6 thoughts on “Great? Or gross? (2)

  1. As a feminist, she should do whatever she wants. However, as someone who has been raised to expect that women shave, my initial gut reaction is . . . ewwwwww. That said, after my initial reaction, my first statement is also how I feel.
    Logically, men aren’t required to shave, so why are women? I’d love to know who started the trend so I could give them a high-five – to the face. Everyone has body hair, so the thought that women are somehow ‘less desirable’ because they don’t shave is ridiculous. Does body hair somehow negate all the other positives about this young woman?
    I have a teenage daughter and while she needs to understand what our social/cultural norms are, she also needs to know that she is free to break them if she so chooses. And she often does. 😀

    • Yes. While a ‘feminist’ stance, it’s also surprising how many women will have that ‘ewwwww’ reaction, the same as men. I understand (but don’t accept) that men will try to shape women to their (constantly changing) ‘ideal’, but I’m less understanding of women recoiling with horror that a young woman should do this. Of course, it’s not any less baffling that this is ‘news’ or, indeed, a ‘feminist issue’.

  2. A woman didn’t shave her armpits, stop the presses! Yes, I agree that it’s ridiculous that this is news. However, I’m also of the opinion that until women treat EACH OTHER better, not much will change. :/

  3. I agree with you Kat; genuinely surprised and kinda saddened that this story amounts to “news”. It’s not unlike when someone writes a post on their blog or a social media site wherein they publicly embrace their unique body shape or (perceived) physical flaws/imperfections, and are immediately heralded either as an inspiration or disgusting in the ensuing comments. I long for a day when people no longer think they have any license over what someone else looks like, how they behave, or what they believe in. It’s a far-fetched thing to hope for, but I’d still like to see that cultural shift within my lifetime!

    All that being said, rock on to this young woman for doing her own thing. Not sure why she felt the need to share it publicly – validation, to shake up the status quo, to stir up debate, who knows – but it’s really no one else’s business but her own.

  4. My interest in this, probably obviously, is how men -more than women- have a need/desire to to pass comment on body hair on women (a) in general and (b) in naturism. Armpit hair, on its own, can result in the death of a small Norwegian forest pulped to make paper to cover the acres of newsprint required to report a Hollywood actress stepping out with unshaved armpits.

    It’s one small aspect of, as both of you have identified, a ‘body shaming’ over something that can be ‘fixed’ (assuming one wishes to fix it) and extends on into a whole range of body shaming issues.

    We are who we are and we should be allowed to find our own individual style in clothes, furnishing, hair, shoes, whatever…

    Another element of it, in the context of naturism, was that naturism considers itself to be about a sense of ‘individualism’, which isn’t true/evident when one considers how the lifestyle has so easily bought into the entire ‘pornification’ aspect of intimate grooming.

    • “Armpit hair, on its own, can result in the death of a small Norwegian forest pulped to make paper to cover the acres of newsprint required to report a Hollywood actress stepping out with unshaved armpits.”

      That made me laugh and laugh – SO true, Ella!

      You bring up an excellent point about how some men seem to stir up an innate need/desire to pass their judgement on regarding female body hair. And you’re right: when a perceived flaw can be “fixed” (weight, body hair, blemishes, pale skin, whatever it may be), people almost take an air of “I’m being helpful by pointing this out to you” when they share their commentary. And yet, what one person chooses to do, wear, be, present themselves as, and so on is truly no one’s business. The trouble is that when it comes to physical traits, they’re frequently out there to be seen and judged whether we want them to be or not.

      It must be a fascinating subject for Naturalists because you truly are on full display; there’s nowhere to hide your “flaws” or your personal preferences for body hair (or lack thereof). I would hope that would encourage Naturalists to be far more open-minded, accepting, and unaffected by the wide range of body shapes and grooming styles they might encounter. It’s sad to hear that that’s not always, or even generally, the case.

      Celebrating diversity and the flexibility of personal choice should be our cultural ideal. I’mma keep hoping that becomes a reality one day!

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