Friday, 30 January 2009

Hairy Women

Recently I had an email conversation with Inge about hairy armpits.  I'm currently sporting a fine set of hairy pits, its become so normal to me that I actually notice other women who have hair free pits and it seems a bit strange.

Its funny how something like hair removal can create such a strong reaction.

Last year I was meeting up with some old friends that I hadn't seen for a few years, I started thinking about how they would react to seeing me and my hairy underarms.  

The media and people in general seem to think that women with hairy underarms are looking after themselves less, like we are all stinky ferals who don't wash our hair.

I found two articles in one quick search where -gasp- celebrities were caught without having shaved their armpits
The first was this article about Lily Allen about how she isn't looking after herself enough 

"With messy hair and looking a little tired, it appears Lily also forgot to wear a bra as she took off her light blue cardigan, revealing her unsightly armpit hair."

Now don't even get me started on the fact that he didn't wear a bra .... oh the horror... but gosh the poor girl didn't shave under her arms for a day or so and suddenly its hit the front page, how dare she offend us all with her "unsightly underarm hair" 

The second article is about Anne Robinson 
"But there was just one glitch - The Weakest Link host had apparently overlooked a step in her preening routine, giving onlookers more than they bargained for with her unsightly hairy armpits."

Again with the "unsightly underarm hair", and then the article goes on to talk about Julia Roberts daring not to shave for a movie premier.

For the record;
  • My pits smell less now that they are unshaven
  • I use less deodorant
  • I don't get shaving rash
Three good reason to think about not shaving.

So back to the old friends catchup, I did shave for that event, I just didn't want the only thing that they saw be my have hairy underarms, I looked at myself afterwards with the burny feeling that meant I was going to get shaving rash and I felt prepubescent.  Now I do still shave my legs and try to keep my bikini line in some semblance of order, but I'm aware that I am doing it because of societies conditioning over me, and sometimes I find it a bit sad that the way I feel about myself and others view of me has to do with the location and grooming of my body hair.  I won't be shaving my underarms again anytime soon, and if my underarm hair bothers you feel free to put a bag over your head :)

"All the time I save on bodily hair removal, I devote to the revolution"
(quoted from a woman I know)


Catriona said...

Why do you have Victorian porn on your website?

I admit, I like the paintings and photographs of women with underarm hair (though I shave myself and intend to continue doing so), but I tend to look at them and think, "Well, I wouldn't do my bikini line or armpits with a straight razor, either."

Whether we choose to shave or not, I think we can all be grateful for the invention of the safety razor.

Wondering Willow said...

I don't mind who shaves and who doesn't I DO mind being looked at as dirty or unsightly because I choose not to :)

(I'm partial to a bit of victorian porn... *grin*)

Catriona said...

You're partial to Victorian porn? Why have you never borrowed mine, then?

I also don't have the slightest concern about whether people shave or not: as I say, I do myself, but that's not important.

And I am entirely in agreement with you about the grotesqueries in the mainstream media's response to underarm hair on women. I remember the Julia Roberts scandal first time around, and remember being disgusted by the media coverage (by the sheer quantity of it, as well as the topic) then.

(Now celebrities appearing in public without any trousers on, as though tights are some new form of trousers? That's a witchhunt I can get behind.)

I do think, though, that this is almost certainly an issue that has arisen since the invention of the safety razor. I just don't know that that point is either relevant or interesting, which is why I'm putting it on your blog and not on mine.

Because I'm clever like that.


Catriona said...

Also, that Lily Allen piece is just appalling journalism.

Did you see this line? "Wearing killer heels and a winning smile, Lily and her grandfather looked a picture of family contentment."

Nice dangling modifier, Daily Mail Reporter! As far as I can tell, Lily's grandfather was wearing perfectly ordinary brogues. Though he was grinning.

william taylor said...

As a man I am only attracted to women who do not shave. I find it very sexy, armpits and all.

Wondering Willow said...

I'd like to think i didnt shave at all, (imagine the time i would save for the revolution) but i do feel better with shaved legs and eyebrows, each to his own i guess :)

Jacqueline said...

My favorite "hairy pit" moment: Standing at the end of the path with my father, awaiting our turn to walk out. I adjust my dress, my dad lifts my arm and says, "Jacq, WHAT is this?" I say, "I don't shave" and he replies "And you couldn't for this!?" to which I proudly shrug and respond: "It's not me." Then we progress down the path, holding hands, chatting and I see my future husband waiting for me, both of us smiling, holding back tears.

I shaved part-time for years, letting my pits grow for a few months then shaving. Last summer, when I shaved away 8 months of growth, I felt strange. I looked strange. I balked at my bare skin and swore "Never again."

On a different note: Each time we sweat we purge our bodies of toxins. I can't verify this, but it's logical that each strand of underarm hair draws sweat away from our skin where it would otherwise dry, the toxins reabsorbing into our bodies.

Wondering Willow said...

Love it Jacqueline plus who wants to be suffering shaving rash on their honeymoon. I agree, although I think people wonder about when this 'fad' will end (3 years being quiet a long fad), at this point in time, I cant imagine shaving ever again. If I do, it will be for me, and not to fulfill other peoples ideas of what is 'right' or feminine, I feel far more feminine with my body looking womanly instead of girly ... but again I say that I very much like my legs shaved and eyebrows plucked ... so I'm a work in progress

mystery1 said...

I worship ladies with unshaven armpits - they rule the world! Please keep up the good work!

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