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The UltraViolet

Marlborough School Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

The Student News Site of Marlborough School

The UltraViolet

Shaving hair is no fair

Riley+25+Contributing+Illustrator
Riley 25 Contributing Illustrator

I’m not a religious person, but I do think that there is something to be said for the idea that we are all made in God’s image. Yet, if all of us have been made in the image of God, then why, oh why, do people keep propagating the belief that there is something wrong with women’s bodies? And then why, oh why, do women feel the need to shave their legs?

Before you say “ew” and stop reading, please hear me out. Sure, when I say that I haven’t shaved my legs in two years, you might be grossed out, but let’s take a second to understand why you might have this reaction.

There is nothing wrong with human bodies. We are all made by nature, and we all look a certain way and that is completely OK. It was nature that decided to add hair to human legs, making it natural and thus normal. But, if it’s normal and natural, then why do people keep expecting me to shave that hair off? Society has not only constructed a toxic and harmful idea that women’s leg hair is something that is gross and should be treated as non-existent but also conditioned me and many others to subscribe to that idea. The expectation of needing to shave is simply a hurtful societal construct that pervades many women’s lives and has no real basis in science or fact.

Yet, if it’s a societal construct, why did I do it for years? At least for me, I realized that I personally had no problem with my leg hair; it was just others who did. So I had to ask myself if I was shaving my legs to please other people. Was I doing it to please other people who might have issues with the way my body looked? And if so, then why was I letting what other people thought of me govern my life?

So, with those two momentous realizations in my mind, I became liberated — or at least I stopped spending 15 minutes one to two times a week needlessly removing natural and normal hair off of my body. Just think of all of the time I gained back in my life! Now I can watch Netflix, spend time with my family or even read a book instead of playing into harmful expectations about what I do with my body.

But at the end of the day, while I may masquerade as a passionate, free-wheeling feminist shucking off all patriarchal expectations to live as a liberated woman, I’m also lazy. I do my homework, I go to work and I study for tests, but that’s enough for me. Spending my precious free time lathering shaving cream on my legs is just too much of an ask and takes just too much energy and time than I can supply. When there’s nothing for me to do, which is rare, the last thing on Earth I want to do is shave my legs.

Of course, this is not to say that breaking from toxic societal expectations and beliefs is easy. I think many of us can recognize the harmful beliefs about women’s bodies that govern our lives. While I often think that these societal expectations are harmful, breaking free from them is an inordinately hard task to do, as they are so deeply ingrained and entrenched within popular culture. But if you stay strong and put that razor down, you might learn to find comfort in that blanket of hair that nature provided.

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Dinah 25
Dinah 25, Photo Editor
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