Body hair. You might think it's a matter of personal taste. But really it's not. It's not. I'd like to know when it became the case that if a woman doesn't remove her body hair she becomes an object of revulsion for Joe Public.
Since when and why? Why should we be compelled to remove our body hair? Quite frankly its a pain in the arse.
So what do I do? I epilate my legs, but prior to the last year I have always shaved them, and in winter I might have let it slip a bit from time to time (I don't let it slide now I epilate because starting from scratch is far too painful). Armpits, I'd never ever dream of letting that grow. Other areas? Well, if I can be be bothered I do, but generally speaking I make an effort to keep tidy, particularly if I'm going swimming, but I'm never ever going to be a brazillian kind of a girl.
But you know what, all these things I do, I don't do them because I dislike body hair. In truth it doesn't bother me. But what does bother me is the thought of being seen in public with any kind of body hair. I realised how much of a problem this was when I was thinking about my outfit for a forthcoming Christmas party and pondering removing the tiny blonde hairs from my toes so people don't call me a hobbit.
I've known people shave their arms (who weren't excessively hairy), and god knows what else. It's just awful that we feel we have to remove our hair in order to be socially accepted.
Who can forget Julia Roberts looking beautiful...but all anyone spoke about was her armpits?
Obviously there are people who find body hair revolting, which is fine if that's their personal preference, they are of course entitled to feel that way, but in my experience it's quite often it's those same people who loudly complain if anyone does have body hair. My immediate reaction upon seeing a lady with any kind of body hair is "ewww"...but on reflection, I'm not revolted at all, it's social conditioning at its finest.
There seems to be some kind of myth that body hair is a dirty thing. In fact it's quite the opposite, our body hair serves several purposes, protecting against friction, cold and germs.
So I'll continue to remove mine when I can be bothered, and I'll continue to keep myself neat and tidy and I'll continue to keep myself hair free when getting my legs out in public or wearing something that exposes my armpits...but just so you know, it's not because I find it revolting, it's because I don't want to be ridiculed.
And just so you know, if you choose not to shave your legs or shave your armpits, I'm going to make a massive effort not to have an involuntary shudder because I'm not actually revolted by you, I'm socially programmed to find it revolting and from now on I'm going to fight that.
I am so glad I'm not single these days, because whilst it was always the done thing to keep your bikini line tidy I'm not sure I could brave having sex for the first time when I get the impression that the norm these days is absolutely no public hair. And its out of my comfort levels to get on all fours for a beautician.
And what of my daughters? We all know what teenage peer pressure can be like...and things are so much harder than they used to be. It's not okay to be pale, it's not okay to have body hair, it's always been a source of torment for teens that they might not have big enough boobs, it's just all too much and its all too much too young.
I'm not in any way saying we should all just go mad and let all our body hair grow wild, but I'd like to see a shift in trends to be more accepting, so all women have a choice to do what they like without fear of ridicule.