05 March 2008

a missed anniversary

the last time i removed hair from my legs.

i cut out the transaction confirmation number, and i was about to cut out the dollar amount too, when it occurred to me to go ahead and leave it there, because it's one of the reasons i decided i wasn't going to be doing the salon regime anymore. to be fair, ninety dollars covered more than just a lower-leg wax (i never did see a reason to bother with the fine hairs on my thighs) -- i also got a brazilian wax that day, if i recall correctly -- but still. ninety dollars every however-many weeks (supposedly six, i tended to stretch it out to tennish), for the privilege of an hour or so of ripping out something that was just gonna come back and wasn't really all that noxious to begin with, seems both too embarrassing to reveal and yet precisely also legitimate grounds for grievance that do a lot to explain why i stopped.

sure, i could have continued shaving, but (a) lazy and (b) grows back spiky and (c) have to do it all the damn time. the leg wax had actually been an attempt to establish a compromise between the constant maintenance of shaving vs not doing anything at all. but in the end not doing anything at all won out. over time i noticed something neat, which was that for the first six months it grew and then sort of plateaued at what i considered a perfectly decent level of fuzziness -- and then grew again and became the full-on hairiness that i'd initially dreaded. the other thing that surprised me is that the only really dark-and-hairy part of my legs is my shins, specifically the insides; all the rest is pretty unremarkable.

is it worth noting that i in fact continued to get brazilian waxes (this means my vulva, everybody) all the way up til i moved cities, and even once this past november on a trip? or that, after a long winter hibernation in pants and stockings, my hairy legs once again make me a bit self-conscious and i'm wondering whether i should wax them just once more so that they'll be no worse than downy until summer ends? or that i still take twenty seconds to shave my armpits every couple of days and don't foresee quitting? so it's not like i've really sorted all this out (and by "this" i mean "stuff that falls under the broad category of body hair, other appearance issues, &c").

to be honest, my motivations for depilating the armpits (they get way less sweaty and smelly) and the pubes (i orgasm more easily without a soft carpet impeding friction) still seem reasonable enough to me. but i think the insecurity about my hairy legs is just something i'm going to have to get over. it's been over a year, after all, and i weathered last summer just fine overall, even with the swimming at the lake and the constant wearing of skirts. maybe it helped that i spent most days in an explicitly-feminist environment that also had a lax dress code: it's stupid, but now that i can't wear sweatpants or sneakers or even jeans to work, i wonder a lot more about whether my body hair might make me seem unkempt somehow. and that shocks me a little; i think that's a stereotype that i hadn't even realized i'd have to de-internalize (ugh, what a word).

i don't know, i guess these are just some random thoughts on the subject, on the occasion of sifting through old bank records and realizing i'd missed the first anniversary of my last "lawn-mowing" (as my sister calls it) ever. i could say some pissier or more obvious or more political things about it, but right now i'd rather have a conversation.


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