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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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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8 Types Of People Fetuses Grow Into That 'Pro-Lifers' Don't Give 2.5 Shits About

It is easy to fight for the life of someone who isn't born, and then forget that you wanted them to be alive when you decide to hate their existence.

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For those in support of the #AbortionBans happening all over the United States, please remember that the unborn will not always be a fetus — he or she may grow up to be just another person whose existence you don't support.

The fetus may grow up to be transgender — they may wear clothes you deem "not for them" and identify in a way you don't agree with, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them a mentally unstable perv for trying to use the bathroom.

The fetus may grow up to be gay — they may find happiness and love in the arms of someone of the same gender, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them "vile" and shield your children's eyes when they kiss their partner.

The fetus may grow up and go to school — to get shot by someone carrying a gun they should have never been able to acquire, and their life will mean nothing to you when your right to bear arms is on the line.

The fetus may be black — they may wear baggy pants and "look like a thug", and their life will mean nothing to you when you defend the police officer who had no reason to shoot.

The fetus may grow up to be a criminal — he might live on death row for a heinous crime, and his life will mean nothing to you when you fight for the use of lethal injection to end it.

The fetus may end up poor — living off of a minimum wage job and food stamps to survive, and their life will mean nothing to you when they ask for assistance and you call them a "freeloader" and refuse.

The fetus may end up addicted to drugs — an experimentation gone wrong that has led to a lifetime of getting high and their life will mean nothing to you when you see a report that they OD'd and you make a fuss about the availability of Narcan.

The fetus may one day need an abortion — from trauma or simply not being ready, and her life will mean nothing to you as you wave "murderer" and "God hates you" signs as she walks into the office for the procedure.

* * *

Do not tell me that you are pro-life when all of the above people could lose their lives in any way OUTSIDE of abortion and you wouldn't give 2.5 shits.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is gay or trans, you will berate them for who they are or not support them for who they love.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is poor or addicted, you will refuse the help they desperately need or consider their death a betterment of society.

You fight for the baby to be born, but when the used-to-be-classroom-of-fetuses is shot, you care more about your access to firearms than their lives.

It is easy to pretend you care about someone before they are even born, and easy to forget their birth was something you fought for when they are anything other than what you consider an ideal person.

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