The summer of the unshaved legs

One summer, I decided to stop shaving. It may have been the same summer that I decided to move to New Hampshire and be a waitress. I was….fifteen? Sounds right. My waitressing plans fell through, but no amount of frustratingly attached parents was going to prevent me from having hairy legs. I got the idea from something someone said.

I was over the house of a boy I was sort of dating, and his dad was talking about this girl who worked at the organic farm down the road. She was a very pretty girl, apparently, except that her legs were covered in hair. He did a little fake shudder and his sons laughed appreciatively. His wife said, “I’d never not shave.”

Which reminded me of another woman I knew, who had said those same words when her husband was discussing a camping trip, and why she wouldn’t come. And how she couldn’t be far from her feminine toiletries (I really doubt that he used that terminology). This was when I was ten, and makeup impressed me, especially since my mother didn’t wear it, and it was a mystery. The woman who would never not shave wore lots of makeup, and clearly held the key to all of the secrets of womanhood in her delicate, manicured hand. So one day, I figured, when I grew hair in inappropriate places, I would proudly shave it right off again.

And I did. (Except for pubic hair. That itches way, way too much afterward.)

But at fifteen, I suddenly stopped. The way my almost-boyfriend’s father described that girl at the farm sounded like a challenge. Like a false premise I was morally obligated to disprove. Like fun. I was pretty, I thought (this was back when I was still homeschooled, and thought I was pretty all the time), and I would definitely be pretty with hairy legs. And everyone would agree. And plus, I wouldn’t have to get all those tiny cuts on my legs when I shaved. The pale pink, sweetly curved razors seemed designed to punish my skin. Men’s flat, sturdy razors were more efficient, but I wasn’t willing to feel like a boy when I shaved.

(Such a problem. Source)

At first, it was prickly and spiky and stupid. It surprised me how long it took to grow out fully. It had always seemed like it grew so quickly that it would be two inches long in about four days. I realized I had no idea what length the hair on my legs was, in its natural state. I also didn’t know what the texture was. As it turns out, it was soft. Soft and pale brown and tufty. I ran my hands down my legs constantly, relishing the feel. It was like being covered in silk threads. I lay in bed and stuck my legs in the air so that I could admire them.

And then off I went to summer camp, where no one even seemed to notice the hair until I kissed a boy and he started following me around and checking me out at very close range. He said, “You don’t shave your legs.” Just a statement, without any judgment.

I said, “Nope.”

He said, “I like it.”

Actually, it turned out that every boy I spent time with that summer liked it. I kept waiting for someone to be offended or disgusted. I kept waiting for people to point and stare. No one did. Girls cared more than boys, but they were also more impressed. Grownups cared more than kids, but they didn’t matter. One of my friends stopped shaving, too.

I wondered why I’d shaved in the first place. And why it was so important to shave all the time, when boys didn’t care if your legs were hairy, and your friends thought it was cool that you were doing something so brave. And I don’t even have homeschooling as an excuse. I mean, it was summer. I was hanging out with school kids. Maybe it would’ve been a problem in the fall if I’d walked into a high school. I don’t know.

I went to the farm to pick up some vegetables, and I saw the girl. She was beautiful, and her leg hair was black. It was much more obvious than mine, and it looked pretty good. We smiled at each other.

And then it was fall, and I was going to stand up in front of the congregation at my synagogue for the first time and lead high holiday services with the rabbi. Mom said that I had to wear stockings. And to wear stockings, I had to shave my legs. I argued that I didn’t really have to wear stockings, but she was positive that I did, and I was too nervous about the event to protest very much. It’s funny. Mom didn’t really care much about stockings herself, but she wanted everything to go well for me, since it was my first big job. She didn’t care about fashion, or know what young women wore in their fancy, professional lives. So she dressed me in this frumpy, modest suit with a bulky skirt, a shoulder-padded jacket, and blocky patent leather heels. And stockings. It was time to grow up and stop being a little hippie.

I performed on the bima with the rabbi, and I started teaching lessons at the synagogue. And then I was performing more services that required stockings. And I never let the hair on my legs grow again. And years later, I wondered how I could’ve ever done it in the first place. I began to think that it would immediately identify me with a certain movement, a specific group of people. It would seem too political, somehow. I didn’t want to make a statement. That sort of thing.

