Someone wrote…

I’ve been shaving my legs and armpits almost every day since I was twelve. I’m twenty-three, and I’m beginning to let my hair grow again. I feel so free! And stubbly. As it turns out, three days worth of hairy pits is not the hairpocalypse I imagined it would be.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on August 5th, 2010 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 22 comments »

22 Responses to “Hairpocalypse.”

  1. Anonymous

    I’m 23 and I started shaving at twelve and I also recently abandoned my razor. Only I use an epilator now and I’m a guy. Want to just trade?


  2. Anonymous

    Sometimes I feel like I should do as you have done, and just give up shaving those areas (because most men don’t shave there, and I identify as a male). But then I realized I don’t shave for everyone else, I just shave for me.


  3. ElegantAndrogyne

    I started shaving in the age of 20 [I’m 24 now], losing all this effin’ hair was a huge relief for me, new sensual experience and so on. Then, I used an epilator, but came back to shaving since my mother retired from work and it’s hard to find some hours of intimacy.

    I’m willing to have my body laser-epilated. No more hair!


  4. Lila

    I’m a feminine-identified cis woman but I HATE shaving my legs and pubic hair. My armpits I shave “for me,” the rest of it, I shave to fit into societal norms.

    I have pretty thick hair on my arms and legs. This summer I stopped shaving above the knee. Bye-bye stubble: my thighs are so soft! I wish I had the courage to stop shaving my legs all together.


  5. Meike

    I sometimes wish I could stop shaving too. Unfortunately my hair is rather dark and was pretty thick even before I started shaving. I can’t even decide why I shave, whether it’s for myself or for others, but regardless I would have a hard time staying strong while other people notice my “unsightly” hair and make faces or comments. Kudos to you for your strength and freedom! Maybe one day I’ll have the courage to do the same.


  6. KO

    I haven’t shaved regularly in a long time, although no one apart from my lover knows that. Recently, I thought I’d discovered kindred spirits when an old friend declared that she only shaved her armpits because she felt pressured to do so. When I declared that I rarely shave mine anymore, she announced that my lover must find me much less attractive now. It sucked.

    tl;dr – glad you’re enjoying the hairpocalypse!


  7. essejz

    I’m a butch-ier woman & I stopped shaving totally around the time I went to college altho I have dark hair; I don’t know what I think of it. On the one hand, I like it more: I never liked shaving, how it felt, the perceived femininity of it, nothing. On the other hand: people definitely stare at me now & make comments, most of them rude. Which then makes me self conscious. I live in NY; if I go on the subway, everyone just stares. People have told me it’s gross. I don’t know–and sometimes it seems like–why struggle over something so dumb as leg hair ???


  8. Karen

    I made peace with my body hair this summer … I haven’t shaved in almost a year. I was nervous about comments from family when I went home for a family reunion, but my sister finally said, “No one cares about your body hair” and as harsh and partially inaccurate as it was, I finally was able to let go of the worry. My other sister (the more critical one, if you can believe it!) recently asked me about it, and I expected an unpleasant conversation. Instead, she just said, “It itches too much when I stop shaving.” (I told her it stops itching when it grows all the way out.)

    Enjoy your hair! I find mine empowering, now that I’ve made peace with it.


  9. Sarah-Sophia

    My goodness would I love to stop shaving.
    Well I’d always shave my armpits but that’s just because I like those shaven. But I would love to stop shaving my legs, although I have a very feminine best friend who always says something to me even if it’s a little stubbly. :/

    But, I’m totally proud of you. (:


  10. Anonymous

    I only shaved my armpits in high school for basketball games, and only shaved my legs for the couple of months I dated someone. I’m back to being happy and hairy.


  11. Anonymous

    I’ve always hated shaving–anything. And I’ve recently started not shaving except for armpits (I wear sleeveless shirts, but not shorts) and my only problem is that I really want to go swimming but greatly fear what people at a public pool would think. :(


  12. Elle

    When I first began to investigate my gender identity, I shaved everything I thought a woman might shave to get a feel for the experience. Before that I had facial hair and didn’t shave anything. Now I don’t shave my legs anymore, and I wonder if I have a better understanding of myself or if I just got lazy.


