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How To Love Yourself With And Without Body Hair So You Never Feel Self-Conscious

November 13, 2019 in Self-Care & Unwind, The Tough Stuff - 9 min read
With the cold weather here, us women can have a sigh of relief knowing that we no longer have to worry about the body hair routine maintenance that comes with it. You know what I mean. The constant routine of body hair removal (shaving, waxing, or lasering) to wear skirts, sleeveless tops and bathing suits. Fall is here and that means the beginning of layering up and being cozy with leggings, tights, chunky sweaters, and heavy coats as a solution to the cold and the perfect excuse to give us a much needed break.
 

body hair pin

 
I’m not saying that you let yourself go in the colder months because people won’t see the small details. You may have a partner that you want to always look your best for. Or it may be for yourself. All I’m saying is that there is a significant decrease of pressure around this time of year. Some of us even joke that we’re intentionally doing less so that we can get some extra warmth (which is actually true*). But it’s got me thinking- who put the pressure on us in the first place?
 

Though we are born hairless and enjoy this privilege without even knowing, puberty comes knocking and our body starts to change. We’re excited and anxious and then unfortunately become self aware and conscious about how people see us.

 
Society. That’s who. From birth, we are told to always be put together. To never have a hair out of place. To act like a lady and be seen. Not heard and constantly being bombarded by girls on TV, in movies, magazines and social media with flawless skin and perfect and hairless bodies doesn’t help either. It basically leaves us with no room for error or experience. Though we are born hairless and enjoy this privilege without even knowing, puberty comes knocking and our body starts to change. We’re excited and anxious and then unfortunately become self aware and conscious about how people see us. There’s new rules. New ways of interacting with the opposite gender. It’s a new lifestyle in general that we’re thrown into whether we like it or not.
 

I do remember the numerous trials and errors that came with them. Don’t get me started with the cuts, razor bumps, ingrown hairs and that uncomfortable itchy sensation you get when the hair is growing back! It took me way too long to learn to shave against the direction my hair was growing after holding my razor under hot water to get the closest and safest shave. It was like this unspoken thing that I was still expected to know.

 
We start to grow breasts, begin our menstruation cycle, get wider hips, gain weight (for some), grow hair in new places and explore our sexuality. Before our own eyes we are coming into our own and there’s definitely a learning curve involved. I remember exactly when I got my period because I prayed for it (yeah I was one of those) but I don’t remember when I started to grow breasts and bras became mandatory. Just like I don’t remember the exact moment when I started to grow underarm and pubic hair and had to add shaving to my self-care routine.
 
I do remember the numerous trials and errors that came with them. Don’t get me started with the cuts, razor bumps, ingrown hairs and that uncomfortable itchy sensation you get when the hair is growing back! It took me way too long to learn to shave against the direction my hair was growing after holding my razor under hot water to get the closest and safest shave. It was like this unspoken thing that I was still expected to know. It felt like all of a sudden I had to make sure I was always wearing a bra when I left the house and always shave before I wore a skirt, dress or sleeveless top. On top of that, it wasn’t until recently that I learned that shaving opens your pores, making you vulnerable to the toxins and chemicals in your everyday products like deodorant.** Which can then enter the body and cause harm. So was I really doing it for myself or others?
 

Now that I am older and have come into my own even more, I look back and say “screw that!” Shaving is a chore and waxing is painful! If I am going to put myself through that, it’s going to be because I want to! And if I honestly don’t want to, that’s okay too.

 
I am 95% sure that you’ve experienced a time when you forgot to shave and realized when it was too late. You felt ashamed and started to feel like everyone was staring at you and judging so much that you wanted to go run and hide. Even worse, a time when you went to go see someone you liked not sure if things were going to get physical so you skipped it altogether. Then the inevitable happened and you regretted it.
 
Now that I am older and have come into my own even more, I look back and say “screw that!” Shaving is a chore and waxing is painful! If I am going to put myself through that, it’s going to be because I want to! And if I honestly don’t want to, that’s okay too. It’s completely unrealistic to have this expectation to never see body hair on women. Plus let’s talk about how expensive it can be. For a good 4/5-blade razor, that’s about $10 and up. Then you gotta get shaving cream too. Then there’s waxing. Depending on where you go, one session can cost between $25 to $65 and you still have to do that once a month. It adds up! Lastly, there’s laser hair removal. Though it’s the most effective for body hair removal with the longest lasting results, it’s the most expensive ranging from hundreds of dollars and even then, you have to be very consistent with your sessions (6 to 8 on average) to get the desired results. Not everyone has the means to afford that so most women opt for the first two which means more time and energy dedicated to body hair removal.
 
