I have clear memories of being in middle school gym class, wearing my gym shorts, hearing the other girls talking about shaving their legs, and saying something like this to the other girls: “Yeah.. I really need to shave.”
The thing is, I hadn’t started to shave yet. My leg hair was BLONDE, and it really wasn’t necessary for me to shave it. But because everyone else was shaving their legs, I figured I just better pretend like I was shaving my legs so they didn’t think I was weird (I guess). I could’ve started shaving whenever I wanted, so I don’t know why I felt the need to pretend like I did shave and was just terrible at keeping up with it, instead of just, you know, actually shaving.
It’s an unfortunate habit I used to have, lying to fit in.
There must have been one really powerful time when I did this lying-to-fit-in-thing (that I am sure everyone saw right through, but nobody cared enough to call me out on), because every time I think about saying, “Yeah.. I really need to shave,” I think about the other girls reenacting the opening scene to Bring It On. Middle school girls reenacting that cheer will forever be linked with lying about shaving my legs in my mind.
Today I am wearing what will certainly become my Friday uniform. We actually do have to wear uniforms the other days of the week, but Friday is our dress down day, or “day of colors.” But I like doing the same thing every day and every week (and every month and every year… I am my father’s daughter) so for the second week in a row on this Friday I am wearing a three-quarter sleeve floral tent-dress (you know – the dresses that just hang off your body and are comfortable and awesome) and my leggings with the cut outs.
If you see me today you will see through the fashionable cut outs in my leggings that I have not shaved my legs in… one week? Two? *Shrug* Here’s the thing – Sometime in the last 15 years I have learned the power of NOT CARING what other people think and NOT COMPARING myself (and my body!!!!) to other people. Praise God. Removing the hair from my body, especially from my legs, is not a priority for me. It’s just not. I don’t care about having hair on my legs. I don’t care about people seeing the hair on my legs. And it turns out, nobody else really cares either.
Think about it – do you care about someone else’s body hair? No, that’s weird. You maybe might care about your partner’s body hair, but you know what I’m saying. The vast majority of the people in your life do not spend one second thinking about when the last time you shaved your legs or your pits or your crotch or your wherever was. You’re not that important (and neither am I).
I read in a blog post somewhere, “Your body, your rules,” and immediately adopted it as one of my catchphrases. Listen! Your body, your rules! If removing your body hair is not a priority to you, then don’t worry about it! If you love removing your body hair, then go for it. Your body, your rules. Just please don’t let society or your partner or your parents or some made up, arbitrary guidelines about what YOUR body is supposed to look like dictate what matters to you.