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The Case for Female Body Hair

Posted by Amanda Warbritton on

Welcome to America, where ass jobs and spray tans are more socially acceptable than a woman growing out her armpit hair. In May of this year I decided I wasn't going to shave my armpits, that only lasted about 2 weeks before I felt obligated to shave because of my partner at the times preference. Two months later I got really sick and was too weak to shave, shaving no longer was a priority for me. That being said, I've decided to write an article about my experience with my body hairs.

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Naturally I have fine, dark hairs all over my body, literally ALL over. When I was about 7 or 8 years old I was introduced to this "magic wand" called a razor. I remember the day I decided to shave my legs like it was yesterday. I was studying at a Catholic school where we all wore uniforms, which meant all the girls wore skirts and dresses. I had these leg hairs that were so hard to miss and I had to wear a fucking skirt. This girl in my class had recently shaved her leg hairs for a swim meet and when she saw my hairs told me that I "needed" to shave. So I got in the car that day begging my mom to let me shave my legs, and for the next year my mom would shave my legs for me. I eventually learned how to use this "magic wand" on my own. When I got to middle school I became more insecure about my body hairs, I began shaving everything. I shaved my pubic hairs, my arm hairs, my armpit hairs, the hairs on my stomach. I was obsessed with being completely hairless. I would spend up to an hour in the shower, at least 2 days a week, making sure all the hairs were cut and my skin was as smooth as a baby's butt. When I was 14 I was introduced to waxing, which changed my life because it lasted longer. I waxed literally every inch of my fucking body. From side burns and upper lip to nipples and Brazilian. It was an expensive habit but at the time that was something that was really important to me and helped boost my self-esteem. These habits went on for about 2 and half years until I went to a treatment program for 2 months and shaving wasn't aloud. I felt all my insecurities about my body hairs coming back. I would wear sweats everyday once my leg hairs were fully grown, in the hot humid Hawaii weather. Girls would say, "Oh my gosh, I need to shave, look how hairy my legs are!!" and in my mind, I'm like "If only you saw mine..". In treatment I got used to my arm hairs and realized they weren't as bad as I thought they were so when I got out, I stopped shaving them. Still I continued to shave my legs, pubes, and armpits, getting my stomach, lower back, butt cheeks, chest, upper lip, and eyebrows waxed. So I was still basically hairless except on my arms.

Then May came around and I decided to dip into not shaving my armpits.

July was when I became fully invested with not shaving my armpits and everything else, mainly because I didn't have the energy to since I was sick. When I got out of the hospital and gained basic strength back, I shaved and got my wax but the only thing different this time, I skipped the pits. I became obsessed with my armpit hairs and everyone I was close to was fucking with it because they thought it was funny. About a week out of the hospital, I did a music video shoot where I was wearing a sleeveless dress, so before the shoot I shaved my pits. I promised myself I wasn't going to shave them anymore, but then this guy I liked came to LA to visit me. Again I felt so obligated to shave my armpit hairs, I didn't want to make him uncomfortable or be uninterested in me. I felt so shitty for shaving my hairs for somebody else. That's when I really called quits. I told myself I wasn't going to shave for anybody else. I ended up back in the hospital for another 3 weeks and was too weak to shave again. This time when I got out of the hospital, I only shaved my legs and only got my eyebrows and upper lip waxed. I was and am done wasting my time and money shaving and waxing for other people because I truly don't give a fuck about my body hairs. For me, not shaving my body hairs is like growing a beard. Sometimes I want it and other times I don't. When I decide to shave or wax apart of my body, it's for me, not for anybody else.

My armpit hairs, though. They have become a part of my identity, and I don't think people understand the emotional connection I have with them. I grew up with my mom and older cousins shaving their armpits, I saw that as normal and beautiful. When I was shaving my armpit hairs and saw women with hairy armpits, it grossed me out. But now I'm at this point where I don't know if I would ever really feel comfortable without my armpit hairs. This boy at my school asked if he could see my armpit hairs, I was so confused and flattered, because why would anyone care to see hairs under my arms? Of course, I said no because I'm not a zoo animal, just because I've chosen to do something different with my body doesn't mean people can check it out and make fun of it. I decided to ask him some questions about women with armpit hair. I asked him if he would ever hook up with a girl who had armpit hair and he immediately said "no, that's so gross" then tried to cover it up with some lame excuse about how that's just not his style. It was a surprise to me that he would even care. When you're making out with someone, you don't pay attention to their armpits and if they have hair on them. When you're having sex with someone, I think that last thing you should worry about is if your partner has armpit hairs. In fact, you should be paying more attention to not getting pregnant or STI's. Some people annoy the shit out of me when they tell me I "need" to shave, it's my body, I'm comfortable with it, it's not hurting me or anybody else. It might turn some people off..but my job on this planet isn't to please everyone, it's to be myself and be a part of positive movements. I take care of my body and have good hygiene, not shaving, in this case, is a choice, it's not because I'm lazy or don't have enough time to.

Next time you pick up a razor and shave, ask yourself if you really care to shave this part of your body, or if you're just doing it because it's a society norm. I've taken full ownership over my body hairs and no one is going to tell me what I should do with them. If you tell me that I need to shave, I'm most likely not going to, just because you decided to open your mouth and say what you think I should do with MY body. Growing out your body hairs is beautiful, we once really needed these suckers to protect us. I don't want to remove something that's being grown to protect me. If our creator wanted me to not have body hairs, I wouldn't have them.

This was written by Amanda Warbritton, an outspoken female advocate and all around badass.

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