This summer I traveled almost non-stop. I traveled for two months, living out of my backpack. At the beginning of the journey, I decided to leave my razor at home. My original plan was just one month of traveling as a backpacker and…
Who cares, if a backpacker is hairy or not?
If the clothes aren’t the freshest, a few hairs under my armpit shouldn’t be surprising. I started the journey with these thoughts. And it was as normal as I thought while I lived the role of the backpacking hippie-girl. No astonished looks, no subliminal comments. I don’t know if it was because of ignorance, acceptance or just no notice about it.
But my plans changed and I got in situations where I had to be the well-groomed, young Lady that society would like to see. But hey, at first, there wasn’t a shaver at hand and after that, I decided consciously not to shave. Just because I got familiar with my Natural-Whole-Body-Coat.
My skin was obviously happy that I didn’t torture it anymore with shaving.
It is just a visual issue to remove body hair. There are no hygienic reasons to do this. Of course, you have to be pay attention that you don’t start smelling, but also while I shaved, I often had to use deodorants. With or without hair: If you keep attention on cleanliness, wash the affected body parts and use deodorant, there is no difference if you shave or not. I mean, in the case of odor 😉
(Some tips for deodorants: choose antimicrobial stuff, e.g. alcohol or essential oils. They remove the bacteria, which create the bad smell if their metabolism meets the sweat. Sweat itself is just salty water. If you’re looking for some, there are good alternatives to common deodorants).
Of course, there are alternatives to shaving. Waxing, epilating, laser… I don’t want to discuss the method of hair removing. But I shaved for years, that’s all. My sensitive skin was for sure one of a few reasons to stop it. Another was the curiosity about my social environment. And the question:
Why do beauty ideals have such a high acceptance in society?
And why is there a mix-up with spruceness? For sure, there are arguments going hand-in-hand, but you can’t over-simplify it! Using body hair as a synonym for scruffiness is just wrong. The non-existence of hair became a standard in our culture, that’s all.
That’s why I decided to start a little social experiment for myself. How will people react if there is a young, hairy girl? Will they react at all? What happens when I take off my ‘travel-self’ for a few weeks and my ‘every-day-life-self’ will be at work again?
And so, the razor stayed unused for beach holidays, parties, spa and wellness visits. I showed armpits, I showed legs. Reactions? Well… Not really. Maybe there a strange look or an astounded glimpse. Almost no comments. But hey, who knows the thoughts behind their forehead? I’m pretty sure that I am in some heads still the “Hairy Yeti Monster” 😉
I asked a good friend of mine if it is conspicuous at all. She just grinned and nodded. ‘What do you think? Of course!’ – Oh, okay, that point-blank answer surprised me after the whole non-reactions of my fellow humans. But I noticed some lightly positive reactions when I expected negative ones: An astonished glimpse that turned into a little smile of a woman – I saw that more than once.
And the men surprised me the most: during my two-month experiment, it was not one but two guys that didn’t get scared off by my fur and went to bed with me (and I am definitely not a seductress…).
In the end, I am pretty sure, that HOW you appear is all that matters.
If you are self-confident and say with all your body language ‘Yeah I know how I look like, and it’s pretty okay’ no one will judge or even attack you. Just be yourself and adhere to this statement. In this case, there will be always more acceptance than vilification. Stand up for your own body and don’t be afraid to show it. Do what’s good for you. No one with a little bit of empathy and a fair-mindedness will judge you if you are straightforward to yourself and thereby also to others.
And talking about body hair, here’s something for all the DC fans out there 😉 Do Amazons shave?
What do you think about this specific beauty standard? Tell us in the comments!