Sunday, 7 September 2014

The Problem With Body Hair

I've debated doing this blog, because I know the general consensus over body hair, but I think it's an issue that needs addressing and talking about.

As a feminist, I've often had my own debates with myself over body hair and while I do admire women brave enough to grow - I just can't do it. Now I don't believe this makes me any less of a feminist - we come in all shapes and sizes - but why is it that I feel so pressured to reach for the razor?

As soon as a girl enters puberty (and for me it was extremely early) they are almost instantly persuaded to rid themselves of their new found body hair. We are bombarded with pictures and advertisements in the media telling us that we need to keep our skin silky and smooth and hairless.

A recent Veet advertisement implied that if you let your hair growth slip - then you risked looking like a dude. But really, why does it seem so unnatural for a woman to have body hair when body hair is actually a very natural thing? Less than 100 years ago, it was fairly common for women to have body hair until an advertiser came along, said it was ugly, and that women needed to rid themselves of hair to be attractive and womanly. Up until as recently as the 70s and before the rise of porn - it was also very normal for women to have fully grown bushes too!

I've heard and seen comments from people in reference to body hair on women like it's a disgusting thing. But actually - I admire women who feel brave enough to go against society and embrace a very natural thing.

It's something I still don't feel brave enough to do myself and it frustrates me. I'm currently in the process of growing my body hair out in preparation for a wax and I feel so uncomfortable and ugly. I've had to opt for long sleeve tops and tights or jeans to hide my hair. But why do I care so much about what other people think?

As a girl that lived her teen years through the 00s when celebrity culture was at a peak and size zero and Hollywood waxes became a thing - I have grown up in an impressionable time when focus on body image has become more important that ever.

Being told body hair is disgusting and that it is more normal for women to have none than some, has meant that I feel I have to shave and wax to feel accepted and attractive. I wish I could go against this type, but it's something I don't think I'll ever feel comfortable with.

But I want to put out my admiration for women who aren't afraid to grow body hair and plead with others not to judge them or look at their hair in disgust. What they are doing is actually very brave and think carefully about why you feel the way you do about body hair. It's a very normal thing and it frustrates me when I see people say it's disgusting. It's not disgusting, it's normal and natural. Your body hair is there for a reason just like eyebrows and the hair on your head.

Question why we don't feel the same way about body hair on men. Why are men allowed to be as hairy as they like? In fact, with men, we can often feel very opposite - and they can be judged when they don't have much body hair and choose to rid themselves of it.

Now I realise that I sound hypocritical when I choose to shave myself, but I just wanted to get you thinking about your own opinion on body hair.

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