Women Get To Make Their Own Choices About Their Body Hair (Or Lack Thereof)

by Christine Burke
NKS_Imagery / iStock

A few years ago, I was on a group run with some close friends. As per our usual, we used that time to discuss our kids, lives, and general gossip. We pounded pavement and dished about husbands who drive us up the wall, kids who make us sound like our mothers, and bitched that our mom bodies felt old as we climbed the gentle hills in our neighborhood. Running with us that day was my friend’s younger sister. She was 10 years younger than us, single, and very much enjoying the dating scene. She was a good sport to join us that day.

Because no topic is off-limits with my running pals, we eventually settled on a discussion of body hair. Specifically, we discussed the fact that the warmer weather meant dusting off the rusted razors in our showers and doing the work of getting our body hair under control. Because shorts. And because bathing suit season. We lamented about the extra time it took to lather up our legs, shave our pits, and get our lady gardens bikini-line ready.

My friend’s sister was horrified by our banter. She stopped in the middle of the road to good-naturedly let us know that she couldn’t believe we’d become “those women,” the women who stopped giving a fuck and officially had let their body hair get out of control. As we sheepishly looked at each other, we asked her what the cool kids were doing these days when it came to body-hair management. She calmly looked at us and told us that her generation was running around like hairless cats. She told us that she and her generation took hair removal serious AF and that her friends referred to themselves as Generation Pubeless.

Then it was our turn to be horrified. I’d also like to add that the irony of the conversation happening on Beaver Lane was not lost on us (hand to God, the jokes wrote themselves). But as we laughed at our various hair-removal horror stories until we couldn’t breathe, we all agreed that hair removal was a personal choice. And though I support Generation Pubeless and their mission, I’m not a card-carrying member, thank you very much. Because Brazillian waxes are not for the weak, I tell you.

I was reminded of that conversation a few weeks ago when I saw that there was a brouhaha over the new Wonder Woman movie. Apparently, people were up in arms that Wonder Woman, played by actress Gal Gadot, had time to shave her pits in between saving the world from total destruction and cruising around in her invisible jet. When promotional stills were released, the Twitterverse got hairy. Feminists argued that Wonder Woman’s smooth skin under her arms was a double standard and that men in action films didn’t shave their pits before heading off to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Now, listen. I’m not going to argue with anyone over who shaves what where, because frankly, I don’t give a shit what you have going on under your clothes. Hair is a natural, normal part of the body, and if you want to let your hair down all over your body, more power to you. It’s ridiculous that women even have to justify how they present their bodies when there are men who look like Sasquatch strolling down every beach in America.

Seriously, guys, newsflash: Not all women want to look like the hairless porn stars that you often idolize. And guess what? Just because a woman doesn’t want to shave her starfish down to bare skin doesn’t mean she’s any less attractive. And frankly, if she’s chosen to let her armpit hair grow, STFU until you have had hot wax ripped off your hairy pits by a stranger. Waxing fucking hurts, and it’s pricey. Shaving is a pain in the ass and causes serious skin irritation. I mean, we’ve all seen that scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, right? It’s funny when a man gets waxed, and yet, Wonder Woman is getting shit for doing a little light grooming before she takes on the forces of evil.

What gives, people?

Why are we so obsessed with hair removal?

What is the big fucking deal?

Hair is the body’s defense mechanism for germs. Nose hair and eyelashes protect your body from dust and infiltrates, and body hair plays a part in body temperature regulation. And though scientists haven’t quite figured out why pubic hair survived the evolutionary process, suffice it to say that it’s no one’s business whether my lady garden is shaved into the shape of a lightening bolt or is more overgrown than an abandoned field. My body, my choice. And if I want to make a donation to Locks of Love with my leg hair, so be it.

The bottom line: Hair is a necessary part of the human body, and we all need to CTFD about hair removal. Wonder Woman has enough on her mind without us all getting up in her junk just because she decided that she felt more empowered with shaved pits. And I can assure you, my husband still gives me the bedroom eyes even when my legs aren’t quite as smooth as they were when we were dating. Frankly, whether a woman waxes, shaves, or plucks should be the least of our worries in light of real world problems like politics and economic implosion.

Well, except for chin hairs.

I go after those fuckers with super human strength.