4 Apr

H/T and inspiration for this post to Amanda Fucking Palmer and Shakesville.

As I’ve implied here before, I don’t shave. I haven’t owned a razor in over a year, and I don’t plan to own one ever again. Among other reasons, I stopped depilating because I was incredibly tired of the way advertising campaigns hit me over the head with my unwomanlyness if I didn’t painstakingly remove every single hair from my body. I realized that I wouldn’t become less of a woman if I stopped paying these companies copious amounts of money to lower my appreciation for the natural state of my body. Plus, I was curious what my armpit hair looked like grown out – as soon as I began growing it at 11-12, my mom freaked out and insisted I shave (which now seems odd, as she has always been fairly lax about her leg hair). So, now I don’t wear sleeveless shirts without feeling like I’m telling the status quo to go fuck itself (whether the status quo is listening is another matter entirely).

When I see advertisements like this, I wish the status quo would listen to me.

And if that was too subtle for you, here’s another ad from the same campaign.

This shit – this culturally enforced hairlessness in the name of “freeing your skin” – makes me want to scream and cry and pull my hair out (oh, teh irony). Why the fuck isn’t it okay for anybody to do what they like to their own body? Maybe it’s what Crowfoot said (couldn’t find a permalink: if in Linux/Windows, CTRL-F “Crowfoot”) in response to Eloriane and my conversation about including all stories in the stories that are told about menstruation:

After all, we are a culture that has a long history of being disgusted
with our physical bodies, thinking them as base and dirty, indicative
of the fall of humanity in the Garden of Eden. And it’s probably likely
that the idea of the body as base heavily feeds into misogyny: bodies
are base, icky and leaky and women’s bodies are the basest, ickiest and
leakiest of all!

That probably has a lot to do with it. I’m not really in the mood to get into the history of shaving or body politics right now, but suffice it to say that bodies, particularly women’s bodies, have been policed and censored because they fall too close to the natural form.

Run in terror, for the hairy-bodied women are coming for you! They will devour your soul, because they can! They follow Chef Cthulhudee’s recipe for spaghetti and soulballs (the secret – a dash of Atheist salt)!

Mua-ha-ha! Behold, my weapons of fear and manipulation!

Mua-ha-ha! Behold, my weapons of fear and manipulation!


4 Responses to “Hair”

  1. Mary Shaw April 26, 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    Nice post. You are a very brave woman! Society is in such a sad state when being natural is considered something disgusting. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to shake my urge to shave – all the stupid brainwashing from Gillette commercials about being a hairless goddess works. I wish I was able to take such a strong stance like you have.

  2. Mary Shaw April 26, 2009 at 8:52 pm #

    If you have time, I’d love for you to check out my blog I just started on which I discuss feminist issues. I was planning on addressing the ‘shaving dilemma’ in a future post.

  3. Sarah January 23, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    I love the feeling of my skin right after I shave. For me it’s not a matter of being sucked into their persuation, it’s a matter of comfort.

    I’m not saying what you are doing is wrong, but by your logic I should give up Wal Mart for entising me with their low prices.

  4. Meredith April 21, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    Hey there!

    Loved this post!

    I don’t shave either, and you’d never know by looking at me… totally feminine, makeup wearing girl.

    Thanks again, sister!


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