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Body Hair: The Sustainability of #Januhairy


"Body shaming, bullying and demeaning women who happen to have more body hair than others cause at least some, if not intense, psychological scarring and damage to their self-esteem. So whether it is the men out there who promote the idea of a perfectly smooth body as the epitome of femininity, or whether it is the women who spread the idea for example, that men prefer women who are “totally clean down there” the fact remains that many women go to extreme lengths to keep up being hairless. It’s time-consuming, requires constant check and follow-up, expensive and painful to say the least." ~ from 'Shaving the Stigma Surrounding Body Hair'


Most of us gals remember the first time we shaved. Back when we went from being 'perfect just as we were' to having things that were natural to our bodies suddenly be deemed wrong. If you didn't shave, didn't wear makeup, didn't use 'product', you were quickly labeled a whole lot of "U" adjectives, including but not limited to...


  • Unattractive.

  • Unfeminine.

  • Unworthy.

  • Unacceptable.

  • Unlovable.


So you grab the razor, take the razor burn bumps and nicks, and jump onto the misogynist bandwagon that tells females that we are repulsive if we don't follow the status quo and remove our body hair. While many can hide not shaving in the colder seasons like now, many of us remember the gasps when Julia Roberts first lifted an arm at an awards show to reveal she...didn't shave her pits!


For me, it was inspiring. I didn't toss my razors, but I saw that her radiance and beauty and spirit and VALUE were unrelated to something as ridiculous as a lack of body hair. Miley Cyrus and others have now waved their arms in the air proudly, and this month is the chance for many of us to do the same.


"While there’s evidence of ancient Egyptians, Romans and Renaissance-era Europeans practicing hair removal, the status quo for women in the West — namely that hairless underarms, legs, bikini lines and upper lips are more socially acceptable — came about after the men of World War I returned home with disposable safety razors, only for women to experiment with them...Gillette saw a golden opportunity and, in 1915, launched the “Milady Decolette.” Various advertisements from the time bill it as the “well-groomed” woman’s solution to “an embarrassing personal problem.”


Along with the disposable razor industry continuing to GROW (they brings in over $4.3B annually), over the past 25 years, body hair removal has become an epidemic of even further shaming women (and a sizable number of men) as, thanks to porn and shows like Sex and the City which normalized wildly unhealthy habits like waxing one's pubic hair - not to mention imprinted upon girls that unless their privates remained looking like they were before puberty, they were somehow gross. "For some reason unexplained by society, women live up to a span of eighty years striving to look twenty, with the hair growth deficit of a ten year old...Men and women have been brainwashed through the years into thinking that it is a personal preference to want a hairless partner. In actuality, the media we consume that project harmful, childlike beauty standards upon us is the root cause for this desire." ~ from 'Pedophilia and its Influence on Body Hair Removal'


And the industry is laughing all the way to the bank. While in my green living practices I've not used a disposable razor in over 20 years, I'd still been buying those damn refills, which at Costco a pack of 16 now costs FIFTY-TWO DOLLARS. I shit you not. Furthermore, none of those razor refills are recyclable, so ultimately it's still creating trash for the landfill. So while my husband will be transitioning to a safety razor when we run out of our last bit of refills, I've decided I'm not going to give a damn what anyone thinks of my legs or my pits.


Strangely enough, while we do have a DIY deodorant that in our medicine cabinet, it takes a year or more to use this small amount of coconut oil, arrowroot and baking soda-based product to be used up. Why? Because unless we are stressin', we've noticed that our sweat doesn't actually stink. And folks, that's backed up by science. So why would I put something on if it's not actually doing anything? Exactly. And when there are stress hormones causing a funk, I can a) choose to accept it, or b) dab a little of the DIY stuff on, and we're good. And guess what, hairy pits don't cause body odor - bacteria does, which is no more prevalent under the arms than anywhere else on our bodies.


So y'all, I'm living green, and letting the chestnut brown locks do what they are meant to do - grow. Saving money, reducing waste, and stepping into myself even more as I reach the precipice of the big 5-0. and yep, I'm calling out the body shamers that define the industry's corporate marketing execs.


"Ads create problems we didn't know we had. Whether it was in the 1920s when women discovered their armpit hair was ghastly, the 1960s when not using a razor meant you couldn't handle yourself like a man, or the earlier 2000s when you couldn't be sexually attractive if your bikini line wasn't presented in the shape of a thunderbolt, ads make the problems we need to work to fix through their products. Now the question is: Are we strong enough not to buy into them?" ~ from Bustle's 'Shaving Ads From The Last 100 Years'


the history of shaving ads is pretty repugnant...


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