Thursday, 14 July 2016

Let's Talk About Body Hair

Let's Talk About Body Hair feminist feminism UK lifestyle blogger UK taboos

I am a woman. I have body hair. It's natural and no matter how hard I try, I can't stop it growing. No miracle hair removal cream or shaver will be able to do it for me! All women have body hair. It's natural yet met with so much disgrace and disgust when left to grow!

Why is body hair such a taboo? Why does society expect all women to remove all their body hair and at any given time be completely hairless? Why do we think body hair is gross and spend hundreds of pounds a month trying to get rid of it? 

I recently watched a documentary called Hairy Women on Channel 4. Okay, yes this documentary was filmed in 2003 and yes it's a bit outdated. I mean if you see the hair crimpers they are using, you will get what I mean! However, although this was filmed 13 years ago, I believe the concepts and ideas raised in this film are still very important and relevant in today's society.

Body hair on Women is a taboo. Women are told in order to be loved, respected and feminine they should be hairless at all times. The comments in this documentary shocked me. It's about time we started talking about this taboo subject that I know all women can relate to! 


First of all, I know that some people will be shocked by the photos in this post. Which I think just reiterates my point! I have dark natural body hair. I also don't have the time, effort or money to be constantly removing it every day. I have a life, I have mental illnesses to battle, work to complete, friends to talk to and hang out with. I am a busy woman. Hair removal is simply just not a priority!

This isn't to say that I never shave my arms and legs. I know when it needs to be done. But I am not going to put my life on hold every day to make sure I am stubble free! I don't have the time! Yes, I let the hair on legs grow in the winter and I don't always have time to do my upper lip or armpits! I certainly don't touch my eyebrows! Apparently according to the ladies in the Channel 4 documentary; Hairy Women, I am 'disgusting' and 'unfeminine'

This documentary followed lots of different women and their 'battle against body hair' (please...) one women decided that she was going to let all her body hair grow for two months without getting it removed. She lasted five weeks. What shocked me about this lady was her comments she said about her own hair and her friends' reactions to her legs and armpits as the time passed and her hair grew. 

She described her hair as being disgusting, unclean, unfeminine, she felt like a man and she also stated that we shouldn't have body hair because it's not natural! I'm sorry what?! It's completely natural and it's completely okay! It's just like the hair on your head but on different parts of your body! I don't want to do a massive history lesson here but seriously I couldn't believe the words that were coming out of this women's mouth!

When showing her friends her arms and legs after four weeks of non-shaving or waxing, her friends called it disgusting, embarrassing and horrible while pretending to be sick. I'm sorry, why on earth should you be embarrassed by another women's body hair? It's her own body and therefore, it's her bloody decision what she does with it! How small minded do you have to be to put your friend down like that who presumedly already has a lack of confidence just because you want everyone to conform to societal norms?

The part of this documentary that shocked me the most though was when the ladies were having conversations with her boyfriends about body hair or telling us why they shaved all their hair off! The ladies claimed that they did it because their husbands/ partners preferred it for sex and that it was good etiquette to keep it nice and tidy! I'm sorry what?

If you ever remove your hair, women it should be for one reason and one reason only- Yourself! I don't care what your partner thinks, shaving and waxing are painful, time-consuming and economically demanding upon women. If you want to remove your hair it should be done because you want to. Because it will make yourself more confident, increase pleasure for YOU and make you feel liberated! Not for someone else's comfort or pleasure. Please, if you are going to put yourself through that pain you want to know you are doing it for the right reasons. 


Let's Talk About Body Hair taboos lifestyle blogger UK body hair feminist feminism

If your partner wants you to remove all your pubic hair because it makes things more comfortable and pleasurable for him but it gives you a nasty rash that is sore and painful, you tell him no! Because at the end of the day if he loves you he will stay no matter how much hair you have on your body. He will care for YOUR comfort and YOUR wellbeing as well as his own!

I was pretty repulsed by the comments in some of the interviews with the partners and boyfriends. They stated that upper lip hair was a massive turn off after hairy armpits, that women should get their hair removed for them, upper lip hair is unattractive and uncomfortable for THEM when kissing and even more shockingly down to our own vanity!!

I have news for your lads, I don't put myself through daily pain because of my own vanity. I shave my legs because society taught me that from the age of 11, body hair is gross and body hair should be removed. Girls are skinny and pretty. Body hair is gross and manly. Body hair is something I should be ashamed of if I have it and should be expected to have it removed. Because if I don't, society will place stereotypes on me, calling me an angry feminist etc. and that's wrong as well!

I shave my legs, not because of my own vanity but because society teaches me in order to be loved someday, in order to belong to somebody one day I need to make myself pretty and hair free for them, not me! That if I go around with hairy arms and legs people won't love me, people won't respect me and people will judge me because I am not conforming. So what do I do? Conform of course! 

But we don't just shave and wax to impress the opposite sex. Women feel pressured and bullied into being completely hair free because we are bombarded with pictures in the media of models and women, hair free, slim and toned. Men see this as the 'norm' and expect us to live up to these unrealistic standards. We as women also feel that we need to look a certain way, so be can be classed as beautiful and sexy. This is wrong!

