Shaving sucks. It’s uncomfortable. You miss an obvious line of hair. You forget to shave and then you have to hop in the tub for a quick dry shave to wear that particular outfit that shows off your legs. You get nicked. The tiny scabs don’t heal fast enough because you have to keep shaving. And oh yeah, it’s tedious.
Yes, constant shaving is another one of those wearisome chores women have that many of us groan over.
Oddly enough, I will moan and groan about my fast-growing stubble and the work it takes to get rid of it while continuing to stock up on my Venus shaving cream and razor. They are $3.49 and $12.99 respectively. (Yes, shaving can even be expensive.)
And while I do loathe shaving, there’s no way you will catch me out here looking like a Chewbacca body double.
Look, I’m all for owning and loving my body in its natural state, but I cannot get with the #NoShaveNoShade movement. The kind of hair I have just won’t allow it. Like many of the women in my family, we’re hairy, and our hair grows quite fast. While I choose not to shave my arms (that’s just doing way too much), you will find me waxing (or threading) my caterpillar eyebrows, shaving my legs, and making an appointment to get a bikini wax.
I don’t do all this because I want to be accepted or because I wish to appeal to men. Sure, I initially started shaving after having everyone stare at my chiseled but hairy legs in middle school. Kids can be cruel. But I shave as much as I do nowadays because it makes me feel clean. Plus, I just like the way it looks. But those taking part in the #NoShaveNoShade movement are dropping their razors and taking a stand. Good for them.
The new trend has evolved to include women dyeing their armpit hair in bright colors to create a look you might expect to see in strobe lights at a rave with Miley Cyrus and her twerking teddy bears. And while I’m all for finding a new accessory to showcase my individuality, I don’t see myself bleaching a few inches of hair for a splash of color under my arms. I’d prefer if there were nothing under my arms, and I’d like to keep it that way.
It is without question that women are socialized to adhere to vain practices to be accepted and to be seen as attractive. For some, it’s striving for straighter hair with a relaxer or doing any and everything that comes to mind to get a backside that rivals Nicki Minaj. We are pressured into putting vanity on a pedestal for reasons that live outside the temple of our actual bodies. There will be days where I skip an eyebrow threading appointment, a shape up to keep this pixie cut tight, and even a day of shaving my legs. But when I do shave, it’s for me to love who is in the mirror. Not for the strangers judging me by my appearance as we cross paths.
While I won’t be championing this new #NoShaveNoShade movement, I applaud the women tackling whatever outside pressures they face with this hairy stance. And maybe they just like the way it looks and feels.
But I will continue to shave, and I will do so on my own terms, as it should be for all women.