  13. Maximus

    I’m a guy, but I shave my armpits and chest. I do it for me though. Hair is gross.


  14. Anonymous

    Good for you! That’s awesome.

    I started shaving when I was 8 years old and stopped when I was 18 (when I went to a feminist college with many hairy women). It was very liberating, but now that I’m out of that environment I get stares and hateful remarks from total strangers. It’s horrifying that people care that much and I actually cry about it.

    On brave days I’ll wear shorts but a lot of the time I’ll wear pants because I really don’t feel like dealing with the pain of scrutiny. I can’t wait to move to a different city where I can express myself physically the way I want to. Or until I feel like I can act as strong as I feel.

    I shave my armpits every once in a while because B.O. gets stuck in there : )


  15. Anonymous

    I decided to stop shaving my legs this summer. Don’t really care about other people.. deal with it, end of conversation =)


  16. Jay

    Wow, many things that have been said on here I definitely agree/empathize with. Especially the going to public pools thing. I’ve always hated shaving – partially because I’m just lazy, partially because if it was only ever up to me… I wouldn’t. And by and large, I don’t. I have really dark hair, fairly coarse/obvious, but I love how it makes my legs look – and the odd time I feel like being a bit femme-y, I wear dress pants.

    Armpits are like… a whole other matter. :/ If I could get them to stop at a certain length, it’d be lovely!

    But I’ve been going around in shorts this summer, and have been pleasantly surprised at how few people actually care/say anything (and those that do, largely don’t matter). So to anyone nervous about it – try going out with unshaven legs just on a quick trip out and about – without friends, if you think they might view it negatively.


  17. Anonymous

    To any hairy female reading this: What do you do if someone says something? I always think of what I’d like to say, like “How is my hair any more gross than than the hair on a man’s legs? That doesn’t make any sense,” but usually I get really flustered when I’m pissed off so I just keep walking. Later I wish I’d said something.


  18. Keanan

    My mum is currently flipping out about this. If my dad doesn’t have to shave, I don’t see why I have to. I wore shorts all summer and I have long, thick black leg hair. No one said anything about it to me. I usually wear jeans the rest of the time though (damn the 90 degree weather). I will continue to resist my mum’s nagging. Her arguement is that my armpits will smell and that people can see them. First, if my dad doesn’t smell then there is no way I will. Also, I think she’s the only one looking at my armpits.


  19. Shane

    I identify as a male, and, despite shaving my armpits so I can raise my hands in class, I find it comforting to not shave at all. Besides, in need winter-insulation. XD


  20. Ashlee

    I just LOVE the feeling of smooth, silky freshly shaven legs.

    I HATE BODY HAIR!!! I would be sooo happy if it just all fell out, except the hair on my head anyway… ;)


  21. Orange

    Interesting conversation!
    I stopped shaving anything a year or so ago, and I love it. I genuinely like having hairy legs, particular as they always got ingrown hairs and rashes when I shaved them (so they looked nothing like the smooth silky ideal anyway!) It helps that I have a tremendously hairy partner whose body hair I like a whole lot. He likes mine too, though teases me that I’m never going to catch up with him.


  22. Lanthir

    I’m bio-female, and started shaving when I was in middle school because I couldn’t cope with my body changing. As I’ve become comfortable with my adult body, I’ve phased out shaving bit by bit.
    I stopped shaving my legs in high school, and started shaving my underarms less and less frequently over the last several years. I’m 23 now, and I don’t shave anything at all.


Leave a Reply

Can I show your picture? If you have a Gravatar associated with this email address, it will be displayed as your photo. If not, I'll just put a picture of a fork next to your comment. Everybody likes forks.

Be nice. Judgmental comments will be quietly deleted and blacklisted. There's plenty of room for those elsewhere on the web.

For legal reasons, you must be age 13 or older to post a comment on Genderfork.

You can use some HTML tags for formatting, e.g. <em>...</em> for emphasis (italics) or <strong>...</strong> for strong emphasis (bold) or <a href="http://(url)">...</a> for links.

Back to top