There was an interview with a model during this documentary who said that we shouldn't blame models and media just because she is clean shaven doesn't mean we have to follow and that we should actually be blaming the brands of products e.g. Gillette for pushing these products on to us. But at the end of the day we wouldn't buy them if you didn't think we had to look a certain way and live up to these stupid societal norms, would we?


Let's Talk About Body Hair feminism body hair taboos UK lifestyle blogger


You may be nodding along with me or you may be thinking who's this angry woman, man hater, feminist? I don't hate men. I hate the unrealistic, idolisation that women are forced to live up to. For all those men out who thinks it's a necessary for their ideal women to have 'Hollywoods' and 'Brazilians', I think you need to reexamine the situation. You need to get your head out of the clouds and realise what's really important, what you should be really looking for in girls, NOT the quantity of hair on her body! 

And by no means am I trying to say that women shouldn't shave at all. That we should all go around like cavemen. I am a big believer in women doing what they want with their bodies. It's your choice! But next time you are putting yourself through the pain of a leg wax, think about why you are doing. Hair removal should be for yourself. As a way of empowering women to be more confident and liberated NOT because they feel like they have to to be loved and respected as women!

You may also be wondering what's the actual point in this argument? ( if I didn't make it clear to you maybe you should re-read this article) Women can do what they want and that's the end of that. And yes I agree but body hair is a taboo subject and needs to be talked about more. When a woman is so ashamed of her body hair she doesn't go to her cervical screening test or she doesn't go to the doctors with her lump on her breast because she's in fear she will be judged because of her nipple hair? Does this help reinforce and highlight the fundamental importance of ensuring that women are NOT ASHAMED OF THEIR BODY HAIR and can talk more openly about the subject!

I would love to hear your opinions on this topic in the comments below!

Thank you for reading, as always X

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30 comments

  1. This is something I am passionate about, as I see a LOT of men and women knocking others who shave, saying that there is nothing attractive about 'looking like a kid'. Whenever I read that, my blood boils. Good, you like hair! That's your preference. Find someone with hair. But for those of us - myself, for instance - who love shaving both because it's pleasurable (I enjoy the ritual of shaving, all of the pretty razors and shaving cream and how I smell afterwards) and because they - being ME - can't stand body hair on herself. I don't shave my head, or my eyebrow hairs, but I prefer everything else gone. So, being targeted for *that* is just as ridiculous as those who don't shave getting targeted for their own preference.

    I personally do not like body hair on others, men or women, but what other people do is their own business and the only person who matters to me is Jen. That being said, I am very, very happy that she's into shaving and doesn't like body hair either. I wouldn't force her, of course, I want her to do what is best for her - but I can understand people who want their husband or wife to shave.

    I know a lot of women who hate when their boyfriends or husbands have mustaches, beards, and other body hair, especially if it's excessive. Same goes for the ladies themselves, from their partner's perspective. I think, if you're in a relationship and it's something that can make you feel uncomfortable, it's worth a mention that it's tickly, or hard to get around, or maybe that it's just not your thing. But they are. That's all that matters. If someone does that, and their partner has a problem with them being honest, but very respectful and full of love, I think that'd be silly, though I can see that happening.

    But, I still think being honest is important. We all have our preferences.

    Basically: men and women should be comfortable with what they shave or don't - and should NEVER be made fun of or harassed, for having a lot of body hair, none at all, etc.

    Men and women should be able to be honest about their preferences

    But it's up to the person themselves and what they are comfortable with.

    Great post~!!

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    1. Thank you very much for your comment! I second everything you said! x

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  2. I agree with you. I don't keep my legs cleanly shaven, only when I want to wear shorts or feel a bit better. I think it is horrible how something so natural is called unnatural.
    Róisín
    totallyro.blogspot.ie

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    1. I'm the same! I know, I think it's so silly

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  3. I loved this post. Partners should not ever tell someone to remove their body hair just for their pleasure. It's all about self love, hair or no hair!

    https://57-days.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/big-bang-bubble-bar-lush-review.html#comment-form

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  4. I personally like shaving just for myself as I prefer it but see absolutely no problems with people who don't want to shave! It's your body, your hair and you can do what you like. It's unfair that there is this pressure on women to constantly be hairless and 'perfect'.

    Amy | Being Amy

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    1. I agree, if you want to that's fine but no one should be forced too x

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  5. Great post and very relevant right now - did you see the bashing Millie Mackintosh took on Instagram recently when she posted a picture of her unshaven legs on holiday? So ridiculous! I very rarely shave anywhere other than my underarms and my boyfriend is totally supportive of that, since it's how I feel most comfortable!

