I am excited to announce that the tutorial I worked on with my coworker and mentor, Roxie of How-to Hair Girl is now up on Offbeat Home! Thank you so much for the support and for sharing this article (we’re up to over 30,000 shares!). I hope that many have achieved success with this tutorial and had some fun with the concept. This experiment was not only fun, but pretty damn successful if you ask me. I experienced no irritation nor bleeding of color on my clothes from the manic panic dye during the two weeks my pits were blue. I did however receive lots of sideways glances and high fives. It appears as though there is a black and white stance on colored arm pit hair, something I believed didn’t need to be grouped into another harmful controversial dichotomy. Roxie, my coworker and mentor has a lot more to say on the subject in her subsequent article about body hair on Offbeat Home, as well as her follow-up on HTHG.
Serendipity brought Roxie and I together as coworkers at VAIN, a popular salon in Downtown Seattle with an incredible history of social revolution, alternative lifestyle, music and feminist action. Roxie is like the older sister I never knew I needed. She has taken great care to embrace me during this transitional time and has made my experience in Seattle so far incredibly empowering and fulfilling. I am eternally grateful for her support and belief in me, and am ecstatic to be working with her and learning from her each day. Below is a brief excerpt I wrote for HTHG about my body hair-evolution. Keep in mind, these thoughts are to be continued. I have a lot more learning and evolving to do in the next coming years. I’m still growing in may ways.
Growing up in a conservative, Midwestern city, body hair was never a thing that women talked about. I remember the first time another woman’s body hair made me uncomfortable; I was in the seventh grade and my best friend at the time had just bought a brand new skirt for the first day of school. She had gorgeous blonde curly hair, a warm, round face and a smile that melted hearts all through the halls of our middle school. Walking up to the front doors on our first day, the bright August sun caught her legs and illuminated the blonde curly tufts of hair speckling her legs. I remember feeling so uncomfortable because I had never seen a girl with hairy legs before. Was this normal? Was this disgusting? Shouldn’t she shave that?
Fast forward to high school and college where everyone shaved everything, and dammit, it was expected. If you wanted any boys to ask you on dates, you better shave and shave regularly. Sure, it was fine to be lazy every once in a while, especially during the winter, but you better never be seen in public come spring with spikey armpit hair and stragglers on your knee caps. Women didn’t look that way, especially ones that had boyfriends, were popular, and were pretty.
After suffering through many years of razor burn and ingrown hairs just to keep my skin stubble free and attractive to potential suitors, I gave up. I really honestly just stopped giving a shit and realized if guys (and other girls for that matter) didn’t like me because I was a little hairy, then they were the problem, not me. Razors were expensive and my skin was raw (especially in my armpits. I would get these red rashy bumps from razor burn and would constantly have to buy new razors to reduce the risk of rash!). At the time I was dating a guy who had lived many years around women who didn’t shave. In fact, he encouraged me not to feel pressured to shave if I didn’t want to, because really it was up to ME, not to him or any other person. I had lived so long with this absurd ingrained expectation that women had to be hair free to be desired and well-liked by others, and that was complete bullshit. I was free and I was liberated, and certainly I was a lot less rashy.
My alternative boyfriend and I eventually parted ways (but are still good friends), but my leg and pit hair has remained in tact. I love my hairy body and I don’t care what anyone has to say about it. It is a part of me as much as anything else and I wear it proudly. I feel beautiful in my own skin and that’s all that really matters to me!