I’ve spent way too many years feeling guilty about something that is natural. Hair is natural! And it’s actually present for our benefit. Body hair actually helps protect us from bacteria**. As well as various irritations and infections but that’s not even the best part. Ironically enough, a 2007 study done by Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine* proved that it helps in the increase of pheromones aka that smell that attracts people to you and you to them. I like to call it the “love smell.” And speaking of partners, having pubic hair is very beneficial during sex because of the nerve endings at the base of each pubic hair follicle. It makes any touch more pleasurable and helps in you reaching a climax* quicker and with more intensity.
 

It’s such a double standard. Though beards are sexy (in my opinion), there’s still their arms, underarms, chests, and pubic hairs to be considered. There’s more places for body hair on men than there is body hair on women but because they don’t feel the societal pressure of putting a lid on it, to let it be is the popular choice.

 
If being natural is so bad, why don’t we ever talk about how hairy men can be!? It’s unbelievable when you think about it. It’s such a double standard. Though beards are sexy (in my opinion), there’s still their arms, underarms, chests, and pubic hairs to be considered. There’s more places for body hair on men than there is body hair on women but because they don’t feel the societal pressure of putting a lid on it, to let it be is the popular choice. Not that I am body shaming men. I’m just saying that just like them, women should have the option of keeping their body hair or removing it without the societal pressure.
 
Also, not all men are against body hair. I’ve met some men who are nonchalant, mature or even like it. I remember one time I was talking to a guy I was dating at the time and things got physical. Though I really liked him, I tensed up when I remembered that I wasn’t “prepared” for anything physical. He noticed the change in my body language and asked me what was wrong. I kept saying nothing and tried brushing off the uncomfortable feeling but couldn’t fake it for long so I finally told him. I was surprised when his response wasn’t disgust but a smile and laugh as he told me that he didn’t care about that because it’s just hair. It blew my mind to hear that because I never had before. No one- male of female had ever told me “it’s just hair” before. For years I looked at it as a measurement of my beauty and desirability. In my mind I was like “Wow. I’m still desirable even when I’m not as smooth as a baby’s butt everywhere.” Safe to say that the rest of the time we spent together was even more memorable than the statement itself and that day is when my mindset about body hair started to shift and my standards of myself when it came to men got higher.
 

As women we cannot continue to pick ourselves apart because it’s your body so it’s your choice. Nor should we talk down on each other because at the end of the day, we are all facing the same struggle of trying to raise of unrealistic societal standards of how we should look, feel and act every single day.

 
In contrast, sometimes us women can be our worst critics. As women we cannot continue to pick ourselves apart because it’s your body so it’s your choice. Nor should we talk down on each other because at the end of the day, we are all facing the same struggle of trying to raise of unrealistic societal standards of how we should look, feel and act every single day. When you see another female has more body hair than the acceptable standard, don’t assume that she is dirty, uneducated or ugly. Maybe she forgot to shave that day because she was tired. Or rushing. Or ran out of razors. Or shaving cream. Or waiting on her next wax or laser appointment. Or maybe she just didn’t care!
 
In conclusion, you should never feel ashamed of your body hair. It’s natural and it’s up to you to do what you want to do with it. No one else. Though it is the norm in society for your character to be judged by your physical appearance, you don’t have to succumb to the pressures of it. If you are with someone who makes you feel less than for not being 100% hairless 24/7, they’re just proving that they only see your body and not you as a person. On the other hand, no judgement here if you prefer to have 0% body hair. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t enjoy how smooth my legs feel after a deliberate shave. Just remember that you have options and make sure that whatever you’re doing to your body, you’re doing it because you want to. Do whatever makes you happy because people are going to judge you either way. Be confident. Walk with your head held high knowing that you will always love and accept yourself even when no one else can.
 

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About Me

Hi Empress! I show women the endless opportunities to be themselves by empowering them to embrace and grow from their shared experiences through vulnerability and community. I help you accept that you'll always be a work in progress and complete at the same time so you can take back power over your life and reach your full potential!

Shantel

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