Monday, June 30, 2014

DARE TO GO HAIR(Y)



By Kate Collins

Hair was the theme of the July issue of MORE magazine, and in a bold experiment, the editors asked several writers to let their natural body hair grow out over several weeks' time. In other words, no shaving, no plucking!  The results were interesting. They had to deal with their own egos, their fear of judgment of others, trying to ignore stares, and their surprising sense of freedom.

I attempted to imagine myself going for a month without denuding. After serious contemplation – lasting all of ten seconds – I gave a hard shudder and said, “No way,” to my reflection in the mirror. And then I plucked those little spears that grow underneath my chin with a vengeance. I refused to even contemplate wearing a bathing suit in public without a thorough shave. Ew.

Once while on a vacation, I was without a magnifying mirror and so did not see a couple of those chinny-chin-chinners. When I got home, I was horrified to think of how people must have focused on two of those ½ long black mutants waving like a flag in the breeze instead of on whatever I was saying.  And why is it those stubborn hairs grow faster than the speed of sound? Would a bad cut grow that fast? No-o-o-o!

Many years ago I stayed with friends in Germany for a month in the summer. They took me to a public pool where I was horrified by the bushes under the womens’ arms and the long curly hair on their legs. (They were equally horrified by my taking up valuable time to shave in their only bathroom.)

And my dear stepmom, who is 87, either doesn’t see or doesn’t care that she has a small garden on her upper lip and chin, some an inch long. And when we meet for lunch, I find myself wanting to grab a pair of tweezers and finish them off. Now what was she saying? Sorry. Couldn’t focus. Shallow of me, I know.

Where do you stand on the shaving issue? Does your (or anyone else’s) body hair annoy you? Have you gone to great lengths or no lengths at all to rid yourself of them? If you have a hubby or kids and decide not to shave, what would his/their reactions be?




22 comments:

Mark Baker said...

I grew a beard once. It was in the winter. I don't think I'd do well with a beard in the summer at all. Mind you I do have a goatee, but a full beard? No way!

SueAnn said...

My hubby has had a beard for about 45 yrs now.....but he would not like me not shaving! I would not like me not shaving! I think in the summer..it would be hot.....I was the "favorite" of my great -granny,she would sit me on her lap with a tweezers to do her chin!!! Even at around 90 yrs she was aware of those strays....and I seem to have inherited them! I hear you about being out in public and coming home...to....chin hairs!! YIKES! I was never a fan of the "european approach"...to female hair-!!

Margaret Kennedy said...

I have a relative by marriage whose mother shaves her face. When she doesn't shave it, it grows stubbly. Now, I ask you this. Doesn't she see the stubble or feel the stubble? Can't she get laser work done? Three to six visits - done. I don't know. I am not a fan, unless it is winter time. I could go without shaving all winter long. Thankfully, I do not have the facial hair issue at the present time. However, if the time comes, it will be fixed!

Lover of Books said...

I have to shave my legs once a week or they itch. My armpits get shaved every couple of days. As for bikini line, must shave before swimming, swimsuit lines are not forgiving.
Krista

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I'm with you on this, Kate. Hair today, gone today! One of my friends has an expression: faster than a chin hair. What's with them, anyway?

XO

Diane LaBrie Leverson said...

It has stopped growing under my arms and now there is very little on my legs. I do shave off what is there. They are a light color now. BUT, some seems to love to grow under my chin and over my lip. They seem to grow every day. I pluck them out and there they are again. I can't stand it. I guess it comes with age. Now that I have had one eye done for cataract surgery I can see them much better.. Ugh! I'll get the other eye done in Sept. Wonder how many more I will see after that.

Miss Merry said...

I have one chin hair - but 2-3 pesky ones that show up on my neck. When I first discovered the neck hair, it was at least 2 inches long (iiiiiccccckkkkk). I am very blonde, so the hairs are hard to see - except in very bright light. This means , I am sure, that others see them before I do. I constantly finger my chin in search of that little rascal poking out and have taken to rubbing mascara on my neck to find those other invaders.

Kate Collins said...

Okay, but how would you feel about your wife growing a goatee? ;-)

Kate Collins said...

That's brilliant! One of us has to use that saying in a book, MJ.

Kate Collins said...

Isn't it sad that they stop growing in one area and start in another (more visible) one?

Kate Collins said...

Would you explain how mascara works? I have one on my neck that I have a hard time finding.

Kate Collins said...

I'm totally with you on that, Margaret. Ever see a woman's face in full sun and notice all the peach fuzz -- then realize they're probably noticing the same thing on your face?

Mark Baker said...

No thank you.

Anonymous said...

Every word you said is how I feel. As I have grown hairier I believe that as we have evolved from apes, we are now turning into them. lol

Cricket said...

I can not go without shaving. I can't even let it get long enough to use those hair removal creams. I go nuts. And waxing the brows and lip are a must! Aging sucks! :)

Kate Collins said...

LOl!!! You're right!

Kate Collins said...

Come into the light, Cricket. I use an electric depilatory shaver and only have to use it once every 2 weeks. Ah, the freedom!!!

kayt18 said...

I remember the first time I went to Germany and saw my aunt's leg hair wrapping around under her hose and her armpit hair as a bush coming out of her sleeveless shirt. As I grew and went to visit, my young cousin informed me that only red light district ladies shaved. I think of those times now and laugh. However, I dont shave anything except my beard and mustache for fear of being kidnapped for circus life. I always say my leg hair keeps me warm in the winter and the breeze it creates as I am walking cools my legs down in the summer. And I too wonder how it is possible for my facial hair to grow so much faster than anything else. It just doesnt make sense!!

NoraA said...

I guess I'm lucky then... after years of waxing my leg hair gave up the fight and never came back... not the same for that damned chin hair though. LOL

Margie said...

No way could I go without shaving or waxing! Fortunately I don't have to do it much anymore. Seeing a woman that does not shave makes me crazy, it's like bad hygiene. Just my opinion

Min said...

Kate - you've just lost a loyal reader because of your judgmental, ethnocentric, and (admittedly) shallow views. Shaving is largely a U.S. cultural thing and done only because U.S. men find it more pleasing and have (clearly) convinced U.S. women that it's more attractive. European, Asian, South American women do not shave. I don't shave, and I have many friends who do not shave. I am offended that you have essentially told me that you find me offensive and that if you ever met me at a signing, you would be too fixated on my body hair to have a conversation with me about how awesome I find your books.

Or how about my friend who has facial hair due to a disease? She chooses not to shave because she's made peace with her disease and it's how she's chosen to deal with her body and her disease state.

And to Margie. Perhaps you should educate yourself. Women who shave are not unhygienic. We know how to shower and cleanse ourselves just as well as everyone else, thank you very much. We just make a choice to follow OUR standard of beauty.

Michelle F. said...

No hubby or kids so no one would care. I would never wax, that's for cars. I didn't used to shave, I would use scissors to try to get rid of the hair! That's especially hard for the underarms. Depilitories I didn't like. They left me with that chemical burn feeling. So I decided that shaving was best, plus it looks better when I wear shorts and I don't have to worry about people seeing too much hair. Now I even shave the hair off above my lip (blonde, even though my natural hair color is light brown) and chin (just one there on the side). I also have some blonde hairs on my forehead and if I use the flashlight I can see some blonde hairs on the back of my hand (not too much but check to see if you have any!). Even in movies you don't see hairy women from other countries. I have to believe that deodorant doesn't work as well if you have hairy underarms.