Whether you’ve never shaved your legs and are reconsidering, or if you’ve been an avid shaver and are sick of the maintenance, it can be tricky to decide whether or not you should shave your body hair – especially if you’re a woman. With society’s preconceived, patriarchal perceptions of what women should or shouldn’t be, a seemingly simple choice can easily become challenging.
Our advice? You do you, boo-boo. It’s your body and you get to decide what’s beautiful, no one else. So while you’re weighing the pros and cons, here are some things to keep in mind to help you make your decision:
Look at the history of body hair.
Society’s idea of who should or shouldn’t remove body hair – and where it should or shouldn’t be removed – has drastically changed throughout the years. Removing body hair used to be something both women AND men did dating all the way back to the stone age. In the middle ages, Catholic women were expected to grow their body hair as a sign of femininity, however, their eyebrows and even their hairlines were often plucked and thinned out to elongate foreheads, which at the time, was a sign of beauty and class.
Every culture is different.
Even though western culture embraces removal of pretty much all body hair for women, in Korea having luscious, full pubic hair is a sign of fertility. So much so, some women in Korea even elected to have pubic hair transplants in the mid-2010s.
Do you mind the feeling of body hair?
For some people, particularly those with sensory issues, body hair can be annoyingly itchy and uncomfortable. On the flip side, some people prefer the warmth and softness of body hair.
Are you comfortable with adding shaving into your shower routine?
There’s a few reasons to ask yourself this question. One has to do with the sensitivity of your skin. If you’re prone to razor burn, or even breakouts from shaving gel or cream it might not be worth the hassle. The second reason being, shaving takes up more time. If you’re constantly busy and don’t have time for more than a 5 minute shower then it may be easier to skip the razor and go au natural.
How do you feel when you have body hair?
For some, it makes them feel feminine and strong while others may not feel comfortable with growing their body hair. There’s no right or wrong answer. Everyone has different preferences, just like how some people are horror movie fans or prefer rom-coms; or if you’re a dog person or a cat person.
At the end of the day, ask yourself: Am I making this choice based on what I want? Or am I letting other people’s opinions influence me? It may seem easier to just appease those around you but in the long-run you’ll thank yourself for standing your ground and being true to who you are.