is not worth your time, and are a huge part of what’s wrong with the world.

  • John Q. Public

    Some men (like me) prefer women with body hair. I’m sure for many people who read this here I am preaching to the choir, but I have been told I have a “fetish” whenever I reveal this to another man (whose nose usually wrinkles in disgust at me). I tell them that I no more have a fetish by having this proclivity than they do for preferring no hair; it is just my preference.

    Anyway, the fact of the matter is that there is a rather large presence online of “hairy” porn sites, which leads me to believe that there are quite a lot of men out there who prefer women in their natural state, and so there are probably far more than men like me than women might realize. As with anything, since it is a social taboo it’s not just women who must conform but men who must hide their My preference for “naturalness” carries over to other things. I dislike heavy makeup. Piercings and tattoos are a turnoff, and I find long fingernails, that so many women work so hard on, especially unattractive. Don’t even get me started on fake breasts.

  • Sabrinacat

    I never really had those sort of problems until I was 15, after I had to move in with my mom.
    Before then I had never really bothered with shaving my armpits and
    legs since my dad hadn’t ever made it a big deal or told me I had to and
    I tended to always wear pants and a hoodie (despite the fact I lived in
    a very hot and humid area at the time), so no one else ever noticed.
    When my mom first noticed the hair on my armpits though she got very
    worked up over it and scolded me for not shaving and told me that since I
    was a girl I was supposed to shave regularly and keep them completely
    hairless.
    Well after I moved out of my mom’s and no longer had such
    pressure, I cut back and started just shaving once in a while when it
    started getting long and actually needed it since all that shaving was tedious and irritated my skin. Then one day at work some
    of my other female co-workers were discussing shaving legs and I
    mentioned that I only shave mine about once a month, because my leg hair
    really doesn’t grow very fast, and my one co-worker was incredulous and
    started telling me that I was wrong for doing so and should shave more
    and we started to get in an argument about it when suddenly one of our
    male co-workers came over and got involved, sticking up for me and
    telling her that he didn’t believe women should have to shave anymore
    than they wanted to and that body hair or lack thereof isn’t what makes
    you beautiful.

  • Natalierose

    If you don’t like hair, don’t date mammals. Problem solved.