Hairy Mary

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I get frustrated when people think feminists hate men. Feminism is not about hating men.

It’s about EVERYTHING and everyone and every day normal big and small things and people and choices and challenges and fun and love and work and parenting and thinking and pain and freedom and all sorts of glorious things life throws at us as women.

It’s a safe space for women to express themselves freely, and sometimes that is to let out cries of frustration and longing from living within a male dominated world (and I don’t mean ‘male dominated’ in a 2D way).

anti-feminist-robertson

Riiiiiiiiiight…..

Fun Fact: I am a lover of documentaries and I love to learn. BOOM!

I was watching one the other day and was distressed and saddened to hear a woman state that ‘body hair is unnatural for women’. The general idea of the documentary was following a group of women who had been challenged by the program makers to stop any kind of hair removal for one month. There was me thinking what an easy challenge that was!

Again I was distressed by a conversation that took place between one of the women taking part in the challenge and her group of friends aged between 35 and 45. The disgust and utter disgrace that was being placed upon this woman by her friends was shocking. Comments such as

‘that’s just wrong’

‘you look like a man’

and

‘I feel sick’

floored me.

Over the course of the month these women had break downs, lost boyfriends, retreated from their social lives, lost self-esteem, received abuse from friends, family and total strangers, thought of themselves as ‘unnatural’ and ‘wrong’ and not one of them made it to the end of the month.

WHAT?!

The New York Times Fashion and Style section featured an article on famous women who choose not to shave. Here’s a mini chunk…

“On the red carpet, if a woman has hairy legs or armpits, it is assumed to be an accidental misstep — a failure of time management, if you will. But that hasn’t been true lately. In January, at the Golden Globes, Mo’Nique, who won for her portrayal of a gruesome mother in “Precious,” lifted her floor-length dress to reveal her unshaved calves, abundant in their hairiness.

This did not go over well. On Web sites like TMZ.com, people posted comments like “I have to HURL now … Disgusting is an understatement.” It would seem that a collective ewww rang out nationwide, one designed to make every ’tween girl snap to attention and realize that leg hair is not allowed.”

A simple google search produced these images:

Not-Shaving

Hair4

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POSTback17thelleSwank203

leghair-poll-graph

laser_hair_removal

What is it about body hair that is so unacceptable? Why am I a failure if I don’t shave? Why am I acceptable if the only hair on my body is on my head? Why are the expectations so completely different for men and women? Why am I seen as lazy, unorganised and disgusting if my eyebrows/armpits/lips/chin/legs/pubic area/bottom/stomach/back/arms/feet/hands aren’t plucked, shaved or lasered?

What are your thoughts?

Me? Well, sometimes I’ll shave and sometimes I won’t. I won’t judge women or men by whether they shave or not.

We are all free to choose. And I’ll love you whatever you choose.

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10 thoughts on “Hairy Mary

  1. Lulastic says:

    Helllo! Welcome to the bloguniverse! I am loving your work already :)))))
    You DO need to join twitter though. A blog without twitter is like a cup of tea without a custard cream!
    Oh, also, sorry the important comment bit… I don’t shave I am feircely opposed to it, even though I have to admit to loving the look and feel of shaven legs. For me it is a stubborn rejection of a patriarchal society’s insistence on a particular brand of beauty.
    xxx

    • Kate says:

      Hey Lucy, chuffed to come home to comment from you, you blog goddess!
      Yes, my hubby told me to create a twitter account for this stuff, I have a work one but not a personal one so will get on to that! Love hearing your views as always and love that you wear your hair with pride! xxx

  2. Helllo! Welcome to the bloguniverse! I am loving your work already :)))))
    You DO need to join twitter though. A blog without twitter is like a cup of tea without a custard cream!
    Oh, also, sorry the important comment bit… I don’t shave I am feircely opposed to it, even though I have to admit to loving the look and feel of shaven legs. For me it is a stubborn rejection of a patriarchal society’s insistence on a particular brand of beauty.
    xxx

  3. Gabrielle says:

    sometimes i shave, sometimes i don’t. what i found really interesting was how little people care on the continent. whenever i’ve been in spain, italy, or greece, i’ve noticed women happily go around unshaved and not receive any judgement or comment from others. we hear about Mediterranean countries having antiquated notions of gender (and, don’t get me wrong, in many ways they do) but they seem to be far more forward-thinking on the issue of female body hair. i think the two issues are a) attractiveness (the one we can all take umbrage with) and b) cleanliness (which is more of a personal choice). if someone wants to shave because they feel physically more clean and comfortable then no problem! apparently shaving the bikini line started in african women’s tribes because it was a way of keeping clean and sanitary. but when you extend this to legs, arms, fingers, etc it’s less an issue of cleanliness and more an issue of what is deemed conventionally attractive and ‘feminine’. it would be unfair to judge someone as ‘betraying the sisterhood’ for caring whether or not they feel they are attractive – everyone cares about that to some extent – but it would also be a betrayal not to encourage women and men to look at it this way. the fact is that everyone finds different things attractive and unattractive. but it’s important to be aware of where these feelings originate. do people find completely hairless bodies genuinely attractive or have they just been force-fed hairless women from the media, advertising and porn that they refuse to believe that any women can even grow body hair? i remember reading somewhere that a lads’ mag like Nuts or something had received a letter of complaint because a man had noticed one of their models had a single hair on her bikini line that hadn’t been shaved. this had apparently put him off entirely. this is insane. that woman is a human. a natural human function (growing hair) was deemed so utterly offensive that a man felt it was his right to complain and demand that it never happen again. MADNESS.

    • Kate says:

      Wow. WOW…….I honestly can’t believe my eyes after reading that!!! I have no words. NO WORDS.
      Thank you so much for your input Gabrielle – it’s invaluable and has been a major contributor to the whole flippin fabric of this blog. Women like you make this world a better place. Really interesting to hear about what you’ve observed whilst travelling – did you shave as often whilst out there? x

      • Gabrielle says:

        Yay! Glad I can contribute. Sorry that turned into a massive essay! i have a lot of thoughts.
        I did shave out there for hygeine reasons because it was so hot but in the last week my razor was stolen in a hostel I was staying at in Naples (seriously, who is skanky enough to steal a razor?!) so I went without shaving for my last week, which included trips to the beach in a bikini and zero fucks were given. By me and those around me. Honestly, no one cared that I had visible stubble. DEATH TO THE PATRIARCHY. AND ALSO TO RAZOR-STEALERS. Because that thing was a fancy electric one and cost me like £30.

  4. Thanks loads for writing about this, brilliant example of an everyday idea that does actually effect everyone – and matters. Amazing images too!! Hilarious. To calmly raise these thoughts and questions is such a good step towards achieving something positive from something frustrating. When I posted this on my Facebook it generated a little discussion so I might copy that here too, as hopefully airing differing ideas helps us all to consider the issue. Nice work and keep writing Miss F! x

    • Kate says:

      Hey, yes I saw that! Hope you don’t mind me leaving a little comment?! I found it so interesting reading it as he was proving my point really! ‘We like girls who look feminine and men who look masculine’…ummm?!?! Lara you are my star and I really appreciate your thoughts and encouragement xxxxx

  5. Appreciate this post. Will try it out.

  6. Louie says:

    Highly descriptive post, I loved that a lot.
    Will there be a part 2?

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