Emer O’Toole, a young woman from Dublin, decided to stop shaving 18 months ago when she came to the conclusion that too much pressure is put upon women to conform to ‘artificial gender norms’. She then went on a morning show in the UK and proudly lifted her arms to show the patch of hair she had grown, as well as the hair growth on her legs.
And she’s not the first woman to go “au natural”—Julia Roberts turned up at a premiere and revealed a quite hairy armpit, much to the dismay of the whole “civilized” world. There’s been an influx of celebrity “hairy” photos from Kate Upton’s mustache to Beyonce’s underarms, and it’s becoming more and more accepted, thankfully.
The issue I take with Emer, however, is that she says shaving is anti-feminist. Me, I beg to differ, Ms. O’Toole. Women have hair on our bodies because we needed to stay warm back in caveman days. It was our “fur”—everyone knows that. Now? Well, now we don’t need it all that much, so why would you really want to keep it? It’s not an “artificial gender norm” for a girl to be a girl. Girls are stereotypically soft and they smell sweet … boys are pegged to be rougher and smell musty. I don’t want that to change … I like smelling girl smell and I like smelling boy smell. I guess that makes me bi-smelling? I don’t know.
I’m Polish, Russian, and Sicilian, and that means for me, I have to shave every day. Every once in a blue moon I’ll let it go for a day, but I feel very uncomfortable, itchy, and worry that I smell. For me, there’s nothing better than having a hot shower, de-furring, putting nice-smelling lotion all over my body and sliding into crisp, clean sheets. Why is any of this anti-feminist?
I don’t shave to please men; I do it to please myself. We all know it does not matter how prickly the leg is—if you’re spreading them, the guy is willing. It’s all about what makes you feel good as a woman, so if shaving makes you feel good about yourself (like me) or if it doesn’t (like Emer) it’s all you. You just do you and quit worry about what everyone else is doing, you know?