Ways My Life Has Changed Since I Stopped Shaving My Armpits:
1. When I lift my arms, the breeze blowing through my armpit hair tickles. Takes me by surprise every time.
2. I use the term “luscious armpit kittens” way more than I used to.
3. I no longer own razors.
4. That’s . . . . about it?
Seriously I’m not even sure this should be a post because literally nothing in my life has changed since I stopped shaving my armpits.
The sky didn’t fall. Strangers don’t point and condemn me in the street. (In fact, I’ve barely noticed a disapproving glance). Romantic partners didn’t recoil away in horror. Embracing my body hair hasn’t cost me a damn thing. And I guess that’s kind of my point.
Hairy armpits are often viewed as symbolic of a kind of “out-there” feminism – it’s just about one step before bra-burning, to most people. I certainly used to view them that way. The first time I saw a woman my age with hairy armpits (I think I was all of 19) I was shocked and fascinated and a little repulsed, all at the same time. I admired her bravery, but thought she looked weird, and wondered how she could seem so comfortable with herself when I got anxious about the stubble on my legs. She seemed almost like a different species of girl than I was.
For years – actual years – after I stopped shaving my legs, I continued to shave my armpits. I just wasn’t ready to be a member of that other species quite yet. Habit reinforced hesitation, until one day . . . I just stopped. I threw out an old razor and just never bothered to get a new one. And now that I’m standing on the other side of this divide . . . I really don’t feel like another species at all. I’m just me. A little hairier. A little more ticklish, maybe.
How about you, friends? Do you have any non-stories to share? Any changes that you never saw yourself making, until you made them?