Why IDGAF About Shaving My Legs


I was the girl who developed a little bit earlier than the rest. I started wearing real bras (cup size A, of course) in 3rd or 4th grade. So naturally, I started growing hair around that time, too.

In 4th grade, my legs got especially hairy. I saw celebrities on magazines with perfectly smooth, hairless legs (I particularly rememberer seeing Jennifer Lopez on a cover like this). I watched TV shows and none of the girls on them talked about shaving. Their legs were just hairless already. Like I said, I developed a little bit earlier than others, so the girls at my school had hairless legs, too. Eventually, the idea that my legs had to be perfectly smooth and hairless got put into my head. How could it not? I was surrounded by a world of hairless legs. I began shaving my legs in 4th grade because of this beauty standard held by our society.

So I’ve been shaving my legs for about 6 years now. And it’s a hassle. It truly is. I’m lazy and I hate doing it. I hate bending down to shave and coming back up with an achy back. It sucks!! I absolutely hate it. With that being said, I decided a few years back I didn’t need to do it as often as others would say I should . I didn’t care if my legs were hairy. I didn’t care if I got weird comments and stares from other girls, sometimes boys. I don’t like doing it and that’s that. Just because everyone else thinks I should doesn’t mean I have to. I defeated a beauty standard and I’m happy because of it. I shave my legs maybe once every two weeks or more only because I get tired of the prickly feeling, but I don’t care and will never care how it looks or what anyone thinks about it.

People think it’s gross. Girls give me nasty looks and follow that with: “You need to shave your legs…” They’re wrong! I don’t need to shave my legs. I’m perfectly happy with their hairy-ness. Just because my legs are hairy doesn’t mean I have to wear pants or make an attempt to hide them. I can still wear shorts and show off the legs I’m proud of, regardless of the hair on them.

I know this isn’t revolutionary and there are plenty of girls who don’t shave their legs at all, but I just want people all over the world to know that we don’t have to conform to any standards. Mark Twain wrote in his essay “Corn-Pone Opinions” (which I had to read for school this summer) that it is in our nature to conform in order to gain approval from others. If something makes you unhappy, fight nature. Fight the standards set by society. Do what makes you happy and ignore anyone who tries to make you think differently. We can be whatever we want to be and we are not subject to being what anyone else wants us to be. My new motto is now: Got hair?? Don’t care!! Fight the beauty standards. Fight ’em till you die.

Brooke Shapiro

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