I Quit Shaving Everything in the Pandemic | Ask the Rev. | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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I Quit Shaving Everything in the Pandemic

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Published June 29, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.


ID 12473843 © CORY THOMAN | DREAMSTIME
  • ID 12473843 © Cory Thoman | Dreamstime

Dear Reverend,

Over the course of the pandemic, I quit shaving my legs — and everything else. Now that bathing suit season is upon us, I feel like I should start again, but I really don't want to. The hair on my legs and armpits is pretty light, but I'm concerned about my pubes. I don't have a '70s porn-star bush, but if I wear a high-cut suit, there will definitely be some short-and-curlies on display. Should I care? Am I just feeling the pressure of the patriarchy's unrealistic beauty standards?

Fuzzi Wuzshe (female, 28)

Dear Fuzzi Wuzshe,

Men can have hair growing willy-nilly all over their bodies and nobody bats an eye, but God forbid a woman has stubbly legs. Pearls will be clutched!

Not all humans are as obsessed with female hairlessness as Americans, and it wasn't until the early 1900s that smooth skin became considered the norm. It's just another gender-based double standard that can, some say, be traced back to a man: Charles Darwin. After his theory of evolution gained popularity, body hair became equated with being less evolved. But, of course, not so much for men.

Women rebelliously embracing their body hair has long been a sign of personal strength and power. Take Frida Kahlo's unibrow, for example. The current trend toward body positivity means we're seeing more female celebrities sporting armpit hair, advertising campaigns for razors with slogans like "We're grow-choice" and models with varying degrees of body hair on display. Thankfully, with more visibility comes more acceptance.

That said, there's no shame in the hair-removal game. If you choose to be smooth because you like the way it looks and feels, more power to you. But no one should have to change their body to fit into random societal norms.

If you're more comfortable covering up, there are all sorts of bathing suit styles that will do the trick: boy shorts, bike shorts, bottoms with frilly bits around the leg holes, skirts — you name it, you can find it. However, if your heart is happiest when you're wearing a high cut, go right ahead and let the fur fly, sister.

Good luck and God bless,

The Reverend

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