    Laura | Lala London: Beauty & Lifestyle

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    1. aw no I haven't, that's so unfair though! I'm glad you have a supportive boyfriend x

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  6. This drives me so mad too! The double standard is completely ridiculous, my rule with guys is always "I'll wax if you wax!" (not that I want them to, it's more about the principle!). These things tend to go in waves though, hopefully it'll go out of fashion sooner or later although it seems pretty ingrained in society at the moment

    Anoushka Probyn - A London Fashion Blog

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    1. I'm not sure it will ever go out of fashion but we can always hope x

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  7. Brilliant post and so well written too. I think keeping or removing body hair should be a personal choice and should never be swayed by a partner or friend. Sometimes I shave and sometimes I don't, it all depends on how I'm feeling and what I'm doing and it's refreshing to see more posts like these popping up in defence of doing what you feel is right for you. - Tasha

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    1. aw thank you! I agree! Sometimes I shave and somtimes I don't- it's all up to me x

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  8. Thank you for this post. Body hair such a taboo topic for some reason but so many woman struggle with it and it should be talked about more! I also have dark hair and used to get so down about it and feel ugly. I'm so lucky now to have a boyfriend who doesn't really give a toss if my legs are hairy! I try to remember that having no body hair doesn't equate to being beautiful at all... that's just what society and media wants to teach us. I do often shave
    my legs, but only because it makes me feel more confident. But if I can't be bothered, the hair doesn't bother me anymore and it doesn't bother my boyfriend either. I think woman feel ugly and unfeminine because they are hairy and that it lowers their self esteem... it's so sad. Thank you for talking about it. Women being more open about it will help make people see that it's normal and natural and nothing to be ashamed of. :) x

    Polly Cat Contemplates

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    1. yes I agree, I think it's important for men and women to be open about body hair so it's not a taboo subject anymore x

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  9. I always feel self conscious about my leg hair if I haven't shaved and I always get frustrated by it. I shouldn't feel bad because it shouldn't be obligatory xx
    blossomofhope.blogspot.com

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    1. no you shouldn't feel bad lovely, you should only do it if you want to x

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  10. I'm obsessed with this post! Love love love it. What's a little bit of body hair anyway?! I have naturally very dark hair and I tend to get quite embarrassed about where it grows (my tum) but who cares. Like you said, it's natural!

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    1. I have hair on my tummy too, it's annoying but I don't care about it so why should anyone else? xx

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  11. YAS to this girl! I'm really busy/lazy sometimes and I just don't want to shave anything, and who's to tell me not to? My boyf couldn't care less what or when I shave because it's my body!

    Did you see that picture of Millie Mackintosh's recently? She posted a photo of her legs on instagram and the tops of her legs weren't shaved - everyone was commenting about how gross it was that her thighs were hairy and I was raging! Like cmon who the hell can be arsed to preen themselves to within an inch of their life everyday?!?!

    Robyn / Phases Of Robyn

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    1. Yes I totally agree! I am glad you have a boyfriend that doesn't care, you are very lucky x

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  12. Oh my god I love this post so much!! It is definitely down to the individual and you should do what ever makes you happy whether that be shaving or not. I'm not to bothered when it comes to body hair, you either like it or you don't its a personal preference at the end of the day. I must say though I remember being in school and as I have rather dark hairs on my arms I was asked why didn't I shave them, which in turn made me very self conscious about it but now I don't care, I now embrace it!!

    Vikki
    http://planetvikki.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. aw that's great to hear you are much more confident now! xx

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  13. What a powerful post! Totally agree that it should be a personal thing and not assumed by society xo
    Morgan | www.justmorgs.com

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  14. I was watching this youtube video relatively recently about this woman who doesn't shave her arm pits, because at the end of the day it's just a bit of hair. She had a few similar points to you Nicole in this article. But anyways, she got a lot of comments naturally saying she was disgusting. But other than being a bit longer, what difference is it going to make if you remove your hair every week as opposed to every day. The more often you do it, the quicker it grows back. I'd advise young girls to avoid doing it for as long as possible to be honest, cause that's when it'll come back, just let it be.

    Also, just wanted to note that I equally dislike the notion of it being feminine for a man to remove hair. Let people do as they please rather than wishing for them to conform to society.

    Ellen,
    http://fishnetsxd.blogspot.ie

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    1. oh I agree, it grows back so quickly! Yes, people should only do something when they feel comfortable not because they pressured into doing it by society x

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  15. this was a great read, had i the time i would have read and digested the comments too. im 58. i rarely shave my legs, as im in the sun a lot my hair does blonde BUT if i were to be around men a lot, as opposed to the company of my younger husband, i would remove the hair by using those creams only as ive been conditioned. i feel embarressed on occasions then alternately proud and tell myself i have no time for following the flock. i dearly wanted my daughters not to adopt the shave all mantra but society and peer groups got to them, so much that one daughter shaves her arms as well as. if i were to go to a wedding say i prob would be prompted to remove hair. as i live next to the coast i love being free not to conform but the pressure does get to you. i so wish this kind of body shaming, along with bullying could be eradicated, starting at schools etc. imagery is all and self consciousness and esteem is IMHO dreadful for women...unless they conform and again, that is public pressure

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    1. I totally agree with what you are saying, I feel the same! It's a shame! x

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