Kids used to call me a gorilla. I have thick, dark hair, which is blessing on my head but a curse literally everywhere else. Even my 8th-grade boyfriend teasingly called me a gorilla. Yeah, we didn’t last long.
In grade school, I couldn’t wait for my mom to start letting me shave. I envisioned my razor becoming my best friend and partner in crime. Together we would shave away my “gorilla girl” title.
It only took me a few weeks of shaving to realize it was a painful way to pass time. A lot of time. Luckily, I came to this conclusion before I was brave enough to shave my arms. That would have been more tragic than the teasing.
I still stand by this anti-shaving sentiment. No Shave November for me means seeing how long I can grow my leg hair out. It’s an annual winter project with great past successes. I’ve found a lot of people who share the same annoyance toward shaving, yet still make it a part of their daily routine. I think there are a few reasons for this dissonance.
For starters, people think not shaving is gross, or unladylike. In fact, you probably cringed at the thought of long, lady leg hair. But why? We’re living in a time with regular access to bathing, so the chances of getting lice or smelling from not shaving are pretty slim. You know what’s grosser than hair? Rampant razor bumps and gnarly infections from cuts.
Even if it’s really not gross, there’s still a fear that other people will know you haven’t shaved and think you’re a weird, hairy gorilla. I get it. I still find myself shaving my hands from time to time because I think it makes me feel better. But I don’t really feel better, I just feel shielded from public disapproval. If someone is going to like me more with hairless hands, they’re an oddly observant freakazoid.
Nobody is going to know if you didn’t shave your armpits today and if they do, they’re probably too worried about their own hair to think much about yours. Trust me, you’re going to save a lot of time, money and stress when you stop caring so much about the existence of hair on your body.
I’m not saying you have to throw away your razor and start dying your armpit hair. I still shave when I feel like it, and that’s the key takeaway here. My razor and I are not in a committed relationship. We have a really casual relationship and I think that’s beautiful. Shave if you want, but don’t sweat a missed spot or a little prickle.