Wednesday, March 10, 2010


This is my fifth attempt at writing this post. I hope this is the healthier, happier, more positive version:

Hair can be healthy.

Hair on a female body is not more unclean than hair on a male body; women who do not shave are not somehow unhygienic, and will not smell any worse than anyone else who does not shave. Hair on a female body does not grow longer than hair on a male body; left unchecked, it will not dangle several feet or turn into an underarm fright wig. Like male body hair, it will grow, stop being stubbly, soften, and stop getting longer, just like all the rest of the hair on every other part of every other body.

It is not somehow natural or inherently right to remove hair: women have not been shaving forever, and in the US, shaving underarms started with ad campaigns in the 1910's, and leg shaving sometime during WWII. Hair has served an evolutionary purpose in our history; before it thinned out, it served to warm us, and it still makes us more sensitive to our surroundings. Thicker patches help regulate temperature and carry pheromones out to other members of our species, which those of us prone to smelling one another can find to be a positive experience.

Women who do not shave are not messy or lazy; they have a variety of reasons for not shaving, aesthetic, political, social, or sensual. They are not by some strange commutative property overweight and unattractive. They are not unmatchable, as far as mates are concerned, whatever their gender of preference. There are plenty of people who don't care, who don't mind, who come to understand, who slightly prefer, who appreciate, or who adore body hair. They have a variety of reasons for that, too.

Hair is not the enemy. Hair can be fun; hair can be pretty; hair can be sexy. Hair can be soft, gentle, and comfortable. Hair can be confident and strong. Hair can be wild and feral; hair can be demure and tidy. It can be feminine; it can be feminist. It can be sweet and it can be stubborn. Hair can be anything we want it to be, and we do not have to hate it or be afraid of it. It is ours to do anything we like with. If that happens to be removing it, then happy hunting. And if not, it is ours to keep in peace and pleasure and thrift and comfort and anything else we like.

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