Why I stopped shaving (for a while)

by Mermaid Nixie July 15, 2017 12 Comments

Today, I shaved my legs for the first time in six months. 

There was a lot of hair. A lot. It was the longest my leg hair had been since middle school.

I have a few friends who don't shave at all. They haven't shaved anything in years. And I used to wonder why. I would prefer to have no hair below my eyebrows. I'd be perfectly okay with that.

Then one day, I was surfing around the internet searching for feminist quotes (I make cross stitch charts with them, don't you know?) and I found a woman writing about body positivity and feminism. Though I already had the idea for Mermaid Jeans, I hadn't done a lot of work learning about body positivity, so I stopped and read it.

I can no longer find this article I once found (if someone else knows it, please tell me), but the long and the short of it was that this woman was bemoaning that women could not be considered beautiful without removing all evidence that she had once gone through puberty.

This struck me suddenly and hard as I imagined what the media had fed to me about what the "perfect" woman looks like. 

  • Her skin is unmarred with acne, wrinkles, or any other type of "unsightly" spot.
  • She has no hair on her face, legs, her armpits, or her genitals.
  • She has no cellulite.
  • Her hair is shiny and healthy and has no grey in it.
  • She has an innocent blush on her cheeks (even when she's naked).
  • She has firm, pert breasts (the only allowed residual of puberty).
  • And in circumstances where she talks, the "perfect" woman is often innocently ignorant of many ways the world works.

The article was right! The way women are often portrayed in the media, we are expected to be young girls with breasts and [sometimes] hips. 

Shaving my legs has always been a difficult thing for me. I'm extremely nearsighted. I can't even see the lines on my palm without glasses. So, to try to shave in the shower (or bath) without glasses is very much a trial. And I've never really thought about whether or not I want to do it.

So, for the winter, I stopped shaving. At all.

And I learned something. I learned that I actually kind of like having shaved legs. But I'm not sure if I like having smooth legs because society has told me I should have smooth legs or because I actually like them. But I'm sure glad I tried it!



Mermaid Nixie

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