I was reading some internet magazine the other day, and I saw an article about a scandal. A model or an actress or a very wealthy socialite had come to a red carpet type event with a little leg hair visible. As though she’d missed places when she’d shaved. And everyone in that glitzy, frantic, dull world had attacked her for it. The magazine was saying, “Is it really such a big deal? Sheesh, guys…” And for once I agreed with a magazine. But I didn’t really feel that impulse to stop shaving. Not very much, at least. Maybe later. Even though I think my dream to be a waitress in New Hampshire might be lost forever.

(farm stands rock, though. source)

*  *  *  *

Un-roast: Today I love the way I (at least) don’t care if I haven’t shaved in a few days. When I’m wearing a short skirt and I’m already out and I look down and see a huge spot I missed, or remember that today was the day I wasn’t supposed to wear a short skirt, I remind myself that people don’t notice or care nearly as much as razor commercials hope they do. And I know it’s true.

P.S. I also stopped shaving my armpits for a while, during that summer. My dad thought that was a lot grosser. I thought he was a terrible feminist, but I’ve since gotten over it. Mostly. I’m kidding. Dad– I love you!

36 Comments »

Kate on November 16th 2010 in beauty, being different, body

36 Responses to “The summer of the unshaved legs”

  1. Rachel responded on 16 Nov 2010 at 11:59 am #

    In the winter I shave maybe once a month and that’s mostly because I get bored in the bath tub. Stockings go on fine, but if not there are always leggings. In the summer I shave maybe once a week, but always regret it because I lose the tan I’m building with the top layer of skin.
    I say boo to trying to look like a pre-adolescent girl/boy.

  2. Amelia Jane responded on 16 Nov 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Ha, I was watching teevee with my step-brother and a waxing commerical came on, something about ‘Save time and money, by waxing!’ and I shouted at the teevee, as is my wont, saying ‘You know what saves MORE time and money? NOT REMOVING YOUR LEG HAIR, EVER.’ And my step-brother turned to me and said ‘You’re not turning into a feminist are you?’ (and then ensued a brief debate about equality) Anyway, I left my razor behind when I went travelling and if anybody says anything about it, then they say it Spanish and I am left unoffended. I grew my armpit hair for a while, then shaved it when i went home (because otherwise my Mum would have said something) and then I missed it, mentioned that to a friend and she said that she missed it too. Yay, hair!

  3. San D responded on 16 Nov 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    I rarely shaved growing up. So much so that my sister who is 3 years younger than I bought me an electric woman’s shaver for high school graduation (I still have it and it still works). Now that I am a cancer survivor (over 20 years) I can tell you that the hair didn’t grow back on my arms, legs or underarms. Prior to that experience, I wore tights all the time. My sister is a high maintenance female and has defurred herself in many ways over the years. Whatever makes you comfortable and not repulsive to the ones you love should be your guide in life. All others are just passing through.

  4. Angela Jones responded on 16 Nov 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    I never went through a phase of not shaving on purpose, but for many years I did just not take the time to do the little things for myself. We went on a vacation with friends and my friend would shave her legs daily. I was in shock! I honestly shaved my legs maybe once every week and two. I remember admiring her for taking the time for herself and I thought I should do the same. So I started to take baths more, I went and bought some bubble bath, until this day, I shave my legs at least every other day. It’s not just about shaving, but more about taking that time for me and relaxing.

  5. Barbara responded on 16 Nov 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    I also shout back at the TV! The commercials make me so mad because they are so good at making people feel a need where there really isn’t one. If you mostly wear pants or jeans like I do, there is definitely no need shave. Also, try going to France or other places where shaving armpits is not a cultural imperative. The women are just as attractive.

  6. Cyndie responded on 16 Nov 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    At twelve, I was really proud of my leg hair. I spent a lot of time in the sun and it was long and golden. My mom made me shave my legs before summer camp, and I was pretty upset about it.

    However, I shave every day now and love the feeling of smooth legs. Even if no one sees/feels my legs I do it. When I go backpacking I bring a razor and shave my legs on a rock in the sun :) I feel so free afterwards. Haha.

