Lady Hair: An Exposé
I wish I could say that I’ll never forget the first time I was allowed to shave my legs, but I only have vague memories of the event that lead to what I spend approximately a fourth of my life’s waking hours worrying about.
I was born 100% Irish, but, inexplicably, with Italian body hair. Imagine my confusion on the first day of fifth grade - the day I was required to wear a uniform skirt to school for the first time - that my leg hair had grown in the night before. It was an impressive winter coat, really. Lush. Nineteenth century fur traders would have traversed dangerous bodies of water for a bid on these puppies.
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration in the least to say that my legs looked like two eleven year old Chewbacas under my blue wool pleats.
You get the point.
So there I was. I seem to recall that it was a family event. My mother will correct me and let me know that it was a beautiful rite of passage. My flawless recollection of my own womanly trauma is that I was sitting on the edge of the bathtub, newly-begged-for electric razor in hand, watched closely by the mother hen, and I had just done a test flight on a fresh landing strip. Who knew my ankles were so thin under that pelt?
A vision of my kindergarten-aged little sister pirouetting comes into focus as I became a grown woman in the tub. She was always pirouetting in and out of things.
I can’t recall whether I was allowed to shave above the knee. I don’t explicitly remember any limits on my grooming habits, other than to actually develop some. Being the feral kid had its social disadvantages.
I also don’t remember if my dad was involved in the Sacrament of the Shearing, and knowing his avoidance of things both feminine and involving our bodies, he was likely out mowing the roof or painting the grass or some equally superfluous and obscure task.
What is as clear as a crisp fall day is that I wrapped that now hair-coated razor in a bandana, and I took it with me up to my family’s lake house where all of my cousins were gathered. I remember carrying it with me, cradled in my arms like a Fabergé egg. Then, about as nonchalantly as an elephant in a tutu, casually placed it on the kitchen table in front of everyone.
I was eleven, give me a break.
No one asked me what it was. No one noticed that I had shaved not only my legs, but the time on my walking speed with my new aerodynamics.
No one cared.
And I wish I could remember that moment every time I panic before a date. Do you know why? Because at thirty-six, still no one cares. And do you know what people care less about, if it’s at all possible? Lady hair.
I’ve spent more sleepless nights worried about the next day’s razor burn than I’ve worried about anything else combined in my life. My whole life.
And still, no one cares.
Ok, maybe not no-one. Someone cares. This is a hotly debated issue that one that no one talks about aloud. Which means it’s taboo. People do care if it’s taboo.
I’m so curious. Is it because it’s in our pants? I mean, it has a whole style trend of its own, you know. Why is it that we shy away from talking about how we feel about our flange fleece?
Yes, long gone are the days of tucking the edges of your Forbidden Forest into your bathing suit before gym class in high school.
And yes, you might have bigger sideburns on your tenderloins than an Elvis comeback tour.
Maybe it’s been so long that nothing less than a Flowbee will get you through TSA security.
No judgment here!
But let me just say, purely from polls of fellow ladies, we care more than any partner ever would. No one has time to shave. We’re too busy making sure our social media makes it seem that we have no visible flaws, let alone to admit being born with hair.
The sexiest thing you can have on or in your body is confidence. If you’re rocking more bush than the US political system in the 90s, that’s great! As long as you own it.
Maybe you dream of a long auburn mane betwixt your gams which would scream a vibe of “That confident bitch that is super into herself and definitely sexually mature even if she eats pop tarts three meals a day.”
You might be one that tries to let down Rapunzel’s hair, but a day and a half later are back in becoming as smooth as a baby’s bottom.
Maybe you had an extra ten minutes in the shower...three days ago...and today you’re rocking a full five o’clock shadow that would give David Beckham’s scruff a run for it’s money.
Some of you have that laser hair removal money. You’re off my Christmas card list.
Maybe you let the free birds fly, and you’re packing heat in your drawers, looking like Zach Galifinakis’ doppelganger.
Some of us have a comfortable eyebrows length. Very specific.
Who cares? Seriously?
Are you comfortable? Or do you spend half the day trying to find a scratching post when no one is looking?
I mean really. Aren’t we all just waiting until the end of the day to take our bras off anyway? Does your vagitation really matter?
Let’s just spend some time supporting each other’s choices when it comes to their hairkinis. It’s a tough world out there, and the last thing we need when we head out into it is thinking we’re being judged for our trouser sweaters.
Well whatever you do, shave your armpits. That’s disgusting.