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Why are women who do not remove body hair shamed for it, wonders the author – after all, it should be her choice!
I have been meaning to share this since quite some time now, and I’m really not sure how this would be accepted, but I have a confession to make: I don’t wax. I never have. And I’m fine with the hair on my arms and legs.
You might now wonder what’s the big deal about this and why I wish to talk about body hair. So let me tell you why.
I guess it all started at teenage when I accompanied my elder cousin to a parlour, for her waxing schedule. The hot wax, the strip and the “OO AA Ouch!” sounds my cousin shouted out were discouraging enough, but then the ‘parlour wali’ looked at me with hope, obviously expecting me to go next.
I hadn’t come prepared and of course, I refused. That’s when she passed the rudest comment I had ever heard about myself, “Men don’t find girls with body hair attractive.”
Oh really? Perhaps it was out of teenage rebellion, but I kind of pledged that day that I didn’t have to attract men and I wouldn’t ever wax.
Pushing forty today, I am still adhering to it.
It’s not easy, let me be very honest. I mean, for a long time, my friends and colleagues quizzed me about my hairy arms, till they kind of got bored and realized I wouldn’t give in.
My hairy hands have always been considered taboo, and that would explain why I never wear sleeveless tops. When my sleeves are a bit too short, I am told to cover them with my dupatta, lest I raise my hands and expose my armpits!
Being a beach person, I do sport capris or knee length swim suits to water and that’s when I’m met with the coldest of stares. I mean, if you are a woman and you wear something slightly above the ankle, their gaze inevitably shifts to your legs. One look at your hairy leg and I have seen people, especially ladies look away in disdain. Isn’t that body shaming as well?
Come on, I live in this society too, I feel hurt. I get confused. Much as I decide to wear sleeveless or short length outfits on a daily basis, I can’t muster up enough courage.
How could I? In this age of women empowerment, every other stigma is being dealt with efficiently. Skin lightening creams are being shunned, dark skin is the new epitome of beauty. Size Zero is going for a toss, women of all weights and sizes are finding comfort in their own skin.
Then why is our body hair still a matter of shame? Cine stars have stopped endorsing beauty creams, then why do I still see them selling hair removers, creams, electronic ones, razors…
Why are we, as smart independent women, still bowing down to the pressure of subjecting our skin to harmful allergic chemicals or worse still, sharp razors? Just in order to fulfil a societal norm dictated by God knows whom. Can’t we for once dress the way we wish to, without bothering about people making us feel wrong or self-conscious? Who are the real villains, those little hair follicles or those who unabashedly stare at our legs and decide what’s beautiful or not?
I hope at least some women could relate to this and agree with what I feel.
As for me, the only people who really matter are my parents, my spouse, and my children. They have absolutely no qualms about my body hair, so I am alright too. So, I’m kind of preparing myself to dress up the way I want, to be unmindful of the rude comments or cold stares. Because hair or no hair, they can always like or dislike me. I don’t have to care, I love Myself. Thank you very much.
Image source: pixabay
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