  7. Cindy responded on 16 Nov 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    I always ALWAYS wear pants so shaving is not a big deal. I shave when the hair starts to bug me (so that’s like twice a week)
    I love the feel of freshly shaved skin but it’s so short lived and my toddler does not let me enjoy a long warm shower with the amount of time it takes to shave my whole body in order to comply with fussy society today.

    so I always always wear pants.
    hehe
    in the summer I do wear skirts around the house, and don’t care what stage I am at (the shaved day or not)

    high maintence life is so boring.
    and for a year I waxed so I had to let the leg hair get kinda long. longer than I am used too. So that was a winter thing too. But I am also tired of THAT process. OWIE.

    I think we care to damn much about this crap. really ! it’s hair, it’s there for a reason and even though armpit hair kinda grosses me out (wasn’t Julia Roberts once accused of hitting the red carpet with armpit hair) don’t remember if that was ever true or not (again who cares)…it’s just because we are programmed one way or another.

    what about guys who shave thier legs or arms because of bicycling (or because they like it)???

    (my brother did that for a few years …he was a serious biker)!!..but it upset my step dad… a LOT.

    who cares. it’s hair.
    gah…. Now I need to go shave my legs. it’s day 2 now.
    dangit!
    xooxxo

  8. Ellie Di responded on 16 Nov 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    I rarely ever shave, and I wish I had never started. I did it purely out of wanting to “fit in” with the other 12/13 year old girls, even though my body hair was (and still is) soft and so blond you almost can’t see it. Now I only shave my shins every 4-6 months when there’s a special occasion, and my armpits whenever the hell I feel like it. I’ve never really talked about it with my significant others in any serious way – they never seem to mind. I regret having ever shaved because if I had never started, I would never need to.

  9. Christin@purplebirdblog responded on 16 Nov 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    I have finally in the last couple of years relaxed my stance on shaving my legs. I used to be incredibly anal about it, sometimes shaving twice a day!!! I don’t care anymore, and I hardly ever shave above the knee. My boyfriend is a yeti, and he definitely doesn’t care, lol! :)

  10. ZYX responded on 16 Nov 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    I rarely shave my legs – a couple times a year, at best. There’s hardly ever a time when I don’t wear jeans (and in the summer I wear mens shorts, which are considerably longer than those horrible short-short things <3), but even if I did wear tiny skirts all the time, I don't think I would shave my legs.

    I used to not shave my armpits… and technically I still don't… but I'm waiting for it to grow back, since my Mom was all 'RAR RAR RAR we're going to a fancy dress party, look like not-a-man plz'. TT_TT If men don't have to, I shouldn't have to, either.

  11. Ana Marai responded on 16 Nov 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    I shave my legs when I’m bored and under my arms when the hair starts to bother me. Leg hair doesn’t bother me, but underarm hair really does. I saw on Barbara Walters’ Oscar Special that Mo’Nique doesn’t shave her legs either. I think she’s beautiful and I’ve never noticed her leg hair. I don’t get why it’s such a big deal. Do what feels right.

  12. Holly responded on 16 Nov 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    I quit shaving my legs out of can’t-be-botheredness a couple years ago and am giving the axillary hairs a try this fall out of curiousity. Despite being far more fond of skirts and dresses than pants. I don’t think about it anymore.

  13. Wei-Wei responded on 16 Nov 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    I don’t shave my legs – I think I may have done it maybe twice in my entire life. I’m Asian, though, so I don’t think I grow as much hair… I do shave my underarms though. That kind of stubby hair really bothers me and is quite uncomfortable. I have to make sure to lotion my legs though, my shins are always really dry…

  14. Anna responded on 17 Nov 2010 at 3:09 am #

    I didn’t shave my legs until I was sixteen and had to dress up with nylons for a debate. Until that day that my mum told me I should, I had no clue that girls were generally expected to shave their legs. I don’t shave that often in the winter months- maybe once every two or three weeks, and twice a month in the summer. I’m not sure if I could grow it out because it feels weird and prickly. However, I have been entertaining the thought of growing out my armpit hair- I think it looks so pretty on other women.

  15. Tabs responded on 17 Nov 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    I’ve only ever lurked before. So, somewhat shyly, but still-on-the interwebs-so-not-so-much, hi. Your blog = something I like very much and have in my RSS feed. Eating the damn cake is damn right.

