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Goddesses Don't Shave Their Legs Essay

1233 words - 5 pages


There are countless times that I look into the mirror and wish I could change something about my body. As a feminist I realize what I say can be contradictory to what I feel. Of course I want to love my body and feel beautiful, but unfortunately feeling self love and acceptance is easier said than done. During freshman orientation I was sitting next to a boy waiting to get assigned to a classroom, he commented on my arms laughing at how hairy they were. (Well what can i say, i'm jewish and its genetic). So i'm sitting there thinking, "when I go home i'm going to shave, bleach, or wax my arms." Anything that will get the stupid hairs off of them. 3 years later and I've come to terms with my body hair, and embraced it. I won't get into detail but lets just say i'm not ashamed of having a little bit of arm hair.

Men and women have often been appalled from my abundance of body hair. While body hair is not a "social norm" I decided to go against it last summer. Instead of shaving my armpits once every couple of days like every other girl at camp, I let my body take its natural course. Personally I felt that it wasn't a big deal, having a little hair under my arm pits was heavily criticized and I was judged harshly. Men with more body hair than I could ever grow called me gross, which I found hypocritical. In our culture body hair below the neck is looked upon a gross and unattractive (for women), but why is it not gross for men? Why not let nature take its course on our bodies, we are wasting our time and money on removing body hair that is on our bodies for a reason! According to Glamour magazine; the average women will shave 7,718 times in her life and spend over $10,000 on body hair removal products. The war on body hair is tiring and expensive, it's a waste of time, as I was taught hair will only grow back thicker and darker. This vicious cycle gets old, and has been going on since 1915 so why dwell in the past? Lets move on.

In 1915 the first objection of female body hair was published by Harper Bazaar, a picture of a women wearing a slip like dress with one arm over her head with her armpits seemingly shaved. The ad read "Summer Dress and Modern Dancing combine to make necessary the removal of objectionable hair." It was the beginning of a fashion revolution as well as the body modification revolution. Shortly after the ad in Harper Bazaar was published, Gillette published an ad for a women's razor. Before 1915 women felt no need to shave, as it wasn't even a 'thing' because women wore long dresses covering their arms and their ankles, barely showing any skin. Around the time of the 1920s the above ankle dress came into popularity. Women who wore this kind of dress were commonly known as flappers. Flappers started shaving their legs because ads made it seem like leg hair and body hair in general was unappealing and unattractive, making most women vulnerable to the media. I feel I am a victim of the media, as I sometimes conform to...

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