March 2nd, 2007


shaving Thoreau

today I would like to talk about my hairy legs. this story starts in high school, when we were reading Thoreau in english class and everyone was acting like they related so perfectly to his non-conformist attitude. he said people should be true to themselves, and everyone was like, "Of course I'm true to myself, I don't listen to anybody, that's why I shop at hot topic!" All I could think about was how we were so trapped by society we didn't even know we were conforming. I looked for obvious evidence of stupid things people did to conform. tried to figure out why people said they didn't care about clothes, but still didn't want to miss prom. why they said they didn't care about what clique they were in, but defended their lunch table seats to the death. and I really tried to understand why we were all the girls shaved their legs.

for years I struggled against this... it's a feminist issue, a naturalist issue, a conformity issue, an american issue. why is leg hair on women gross? we have head hair, eyebrows, hair on our arms, and that's not gross. guys can have leg hair and it's not gross.

so this winter, at the age of 26, with the help of a very busy schedule and an equally supportive "get back to nature" boyfriend, I just quit shaving my legs, and it was awesome. I have leg hair now, people! I don't look like a man... it doesn't look like a man's leg hair, it looks like my leg hair. I'm defensive about it; God gave me hair on my legs. The question now is whether I can keep it up through the summer, when we run around in skirts all the time. Next weekend I'm going to a wedding, where people will wear dresses and hose, and I have to admit that I want to wear a dress, does that mean I have to shave my legs? At this point it's like cutting part of myself off... or like shaving my head.

honestly, I don't expose my legs as much as I used to. I wear shorts for running, but everyone knows they're not really appropriate for too many public places, no matter what your legs look like. When I wear skirts in the summer they go past my knees, I don't like to draw much attention to my legs. I only wear slacks at work. I wear jeans to the nightclubs, partially because I think they look good, mostly because I can dance without worrying about getting molested (if you go to clubs, you know what I mean).

I just can't think of anyone relevant who will think less of me because I have hairy legs. I'm thinking of just going with it. I'm really pissed that it's even an issue. I want to be that cool girl who really doesn't want to give a damn what people think, is that so much to ask?