    But, now, to the post at – ahem – leg. I don’t shave anything. It’s a statement, I guess. Or it’s an assumed statement, but as someone with facial piercings, someone who used to dye her hair a rainbow of colors, and so on, I’m used to people assuming I’m trying to say something. (The lady at the glasses shop last year, when I tried on some tomato red frames said: “I know you want to make a statement, but not that loud of one!” And I disliked her immediately.)

    I chose to stop shaving, after a few years of doing it obligatorily, when I came to college, because it was a bother – we only had common showers, where it was really difficult & it was expensive; not mention, there was no Dude in my life. I was a little self-conscious, but mostly I wore pants, because I was super scared of my body.

    Then a couple years ago (2008!), I went abroad for a year in Germany and, although I had stopped shaving my armpits the year before, I’d always worn long sleeves. In Germany, I was like, fuck it. And out came the hair. I was REALLY self-conscious and Germans, if you don’t know, will stare you down. It is not rude in their culture. But, hey. It helped me get used to eyes! And eventually, I didn’t care. :)

    At some point this spring, some creepy old man told me that “boys don’t like that” and said that I should shave or implied that eventually, when I grew (ha) out of my ‘feminist phase,’ I would do it again. I told him that it wasn’t for a dude (and also, my boyfriend liked it) and I liked it. He just chuckled knowingly.

    I think, too, that it makes dudes who DO like hair weirdly fetishistic. Had that experience too, unfortunately.

    My three sisters are all shaving fanatics – but, they too won’t leave the house without make-up.

    Yay for de-lurking! Hello, sunshine! :D

    Overall, your body, your hair. Do your thang. But, DO think about the reasons you do your thang(s) and deconstruct them! c:

  16. JessKTR responded on 18 Nov 2010 at 12:48 am #

    Like Tabs, I’ve followed, read, but not said my piece. This is my time. I’m a late-30-something and quit shaving my legs my in October 1993.

    Why? Because I realized -carrying too many credits and running orgs in college – that it was a waste of my time. I have longish hair on my legs but much of is is blonde/brown and super soft. I work in a professional setting, wear skirts and capris to work sans stockings (I HATE hose), and wear shorts all summer. I think because I don’t care, and my hubby doesn’t care, no one else notices…or at least doesn’t remark. And hey, my hubby shaves HIS legs (amateur cyclist – cuts wind speed), so we’re a balanced household.

    In an age when many of us share the good fortune of access to running water and good hygeine (should we choose to use it), the rationale for shaving as a deterent of bugs/disease sure doesn’t fly, so someone tell me: why DO women do it (unless you also are a wind-resisting athelete)?

    I’m constantly re-learning to love my body and the woman I am…one thing I can say with certainty is that I am completely comfortable with my leg hair.

  17. JessKTR responded on 18 Nov 2010 at 12:55 am #

    Hmmm. Realize I left out that yes, of course I know why many (most?) women shave: someone’s idea of beauty standards, cultural expectations, and, well, it’s just something we’re “supposed” to do…right?

    Sorry, but no. Adversising, film, TV, our peers, strangers on the street…NO ONE should force a standard on us about what we feel is part of our unique, personal beauty.

  18. Kate responded on 18 Nov 2010 at 11:10 am #

    I love all these responses from women who don’t shave their legs! Sweet. You never fail to impress me.

    @Tabs
    Love that last line. Perfect.

  19. Rose responded on 19 Nov 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    I was found this link on another blog I follow and was really impressed by this article. I’ll never forget when I first got leg hair. I had just started jr high. I wore jeans pretty much constantly when I was younger, so it wasn’t really a problem until I found out that I had to wear *gasp* shorts everyday in gym class. Oh, the humanity. My mother had not noticed, as I always wore jeans, so she had not shown me how to shave and I was too afraid to ask or attempt it myself. The whole school year I hated gym, always trying to work by myself when I could, so no one would see my legs. You were a tenacious teenager, and your story made me look back at my memory and laugh at how silly the whole thing was. Thank you for posting this.

  20. darci responded on 20 Nov 2010 at 12:19 am #

    Loved this. I was also home-schooled and have gone through stages of not shaving/not caring about what boys think and then finding one who is happy either way. Thanks for writing.

