Lets talk about body hair

Fair warning. This post will feature opinions and thoughts. Watch out!

shaving

Lets talk about shaving. It is time consuming, tedious, expensive, and kind of a pain. Don’t get me wrong. I love the result. Smooth, hair-less skin: yes! But here is the thing. It doesn’t always end of smooth. It is bumby, itchy, irritated and even painful. OUCH!

So why do we put ourselves through it? When did we decide that shaving is a must. Well, let me tell you! It is pretty crazy.

Underarms: Back in 1915 Harper’s Bazaar, an upscale magazine, featured an ad with a woman scantily clad in a sleeveless, slip-like dress with both arms above her head. WHAT?!?! I know that is pretty wild. Well, back then women were expected to be covered. Modesty was valued and the style was to wear long dresses and long sleeves to uphold that value.

Harper's Bazaar ad

click image for source

That is why this advertisement was such a big deal. Not only did it use the taboo term “underarm” but it also featured a lady in next to nothing. This ad started a campaign aimed at selling women clothing that was more revealing while also selling them the hair removal products they would need to removal that “objectionable hair”.

From an advertising campaign perspective it was genius. Tell women they need to wear these revealing fashions and that they had to shave their body hair in order to do so. If they didn’t they were gross. Isn’t it strange to think that days before the ad above ran women never thought of underarm hair as a problem. The power of advertising is aparent from this single example.

So a campaign was deployed and women were continuously told that in order to keep trendy they had to shave and wear more revealing clothing. The idea slowly trickled down through the middle class and in 1922 the Sears Roebuck catalog started selling razors and sleeveless dresses. So that is shaving your underarms. When did shaving your legs gain popularity?

fashion timeline

click image for source

Women were a little slower to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to shaving their legs. If you think about it the style was constantly changing. Hemlines became short and long again so women had a hard time justifying the need for shaving their legs. I big spark for the shaving your legs movement would be, in part, to the popularity of the pin up girl in World War II, and more specifically, the popularity of Betty Grable. Again, fashion dictated the need for shaved legs.

So there you have it. The history of shaving. I want to make it a point now to say that I want people to do what they want when it comes to shaving. Shave or don’t shave. That is up to you! Some people prefer to do it daily while others, like myself, do it once a week or once a month (depending on the time of year). Again, it is all a personal decision. Not too long ago shaving wasn’t even on our radars!

What I think is most important is for us not to look down on each other for their decisions. Don’t look at someone with disgust because they choose to not shave their underarms or legs and also don’t judge someone for shaving daily. We are aloud to love and do what we want to our own bodies. If it makes you happy then that is all that truly matters!

Be you and let others be them.

Information for this post was taken from this article.

pink signature

 

The story behind my tattoo

smiles

I have several tattoos (surprised, aren’t you?) but my favorite, and by far the smallest, is my wrist tattoo. A small equal sign that lives on the middle of my right wrist. I was inspired by an older girl at my university. She was the coordinator for the Sexual Assault Peer Education Team at PLU and I thought she was the coolest. I was just getting into social justice when I met her and I thought the tattoo was a perfect way to represent my belief in equality.

I waited a year before getting it done so I could really think about it. I decided one day in-between classes that I wanted it. I walked down the street to the tattoo parlor and made the commitment. I had just enough time to run back to campus for my Women’s Literature class.

swoosh

My small equal sign is the perfect conversation starter. People usually ask if I enjoy math, which I don’t, and I explain that it is an equal sign for equality. People then either tell me that it is awesome and we talk about social justice OR they say oh and change the subject.

Either way it tells them my beliefs without having to get into an intense conversation.

I love all of my tattoos but as I said, this is by far my favorite. When I throw up my right hand in solidarity, whether at a march or a concert, it demonstrates who I am and what I am about. I love it and it has become a part of my identity.

fist

Do you have any tattoos?

pink signature

Some people will only love you as long as you fit in their box. Don’t be afraid to disappoint.

051715 some people will only love you..

click for image source

I’ve been thinking about this idea of being placed in a box for a while now. We build boxes to contain people and we form them with ideas and norms we understand. When we don’t understand others, when they don’t fit into these boxes that have been built, they are ridiculed and judged.

For example, as a society we have built gender boxes. We believe men should be strong, masculine, show no feelings, and be providers. But when they don’t fit into this “ideal” they are emasculated, called feminine names to be belittled, and put down (which is problematic because you are saying that being a woman is being less than a man).

When it comes to women, we are supposed to want to have kids, get married, be feminine, wear dresses, have few sexual partners, etc. The whole idea of what makes a man or a woman is absolutely ridiculous. Gender is not black or white but instead a continuum. We all identify with traits that have been assigned to either gender.

Beyond just gender constraints there are other boxes built. There are boxes built by fandoms, by corporate offices, social circles, etc. You are supposed to fit into their ideals. They want you to fit into their boxes.

But don’t. Don’t force yourself to be someone you are not. Be your awesome self and the people that truly care about you will continue to do so. If people don’t get it, then they aren’t meant to be a part of your life.

I’ve always cared far too much about other people’s opinions of me, and I still do. I worry if someone will read my blog and think I am weird or stupid. I worry that a dress I wear might make me look fat and people will judge me for what I eat. We all have worries and fears but those who love you won’t care. They will celebrate your uniqueness.

Don’t worry so much about fitting in. You were meant to stand out and be yourself. So do it!

pink signature

Feminism is not a dirty word.

Kate Nash feminist quoteI was looking through Pinterest, as I often do, and found a link to 25 feminist quotes. I loved reading them and decided to share my favorite by Kate Nash and my thoughts on the subject.

I often feel like people misunderstand the terms “feminism” and “feminist”. As a feminist I do not hate men. I don’t hate feminine women, I am one! I believe that all people should be equal. That women should no longer be seen as objects solely put on this earth for male’s pleasure. Is that so radical? Watch 30minutes of television and you will see in shows and advertising the objectification of women. Turn on the radio and you will hear it in popular songs like, “Blurred Lines”.

You see it in how survivors of rape are treated. When someone asks a survivor what she was wearing they are placing the blame on the victim instead of the perpetrator and again downgrading women. We have thoughts. We have a voice to lend to society and when we are called bitch, slut, skank, whore; that is objectification. Those words say that we are worth less than the person saying it. The same is said when we as women say it about other women. We do it because we want to make ourselves feel better or as worth more. Why do we do it? Why do we lend a hand to the misogyny already ramped in our society? It is just ridiculous!

Why don’t we instead raise each other up? Lets encourage one another to do more. To be more. We should be telling each other that we are worthy of space instead of discouraging loud voices and opinions.

I am a feminist because I believe that I deserve to be treated as more than “just” a woman. I am a human being with opinions, thoughts, and I have a lot to offer the world.

We need to start at the source and make sure that all people understand the value of others.

The role of being a feminist isn’t something that solely belongs to women. Everyone needs to be a feminist. We all need to say enough is enough and speak up against the inequality in our society.

Not convinced? Maybe these videos will help.

I am not a country fan but I appreciate this song.

This lady is intelligent and hopefully will help explain feminism.

Signature