My mother hates that I shave. As a European, she finds my behavior repellant and confusing. We’ve never had a drag-out fight about it, but it’s always been a point of contention.
“How did I raise such an American daughter?” she says, sighing dramatically. We talked about it once when she walked in on me shaving when I was 17, my feet in the bathroom sink, the surfaces slicked with shaving cream.
“Mom, my hair is different from yours. And I really like shaving.”
“What-ever,” my mom sighed. “It is your body, I suppose.”
If you missed part one, Shave ’em Dry, the point is: I shave as a way to reclaim, feel pride in and own my body, especially all the hairy places that I so cherish. The point of part two: I let my hair grow… for the same reasons. I am really into my hair, whether it’s there… or not.
The second point of part two: I am blessed with smart, wonderful friends, who all told me what they thought about shaving. Some of them work in offices, some in circus (and some in both), some raise families. I highlighted their words as spicy block quotes.
I think of the moment when I decided to stop shaving as both the moment I became an adult and the moment I became a feminist.