  21. HollyElise responded on 20 Nov 2010 at 3:20 am #

    I shave, about every 3-4 days. But if I decide not to, it’s not a big deal. My husband doesn’t care, I don’t care.
    When I was younger I shaved maybe every two weeks :) I was homeschooled too :) I do shave my pits more often than my legs because they get itchy >.<

    Amanda Palmer was unshaven (pits and legs) and in a see-through dress recently on the red carpet, Julia Roberts has been observed with unshaven pits, and M'onique does not shave her legs – more power to 'em!

    I shave when I want the smooth feeling. I don't shave when I don't want to, and I too like the feeling of running my hands over the hair :)

  22. katy responded on 20 Nov 2010 at 10:57 am #

    great story, thank you for sharing.
    i remember being in elementary school and girls making fun of one of my friends who had darker leg hair than most, saying she should be shaving and how dare she bare her legs in public – and she was only 9 or 10…!

    in high school i went through a big body hair gross out, and shaved everything, even my arms (and i’m not the person who would even need to think of doing this, my hair is thin, fine, and fair…) but i’ve since gotten over that and only shave my legs every few weeks now… only when my socks/tights starting making my leg hairs sore….. :)

  23. Krista responded on 21 Nov 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    I don’t shave my pits or legs, and I started doing this about four years ago. I stopped shaving my pits because of horrible ingrown hairs, but the legs were to make a statement/I didn’t care anymore/wanting to find my own beauty. I find it very liberating, actually. I will wear skirts without hose, but in the winter I wear tights because it’s warmer.

    I gets stares sometimes, especially when I’m swimming, since that’s almost the only time my armpits show. But my husband doesn’t care, and that’s all that really matters to me.

    And now that my toddler is starting to ask puberty questions I’ve found it’s a lot less confusing for him that both his mom and dad have hair. So, side benefit!

  24. Morfydd responded on 22 Nov 2010 at 2:52 am #

    One of my favorite authors once mentioned visiting her first husband’s wealthy French family, and I found this amusing: “I was made painfully aware that we couldn’t go to the beach (the Lake Geneva beach) until the hair on my legs and in my armpits grew out to a decent length. Only prostitutes, it was explained to me, shaved their body hair. Everyone had been looking forward to going to the beach, but my hairlessness made that impossible.”

    http://ozarque.livejournal.com/166940.html

  25. Mary responded on 27 Nov 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    Stumbled over from Already Pretty, and I must say, great article!
    Shaving has always been a source of much pain and trauma for me-as soon as I started shaving, I got horrible rashes and pustules all over my legs, and eventually my bikini line when I started shaving there. I had/have pseudofolliculitis (say that three times fast!) which caused my legs to break out and left marks all over my legs for years.
    I started shaving at about age 10 when my mom told me it was about time. I am cursed with my mom’s very fair skin and my dad’s dark Puerto Rican hair. Middle school PE was awful, because rather than allow the world to see my hair legs, I shaved for every day that I had that class because we had to wear the uniform shorts. I remember girls asking me what was wrong with my legs, but no one ever really teased me or anything. Still, I was super self-conscious about my legs, and because of my dark, thick hair, I felt like not-shaving if I wanted to wear shorts wasn’t an option. I tried Nair and those hair removal mitts that are basically fine-grit sand paper, but those only irritated anything on my legs.
    High school was a lot easier because we were allowed to wear pants for PE and my dermatologist gave me antibiotics for both acne and my leg problems. Spending a year as an exchange student in Germany was pretty much more of the same. I got my first bikini wax before I left because it was summer and i didn’t want to have to deal with my bikini line. Although I found the culture to be a lot more permissive of unshaved legs and armpits on women, I still continued to remove the hair whenever I thought it was necessary, shaving my armpits pretty much every time I showered and my legs whenever I planned to wear shorts or a skirt. Luckily, this was the year that I discovered opaque tights, so shaving was no longer a must for wearing a skirt!
    Over the past four years I’ve sort of discovered where I’m comfortable within the hair removal spectrum. My pseudofolliculitis has calmed down to the point where my skin doesn’t freak out too badly when I do decide to shave my legs, but I mostly wear jeans or long pants year-round. Skirts or dresses are usually paired with opaque tights that don’t show my supremely hairy legs. I don’t shave very often in the winter, fall, and spring, which means shaving when I prepare to wear a skirt becomes a rather big production and I always have to plan ahead for one. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m comfortable enough in the summer to wear shorts or skirts up to three days after shaving without feeling too self-conscious, and if I’m at home and no one outside my family will see, me I don’t feel the need to bother at all. I’ve also gotten more lax about my armpits, seeing as I normally wear t-shirts and no one really notices a little stubble.
    I’m still having a lot of trouble with my bikini line, I guess because it’s more easily irritated by clothing than legs and armpits are. I plan on getting laser hair removal for my bikini line once I’ve saved enough money. I’m still fairly self-conscious about my legs, and usually wear longer style shorts so I don’t have to shave so much.
    I feel like there’s too much pressure for women to be hairless. I honestly like the way smooth skin looks and feels, and do feel quite feminine after an hour-long tackle with my unruly body hair in the shower, but when the results only last about a day without stubble, itching, and discomfort, it’s usually not worth it.
    Oh, my boyfriends haven’t had a problem with it. I think they do like it when my legs are nice and smooth, but I honestly don’t really shave for their opinion, so more often than not I’m stubbly or full-grown around them. I imagine this could be a deal-breaker for some men, but those probably aren’t the men I want to be dating anyway!

