Cultural bias does seem to have some effect on whether we are hairy or not. Like, if someone is from China, they are less likely to shave, because most of the women there don’t.
Why would they?
If I was in a country where not shaving was the norm and you were still sexy, I’d roll with that for sure! Think of all the saved hours! (I believe it’s a whole 72 days of a woman’s lifetime altogether on average in the US).
The cultures that don’t tend to shave these days all have pretty light and unnoticeable hair. Chinese women even have a hairy armpits beauty contest.
Another thing that I’d really like to make note of is that women with thicker and darker hair seem to be saying they have drawn the short straw. They say that it’s easier for someone with lighter hair to grow out their hair, because it’s less noticeable.
It sounds like it’s harder for these girls to keep hair shaved because it grows back thick and strong. In this world where the pressure to stay shaved is huge, especially for young teenage girls, I feel for you. One reporter (Nadya Agrawl), even reported a fear for her safety because of the racist behaviour she might experience when unshaven.
So, do we have a choice?
There must be a choice, but it’s not necessarily an easy one. And it can barely seem like we have one at all. Especially if the only options we see are lose-lose.
As in, we either, 1. shave and give in to what society tells us, or 2. we don’t shave, become estranged from our family, get mocked in the street, and end up living a meaningless, sexless life in a cave.
I know there are also women who are totally happy with their decision to shave, or not.
So, I believe there could be other ways of looking at this…
It’s all about the reason
It doesn’t seem to matter too much what we do, whether we choose to shave or grow our hair out long and braid it; it’s the reasoning behind what we are doing that matters.
For example, if your choice is made because it feels good, then I’m all for it, but if it is because you’ve given in or given up to social conventional norms, not so cool.
If it is because you care for someone in this world, and you want to show that through physical expression (could be done by growing your pits and dying them purple!), then great, but if it is because they pressured you into it, manipulated you, or forced you to by shame, not so great!
And if it is to express your true individuality and to creatively show who you really are, then awesome. But if it’s only to please your friends and family despite your own wishes…
What I’m saying is, there are strong reasons out there for whatever you want to do. And that is what is empowering.
nb What I also want to say, it’s ok if anyone chooses because of the reasons that might not make them feel awesome. I’m not judging. We’re all human. I’m just saying, there is another option.
So, I shaved them … what is the verdict for my pits?
After all this research and fascinating insights into the world of hair, I found both shaved and hairy bodies can be beautiful in their own way.
There have been many nuances and different ways of thinking about this hair psychology business. I now understand those conflicting emotions I felt when I picked up the razor that day. I get where the many views that sprang up in my head came from. And I can decide which I might want to listen to.
This discovery has been very liberating for me. Because I now know that it doesn’t matter what I choose to do with my body, as long as it’s a positive step for me.
And I hope that, armed with this knowledge, you can do the same.
Do let me know in the comments section, what your thoughts are about shaving now, and what is your own decision about it?