Here is a snippet of my thoughts from a couple months ago that I wrote for myself and definitely did not plan to post; because sharing things like this makes me feel slightly exposed in a yucky way. But then I thought…that means I definitely need to post it. For the ladies.
Tonight I got in the bathtub with the plan of shaving 3 weeks of hair off of my legs and other various lady parts. What started as an accidental week without shaving, turned into a sort of game with myself of how long I could grow it. But then the new fancy razors I ordered off of Amazon arrived, so I set a tub date with myself, as a sort of send-off for the wild little hairs covering me from toes to hips.
I ran the bath full of hot water and set a wine glass full of ginger beer next to the full tub—because aside from being hairy, sobriety is another thing I’m testing out these days. I put on my favorite Ray Lamontagne album to really set the mood, and climbed in. But a weird thing happened as I sat in the tub. My body was laid out in front of me, and what would normally gross me out, three weeks of scraggly hairs grown out all over, actually made me feel so good.
I stared down at myself. Like really stared; the way that a woman in a movie stares at her nakedness. I stared at what I may have once referred to as my hairy man legs. Then my gaze went up my thighs to where the hairs start to get darker as they get further and further up. I saw the two little black hairs that grow just below my belly button; and instead of thinking “this got actually gross, what kind of an adult woman waits this long to shave?” Or “UGH I keep forgetting to pluck those two damn black hairs off of my tummy!” I looked down all over myself and I got some weird sense of joy from how much I felt I looked like a little primal version of myself. I touched my legs and thought… “I honestly don’t know if they’ve ever been this long. Am I in a weird phase?”
Then I really started to pick myself and society a part and pondered how weird it truly was that I had not had fully hairy legs since probably age 12. As if I’m some bald mutant space creature?! As if being born with a vagina comes with some unspoken contract to be hairless until death? And I thought about all the types of people who would pigeon-hole me because of their repulsion of a naturally, un-manicured feminine form, and one who may even feel sexier…WITH HAIR. And so my brand new razor went untouched. I drank my ginger beer from the tub and left my hair exactly where it was. Who knows, maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and shave these wild ass legs. But that is so not even the point.
Is this what 25 feels like? Looking down at a body that is a lot less tight and hairless as it was at 21, but thinking, damn, I feel GREAT. I feel like a grown ass woman, and I really like myself. I sat in that bathtub, staring at my flaws, and truly thought they were cool. I thought about all of the things I have done for myself as my skin got a little veinier these last few years, and the lessons I’ve learned as I gained 15 pounds and got some acne scars, and instead thought: DAMN it feels good to be a woman. Sitting and bathing alone, loving on my weird little body. Peace out my ladies. Keep fighting the good fight, hair or no hair. You’re sexy as hell, I promise.
*a follow up: I did indeed shave the wild hair later that week. So fear not folks, I’m back in the acceptable range of hairlessness that we as a society have allotted to women.
**follow up to a follow up, 12/1/16: I live in Portland now; a city where a large number of women are unshaven, and don’t seem to notice at all. It is glorious. Going back and reading this post makes me realize what an interesting and stifling environment it is to be a woman in Los Angeles.