  26. Mandy responded on 23 Jan 2011 at 12:19 am #

    There are so many women writing in about letting their hair grow, that I thought I should weigh in.
    I have had laser hair removal on my chin, upper lip, bikini line, legs and feet/toes. I have/had very dark, thick hair, and shaved/plucked since I was a teenager. I’ve never really known anyone who let their leg or armpit hair grow out–all my peers shaved, and it was just something I wasn’t comfortable skipping.
    I got SO bored with shaving nearly everyday, I tried waxing–and yes it is ouchy. I liked not having to deal with the stubble for weeks, but didn’t like having to let the hair grow out to the point where the wax could “grab” it.
    So, I finally said Screw It, I’m getting lasered!
    Ladies, it is indeed more ouchy than waxing–so ouchy that they give you a prescription for lidocaine (which you apparently CAN overdose on, be warned) which had to be applied at least an hour before the appointment. I recommend an hour an a half.
    I didn’t bother with lidocaine for the chin and upper lip, it was over in fifteen minutes, tops. I would ice it for about ten minutes after, then go home and slather on aloe vera gel.
    But for the bikini line, legs and feet/toes…
    You apply the lidocaine with a tongue depressor, and then cover it with plastic wrap.
    Can you say Saran Wrap chaps? Can you imagine WALKING AROUND in them? SITTING DOWN in them? They CRACKLE when you move!
    Halfway through wrapping the first leg and foot, I realized how ridiculous the whole process was, and started giggling. I grinned all the way to my appointmnet, trying to move quietly, and imagining what anyone would think if they got close enough to hear the plastic creak.
    And removing the plastic wrap was fun, too, especially when I coudn’t find the end of the plastic!
    Anyway, the lidocaine rendered the experience, if not fun, at least endurable.
    And you have between eight to ten appointments, about four to six weeks apart.
    So I wrestled with the plastic wrap enough times that I got reasonably good at it. The first time, I had to use band-aids to stick down the ends, then I got some paper first aid tape. Then, glory be, one of the technicians clued me in to the plastic wrap that will stick to just about anything on one side. And, yes, the self-stick plastic wrap DID stick to me.
    I recommend going through this process in the winter months, because you have to stay out of the sun–the fairer your skin and the darker your hair, the more effective it will be.
    I still have the ginormous sun hat I bought for that summer.
    The end result of all of this trouble and expense?
    The laser treatments were VERY effective on my legs/bikini line/feet. The tiny amount of hair that remains is so fine and light that I don’t really need to shave at all. The chin and upper lip treatments reduced, but didn’t entirely eliminate the hair there.
    I’m glad I went through it all–it’s saved me immense amounts of time and trouble the past few years.
    I can’t however, justify spending the money to get my armpits done– a) it only takes me about thirty seconds to shave them both, and b) one of the techs told me that she didn’t need deodorant anymore, because she’d stopped sweating under her ams after she went through the treatment. I’m not sure that’s healthy.
    Anyway, I hope anyone considering laser finds my experiences helpful. And, if not, I hope you got a good laugh

  27. Eat the Damn Cake » I shaved my arms once responded on 26 Jan 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    [...] my post about not shaving my legs for a summer, click here. Since we’re talking about [...]

