To hair or not to hair…

Ahh the undeniably hot topic of female body hair.

It’s a huge thing, in some places. Not so much in others.

In Sydney, for example, there is a certain “dirty” outlook to females who tout body hair. Why? I don’t know. I’m not averse to lusting after some women with body hair myself. It doesn’t make them less attractive or dirtier. However I also know that I have friends who would totally be grossed out by this concept of female body hair. If they see a hair, it gets plucked, waxed or shaven off.

What’s prompted this post? Well you see over on Date Peeves there was a post about double standards. Particularly concerning the lovely topic of hair. On men mostly. And after a brief survey of quite a few of my female friends the general consensus was that they all like a bit of fur, trimmed preferably. There were some outliers who wanted the au naturale and another who loved fully shaved. But those were a given.

I wasn’t going to write about this topic – but perusing the paper this morning I came across this article and thought that the hair gods were throwing hair in my face so that I can write about it.

You see currently I’m also touting some hair. Why? Well there are a few reasons. Nothing quite as noble as doing it for charity, which I should since I suffer from PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome)

So here’s the list:

A) I’m one of those women that freaks out about a hair on my body in a place where, normally it’s natural, I pluck and wax until it’s gone.
B) I was shaving my underarms so therefore when it was starting to grow back it would get super itchy and I would end up with weepy sores under my arms
C) It’s challenging my own perceptions about body hair on myself and being able to leave the house every day knowing it’s there and that other people might be able to see it and judge me
D) Challenging my own sense of femininity – and societies
E) Remind myself that I don’t give a fuck about what other people think about me

And finally:

F) It’s freaking my boyfriend out

Having been in and around the queer scene in Sydney for a very long time I think I’ve become desensitised to pit hair. The way a woman keeps her vaginal hair has never really fazed me that much. As long as my piercings aren’t getting tangled in the overgrowth usually I’m fine. Don’t laugh. This has actually happened! However I might leave that for another post. Possibly about my life’s most awkward and hilarious moments.

Getting back to hair however…

As one of my friends said yesterday, she doesn’t want to be able to floss with them.

I thought this was an apt statement. Neither do I! But this is something that can be more “hidden” I guess – especially since we don’t go walking around with our crotches hanging out. When one grows pit hair, there’s a whole plethora of emotions from shame, guilt and disgust to name a few to choose from.

I’m still not quite comfortable enough to wear a sleeveless t-shirt out. I’m too mortified that I am aware that I have pit hair.

From the Daily Life article: The cultural hatred of women’s body hair runs so deep that we do not even question it. I’ve had more than one discussion with friends who say that while they’re fine with other women being hirsute, they prefer to be hairless. And when pushed, they insist that it’s their personal choice.

And I’ve been that woman. I’ve been the one saying it’s my own personal choice. But is it?

Is it really? Or is this some kind of conditioning that I grew up with. Coming from a pretty religious family where female body hair is a sin and it all must be removed. It’s hard to not get rid of it all. I picked up the razor in the shower last night. And then had to remind myself that I wasn’t going to shave. Begin internal debate about it being dirty and stinky and how much nicer it is when there’s no hair there. But then I thought, is it really nicer? I mean, this is coming from the girl who was shaving so often that I was getting weeping sores under my arms. How nice is it when you lift your arms for any reason and get a face full of red itchy weepy ouchy? How much different is it then to lifting ones arms and getting a face full of hair?

So I guess what all this blabbing has been about is the fact that, as women, we all seem to be under the misconception that it’s our own personal choice. And maybe it is. But if we all dig a bit deeper, is it really what we believe? Or is this the deeply ingrained borg mentality coming through?

I’m starting to find that the hive mind might not be so right after all.


PCOS Links:

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Association of Australia (POSAA)
Managing PCOS


  • Mr Peeved

    I think your boyfriend is freaking out because he hasn’t been exposed much to hair in women. I’m assuming you’re generation Y, and as you have pointed out general society has made it the norm to shave. I’m generation X and most women I knew in my 20s only shaved occasionally downstairs. Like they want to make it a special occasion for the guy. So I’m not that bothered by hair. Now it’s not only the norm women vajazzle too, which I’m pretty sure is not a male invention. Ancient porn was full of hairy twats, now it’s rare, so this is conditioning boys what to expect, and probably women too. I have a feeling you’re going to re-condition your boyfriend.

    • Spankalicious

      I don’t know. Possibly so =)

      I’m definitely Gen X! I guess I have a lot of female friends across all spectrum’s though and growing up the way I have has meant that I’m fighting against cultural and societal expectations that are placed on me being that I have a vagina instead of a penis.

      Ancient porn, this made me lol – you know I got gifted the Private box set not long ago for doing a BDSM talk at an adult shop. It’s full of hairy vagina’s and armpits. I love it!

  • girlseule

    I have never understood why arm pit hair is considered so ‘gross’ on women. I shave mine, but I do it with a bit of resentment. I’d rather just let them be, but everyone freaks out and most people find it so disgusting that it’s easy just to fall in to line. I once stayed with a group of hippies, all the girls had hairy arm pits, I started growing mine too. I don’t know if the blokes minded or not, but because we all did it no one seemed bothered. Once upon a time it must have been the norm for women to be hairy, I wonder when and where it started to change.

    • Spankalicious

      I don’t understand it either.

      I think it comes down to the sexualisation of women and that a hairless woman is the epitome of sexual desire. Just look at all the brazilians going on everywhere and no hairy legs.

      I still have hairy underarms and every second day my partner still makes comment. Funny no? I find it highly interesting the reaction I get.

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