BY ANJALI SINGH
Do you have to shave your legs so that you can flaunt them in short dresses? Do you feel gross whenever you find a woman with hair on her body? Have masks become your savior for hairy upper lips? Women’s body hair is stigmatized! Societal beauty standards have filled us with insecurities and made us feel ashamed.
Don’t Be A Victim Of Society’s Beauty Standards
During summer, we all want to wear cute short dresses and sleeveless tops. But before we step out of our homes we deal with the pressure of removing body hair. I think that’s why most of us love winters.
Societal beauty standards for women are harsh and never-ending. For society, hair-free skin is one of the features of an ideal body. We all are grown up watching how the “perfect body” is portrayed on television. In advertisements we see models and actresses shaving hair-free skin to promote hair removal products. (Just like they advertise period products with blue liquid).
Why are they so ashamed of showing actual hair? Such advertisements portray the message of feeling beautiful only in a hair-free body. These kinds of messages and beauty standards are influencing all of us and making us believe that a hairy body is disgraceful to women. Because of this many of us feel uncomfortable and self-conscious with hairy bodies.
Women with excessive body hair (hirsutism) even get to hear things like, “I think God has accidentally made you a woman”, “When was the last time you waxed?”, “Were you a bear in the previous birth?”, etc.
It’s hard for people to accept the fact that hair grows on a female’s body as well. However, male body hair is acceptable. It’s fine for them to have hair all over their bodies. It doesn’t disgust anyone. Have you ever seen a male getting trolled for having hairy legs or armpits? But you can find many women facing the troll on the internet for the same. Why is it always about women’s bodies? From upper-lips to the pubic area, we have to make sure there’s no trace of hair.
Body hair shaming is done by almost everyone. The shaming women receive, especially from their male counterparts, is one reason for abiding by these standards of beauty. The practice of body hair shaming extends beyond the male to the female as women daunt other women for their appearance (internalized misogyny). People who refuse to shave their bodies or facial hair are usually met with judgement and attacks. We all are humans and hair grows on a human body naturally. Shaming someone for something natural is like shaming that person for being a human.
Shaving Is A Choice, Not A Necessity !
Many women prefer removing body hair and we’re nobody to judge them. If you’re a feminist and choose to shave your body hair doesn’t make you any less feminist. But let’s not inject insecurity of body hair in women who embrace it. Let’s not attack them with words like “unhygienic” “unattractive” or “unfeminine”. Shaven legs have nothing to do with being feminine. Let’s stop giving the reaction of cringe on their hairy body. All we want is to see women’s and queer’s body hair as natural as men’s. They should feel free to walk around with hair on their body. They shouldn’t be criticized for body hair. They don’t have to undergo pain and spend money to live up to anyone’s expectations.
Rihanna, Madonna, Julia Roberts, Cara Delevingne and so many other female celebrities have shown us that we should really not give a ‘BEEP’ about shaving and beauty standards. Let’s unlearn the lesson that hair-free skin is a part of an ideal body. All bodies are the ideal type. Together we can DESTIGMATIZE WOMEN’S BODY HAIR!