The Stigma Surrounding Body Hair

The Stigma Surrounding Body Hair

The world thinks it can tell all of us who should and shouldn't shave their pubic hair.
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There has been a lot of recent buzz about women choosing not to shave their pubic hair. It's becoming commonplace to see women without shaved legs or armpits. I personally believe that this movement is long overdue. People have the right to do whatever they want with their own bodies, despite societal norms.

Why am I, a male, jumping on the bandwagon about women's pubic hair? The truth is, the issue is a lot larger than it seems. It bleeds into other communities, not just women in general. Even though I'm male and there isn't a lot of pressure for me to do so, I have gone through several long periods of shaving my legs, armpits and intimate areas. I currently do not, and there is nothing wrong with that. During the times that I do shave, I usually get a lot of weird looks and comments. There's a lot of stigma around men shaving, and even I'm guilty of harboring these kinds of thoughts. When I first came to college, I ran into a guy with shaved legs and assumed that he was gay, which was incorrect and totally out of line. I've since learned not to make assumptions about such things.

There are also a lot of issues centered around pubic hair in romantic relationships. I have never gotten a complaint about any kind of body hair while romantically involved with a woman. There is a societal standard that, in a relationship with one male and one female, the female has to shave, but the male does not. Even though this is the case and I've never gotten any complaints, I always ask female partners if they'd prefer me to shave. I think that if my partners are going to go through all of the trouble to shave their bodies, I should extend the same courtesy.

When I am with men, the tune changes a little bit. Since I am young and "cute," I'm held to the clean-shaven standard. Most men expect me to embody the hairless twink of their fantasies. I've even been with someone who had the audacity to tell me, during sex, that I had missed a spot. At the same time, this man put forth no effort to control his own body hair.

This leads me into my ground rules about other people and their body hair. If you are with a romantic partner(s), I think it is unfair for you to ask them to shave their pubic hair unless you are willing to do the same. If your partner does a great job shaving their bodies, it might be nice of you to offer to do the same. Still, keep in mind that everyone has the right to refuse. Our hair is attached to our bodies, which we ultimately have supreme jurisdiction over. It takes a lot of work to keep pubic hair under control, and some people just don't see it as being worth the effort. Along those lines, if you see that a friend who normally shaves his or her legs or armpits has ceased, or that someone has started shaving, don't point it out. If you do feel close enough with that person to inquire why, be very nice about it. I know that I'm usually a little self-conscious for a while when I stop or start shaving my legs. If you notice that an acquaintance has begun to or no longer shaves, just don't bring it up or stare. It's really none of your business.

One of the biggest things I think our society needs to work on is removing stigma. I know there are a lot of bigger fish to fry, but peoples' bodies should be high on the list. Whatever we choose to do with our bodies is up to us. I think the last thing society should be concerned about is whether or not I shave my armpits.

Cover Image Credit: The Guardian

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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The Only National Emergency Is How Much Control We've Given The Federal Government

Can we build a wall around the swamp instead?

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Earlier this year, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to secure funds for a portion of his border wall. Currently, lawsuits upon lawsuits are being filed against Trump and this declaration, citing the inappropriateness of bypassing Congress for a project like a border wall.

While many disagree on the term "border crisis," there is one thing we should be able to agree on: our government is the real crisis.

Instead of a representative government, we have enabled a government set out to control many aspects of our personal lives. You must have health insurance, car insurance, you can't decide your own healthcare, and soon you won't be able to serve our country if you're trans... the list goes on and on.

Our country was founded on the idea of a limited government with more power given to individual states. In the 243 years since our country was established this ideal has gone out the window. While some of this change has been useful (FDA regulations and EPA guidelines) much of it has surpassed the power of the states and the people.

We have become too complacent in allowing our government to run our lives.

If we want to see actual change, we need to recognize the hyper-control of the government as the real national threat, not exaggerated threats from the border or claims about those seeking a new life in our country.

The administration is seeking to divide our country to weaken it so that we won't question their imaginary crises and outdated policies. If we want change we must fight against this separation and start being informed at the polls and advocating for policies that reflect our country's values rather than the values of those in power.

We can't let ourselves be separated by the body meant to keep us together.

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