  28. Melissa Middleswart responded on 30 Jan 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    I enjoy reading here, knowing that a young woman is taking the time to think thru some of the “requirements” for beauty in our culture. And, hopefully, learning to ignore them!

    I graduated from high school in 1969, and I remember (vaguely) always shaving my legs at least every other day. But in college I stopped wearing a bra (ah, freedom–sadly had to go back to them around age 45, due to gravity issues, which I resent enormously!)

    As I got older I’d shave about once a week. I should also say that I have (had, now mostly gray) very dark brown hair–good for eyelashes but very heavy eyebrows–my last vanity, I do have those waxed, since I can’t see well enough w/o my glasses, to pluck them.

    And I’d always had very hairy legs. I’d quit shaving in the winter, as I always wore pants, and it’s warmer with hair. But sometime in my 50s, I realized I had very little leg hair anymore. And now as I’m nearing 60, I will have a stray hair here or there, usually around my knees, and the tops of my feet are still hairy, but that’s it! So the female body does interesting things as the years go by.

    Enjoy your youth, but keep finding yourself so you don’t need “society” to define what you want or look like. You go, Girl!

    Melissa

  29. Eat the Damn Cake » A sudden change of sky responded on 21 Mar 2011 at 11:48 am #

    [...] know I’m hairy, but it’s more than that. For example, to use the most awkward one, I think I chose Bear [...]

  30. Christine responded on 19 May 2011 at 9:36 am #

    I lived in the West Indies on various islands for 17 years. While I was working in St. Martin at a store of a friend, I was sitting outside on a break. One of the other employees looked at my shaved white legs and asked me why I took all the hair off like that. I just said that I thought it looked better. Really, now that I think about it, I shaved my legs ever since hair appeared only because everybody else did it. Boy are we programmed. I still shave in the summer when wearing shorts but during the winter maybe every two weeks. If somebody is going to see my legs the hair is coming off. My daughter is jokingly disgusted when she sees hair on my legs. This is all my fault as she saw me shaving all her life. I wonder if I will ever be brave enough to go out with hairy legs!

  31. !!!Link Time!!! « Rotten Little Girls responded on 15 Jul 2011 at 9:31 am #

    [...] The summer of the unshaved legs. If this is a club, consider me a member. [...]

  32. Eat the Damn Cake » bad at shaving my legs responded on 06 Jan 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    [...] summer when I was fifteen, I gave up. I let my leg hair grow wild. It was [...]

  33. Eat the Damn Cake » electrolysis responded on 29 Aug 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    [...] have hair on the backs of my thighs, and I think some of it is curling. But I can’t really see it, so I don’t shave it, and [...]

  34. Phoebe responded on 10 Sep 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    I tan really easily, so honestly, once I get a tan going, I can go several weeks without shaving my legs and it won’t look any different.

  35. Lisa responded on 01 Oct 2012 at 4:52 am #

    I just read your “Natalie Portman post” and that made me realize that it may really be a rare thing to like yourself the way I do. I mean, I’m totally cool. I don’t know if anybody else agrees, but that doesn’t matter as long as I look great by my own standards.

    And then this post. I don’t shave at all, except my head and sometimes eyebrows, and that’s not a problem. I like my hairy arms and armpits. But I’ve never really been able to show myself clothed but bare-legged. It’s not a problem to be naked around other people, but showing only my white, red-spotted, black-haired legs doesn’t feel comfortable. And it’s only now I really see this.

    So.
    Next summer, I’m going to go around with no stockings. At least once.

    And later, all the time.

    Thank you.

  36. Shelbey responded on 19 Jul 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    I’ve just decided to give up shaving my legs. I’m not quite sure why I did it I’m the first place, probably because I wasn’t allowed to yet. I still have to break the news to the hubs to see how he feels about it (see, not huge feminist). I have blonde hair and my arms always feel smoother than my legs because I’ve left them alone. I can’t get that time back!