I’m sick of people telling me I should shave my legs.
I haven’t shaved my legs in about a year. It started when I moved into my sophomore dorm room last August. Our shower was small, the walls were slippery and straight, and there was no room to put your leg up. After a few miserable attempts at trying to prop my leg up and almost hurting myself, I gave up. In my mind I figured by the time it got noticeable it would be winter and I’d be wearing pants so no one would notice.
However, I soon found out how freeing it was to not shave my legs. I’ll admit it, it was awkward at first. I felt really self-conscious and would hide my legs under pants or leggings. After a while that changed and I actually began to feel more self-confident, probably the most self-confident I’ve felt in years. I think I learned to accept myself more. I realized I really didn’t have to meet the beauty standards set up for me if I didn’t want to.
And while this works for me, I completely understand that this doesn’t work for everyone. Some people like to shave their legs, and that’s okay. I do things like dye my hair and wear makeup and for some people not doing that makes them feel empowered. You do you boo.
The reason I’m so frustrated is because people keep enforcing their ideas on me.
My mom loves bringing it up. She thinks it’s so weird and hilarious. I’m so sick of her mentioning it. Yes, I have hairy legs. No, you really don’t need to bring it up every time you see them. I know you don’t approve of it and you think it’s me being a rebellious liberal college student.
I’m okay with people asking me why I don’t shave them. I normally respond it’s a mix of laziness and also fighting traditional beauty standards. I don’t see a reason to shave them. Why do women shave and men don’t? (I could go on for a while about this, but I won’t). To me, it’s a waste of money and time for a beauty standard I don’t feel the need to reach.
And why can’t those close to me realize that this makes me happier?
It is frustrating when people tell me to shave them even after I’ve expressed how I feel about it. My little brother told me last night before a fancy family dinner that I should shave them. He said “well I like it better when girls shave their legs.” To which I wanted to explode, but I didn’t. I’ve tried to educate him on this and he doesn’t care. So I told him he has no say over my body and this is what I choose to do and we left it at that.
But come on. For one, he’s fifteen. Two, he really has no say over my body and what I do with my body has nothing to do with what he likes. Even my partner doesn’t have a say if I shave or don’t shave and I don’t have a say if they do or not either. And whenever I question why girls have to shave their legs and guys don’t, he and others respond “well that’s just how it is.” I am so sick of hearing that. That’s not how it is. Shaving legs started to please men and make money.
I miss my roommates and friends at college. I feel way more accepted there where we encourage each other to do what we want and fight the dumb expectations we’re expected to meet. Being in such a positive environment really boosted my self-confidence and love for myself. Being here where I’m constantly the joke of the conversation or judged or told I’m wrong doesn’t make me feel great.
I hope for a day when we as people don’t question what others do with their body. We don’t make fun of others for how they express themselves as long as they’re respectful to others. We don’t make such a big deal out of stupid gender roles.
Why does it matter to you if I shave my legs or don’t? Answer: it doesn’t.
**Photos from pintrest, knowyourmeme, redsharpiemoments, and an artist I follow on facebook (I’m sorry I don’t remember your name if I do I’ll add it here). photos not in order.