I really hope so.
Although, this is for women too – of course. I’m sure there are many who will disagree with me.

I apologise for my absence of late – it seems the strains of life as a full-time working mum have pockets when they take their toll. I’m sure many working mums can give me an exhausted ‘amen’ there.

This bit’s for the guys. (You can listen in, though, gals)

Last week, I escaped with Hubby and the girls to a National Park for three days, with zero phone reception and no Net. It was sublime and enormously relaxing – which was just the ticket, as I think I was heading toward a ‘system overload’ situation.
Having access to the world would have rendered the whole mini-break pointless, as the crappy things that are going on profoundly affect me.

So, my first ‘me’ activity on the first day, was to pluck the hairs off my legs.

Mmmmmm – I hear ya – exciting stuff.

Now I know that I said in my last post on this issue – A hairy moment – that my only manner of removing leg hair was through shaving, BUT I had purchased a new ‘machine’ and after recently slicing the top off a toe knuckle with a razor (infuriating and bloody painful), as I attempted to balance in the shower to shave, I thought I’d give the ‘hair yank’  another shot.
Exfoliation and cream galore will be needed to stop the usual ingrown hairs.

So as my legs started to welt – Exhibit A:

IMG_6298

– my daughters entered the room, looking quite perplexed, and asked why I was doing that. Like I was a crazy person.

At that moment, guys, what am I to say?

The truth? – that less than a hundred years ago, this became the ‘fashion’ and sealed our doomed fate to constantly undo what nature has given us?

Or our truth? – that they simply have to and will spend a truck load of money in the process?

I sat there – blinking (with the sounds of crickets) – and just looked at them.

Blank.

Question # 184: Do you see the conundrum we’re in as women?

At every turn – it’s JUST about our looks.
And that attitude permeates everything to do with women.

I want to instil in my girls – in ALL girls (and dare I dream it; boys and men) – that beauty absolutely comes in all shapes, colours…and (heaven forbid) hairiness.

But how can I teach that when I’m sitting there – intentionally – ripping the hair off my legs, leaving them in welts?

I felt a bit like a fraud.

So, I’m still a feminist who will not let my leg and armpit hair grow, because it’s entrenched in my views of beauty  – BUT can you understand the frustration?

Before some of you guys say you have an equal problem because you have to shave your faces – I’ll respond with. ‘But by beauty standards you don’t have to.’ Exhibit B:

kinopoisk.ruHugh Jackman sports a scruffy beard while greeting fans outside the 'Late Show with David Letterman' in NYC7402119_f520

We have to…and it’s a bummer.

OK gals, this part is for you AS WELL. (Don’t go anywhere yet, fellas)

No, hair removal is not the number one issue that women face – by a long shot – women have much graver and more horrifying problems to face and deal with, on a global scale.

I wrote about this because I needed to explain the simple frustration of women (with the means – like myself) choosing to shave their legs, at the expense of all our wallets – men’s and women’s – AND the environment.

Imagine the plastic (as an example) we’d have saved from being produced, if this weren’t the fashion for women?
And the resources to MAKE that plastic? It’s mind-boggling when hair removal is a billion dollar industry.

All for what? Hair?

Sadly, the logic doesn’t translate to the already converted – like me – but:

Question #185: Should we really be doing this to ourselves and imparting it onto our kids?

It’s like men can be as hairy as they want to be and are steered away from their feminine aspects (which balances them out) – being ridiculed for being a ‘girl/woman’ in any way.

Whilst women have to rid themselves (preferably) of all body hair – except for the hair on the head, of course, which has to be long and cascading locks. (Another extreme beauty expense, BTW)
Women are being steered away from their wonderful, rugged strength (which balances them out) because those masculine traits – whether they be physical (looks) or in attitude – deem them ‘unladylike’.

We’re missing out on the best of ourselves.

We’re a bunch of idiots.

Deep Breath.

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A hairy moment.

August 14, 2012

It’s time to get a little more light-hearted; time to have a bit of a giggle.

So here we go…Female Body Hair – mainly of the leg variety.

I am of South American background and have been a fairly, hairy human from when I can remember – well, my legs especially.

I recall the serious discussion with my mother and grandmother, looking up between them, as to whether I was old enough to shave or not. Being ‘too young’ at the start, I began my hair removal journey with creams. That smelly, stinky stuff – and this was around 1980 – you can only imagine how bad that stuff was back then.

I then graduated to razors and have pretty much had to stick to them ever since. Thirty long years.
But that is not from lack of trying every other affordable way. But to no avail.

The method I wished worked for me, is waxing. I have tried. Many times. But thanks to the substantial dose of exposure to the Aussie sun at the beach, coupled with natural genes, my leg skin has been rendered a tad leathery and has, in turn, made my legs a haven for in-grown hairs. No amount of exfoliation and cream to soften the skin, seem to do the trick when I wax. So it’s shaving or nothing.

The final downer? That if a shave in the morning, I can feel the buggers poking their heads through by late afternoon…OK, a slight exaggeration; but only slightly.

One night in Winter last year, I was shaving my legs in my teeny, awkward shower; balancing precariously on one leg – it’s such a pain. And I felt this pinprick of annoyance, wanting to shout, “Why do I have to do this?” …even though I was in my ‘down time’ of shaving.
(Winter affords me a lovely window where I can let the legs get a bit gorilla-like, as they’re always covered).

So when did this irritating and expensive habit begin?

An article entitled “Caucasian Female Body Hair and American Culture” by Christine Hope, says that:

…businesses began “encouraging” American women to shave their underarms around 1915, when sleeveless fashions became popular. Harper’s Bazaar featured an ad stating: “Summer Dress and Modern Dancing combine to make necessary the removal of objectionable hair.” Yet another revenue stream made possible by human insecurity.

The war against nature’s leg warmers came a bit later, as changes in clothing allowed women to display more than just an ankle. According to Hope, convincing women to shave their legs was more challenging, so advertisers pulled out all the stops. “Some advertisers as well as an increasing number of fashion and beauty writers harped on the idea that female leg hair was a curse.”

A curse? How absurd, right?
Anything to get women to buy…and they do. A recent report I read, claimed women in Australia spend $100, 000 on razors and $30, 000 on waxing – a year.
Insanity.

Secondly, in the big scheme of things – centuries actually – this leg hair removal business is a really recent event; only about 70 year. When I think about all the women in history, who were loved – adored – worshipped…they would have ALL had hairy legs, hairy pits…the works.

All. Of. Them.

Question #82: Isn’t it a shame that so many ‘beauty necessities’ for women, are SO unnecessarily entrenched?

It didn’t seem to bother the men (or the women) of the past.

So am I saying that I’m going to stop shaving my legs?
Hell NO!!
I’m too conditioned and so is the world around me; it’s not a good look with my dark, luscious South American hairs. I have to say, I always envied all my fairer Aussie girlfriends…with their invisible leg hair…

…but the main reason I brought this up, is the mere FRUSTRATION that it’s just another thing we have to spend money on to make ourselves conform to a very recent norm.

My 7 year old daughter recently asked me (with a perplexed expression) why I removed my leg hair and I told her that that’s the way I was brought up but that she doesn’t have to. It probably won’t work because I’m not modelling it – but who knows, if enough girls reject removing their body hair, then it could become the norm just as easily as this one did.

So on I go – with razor in hand…

…Oh, look! A photo of what my legs look like after a few days.
KIDDING! (sort of).

Deep Breath, girls!

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