The Happy Trail

Your hair, your choice

Hair is all over our bodies, whether it’s leg hair, arm hair, head hair, pubic hair, facial hair, nose hair or eyebrows. There are a variety of ways to remove body hair, including waxing, shaving, threading and laser hair removal. Some people remove their body hair, while others do not. Nobody has control over someone else’s body; whether a person removes hair or not is a personal choice.

Frequently, people argue that when a woman shaves she is giving in to societal and gender norms. But what if she’s not? People seem to neglect to acknowledge that women are responsible for making their own decisions, and whether you’re telling a woman to keep her body hair or remove it, you are still telling a woman what to do! It is awesome to defy gender norms by not shaving, but it is a personal choice, and thus others shouldn’t be pressured into not shaving or shaving.

Women shave or wax for a variety of reasons, but people seem to only focus on one reason: a partner’s preference. While it is considerate to consult your partner on some decisions, it’s best to make your own decisions regarding body hair; you are the one who has to live with it, and the right partner will respect that.

The people who pressure others not to remove body hair are just as guilty as those who pressure others to remove body hair. It is ironic that people urge others not to give in to societal and gender norms by not removing body hair, because by pressuring someone to join in disrupting a societal norm, you are doing the exact thing that you are trying to stop. Telling someone to shave or telling someone not to shave only reinforces societal pressure. Nobody should tell a woman to remove her body hair and nobody should tell her to keep it either.

Although it is neither wrong nor right to keep or remove body hair, many people disagree on the issue. Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues has a monologue entitled “Hair,” in which the speaker discusses how her husband pressured her to shave her pubic hair and claimed he had an affair because she wouldn’t please him sexually, which he said included her not shaving her vagina.

The speaker of the monologue goes into great detail about how you “cannot love a vagina unless you love hair.” As a person with a vagina, I beg to differ! Hair has nothing to do with loving a vagina. Since a young age, we’ve been taught that it’s what’s inside that counts, right? The monologue goes on to describe the couples’ therapy the speaker and her husband went to, and how he shaved her vagina after one therapy session. She then goes on to describe how painful the sex they had that night was because there was nothing to protect her vagina from his prickly hair. This monologue ends with, “You have to love hair in order to love the vagina. You can’t pick the parts you want. And besides, my husband never stopped screwing around.”

Clearly, the woman’s pubic hair was not their only marital problem; the husband was just using it to excuse his affair. This is why people should make their own choices regarding their own body hair! I was in The Vagina Monologues performances this year and had an incredible experience, but I felt like a hypocrite every time I heard that monologue because I do shave and I do love my vagina! In that instance, shaved vaginas were portrayed in a negative light and it criticized people who do shave their vaginas.

A person should not influence whether you shave or not; it is your own body. It’s not about whether you shave or not, it’s about the choice being your own.