Controversial? I Stopped Shaving My Legs

What. The. Heck. Have I no shame? Can’t I just keep stuff to myself? Why yes, I have shame, but not about this. And yes, I keep things to myself! Not this, anymore.

Undercover legs. I have sun allergies.

I started thinking about growing up with the modern feminist movement. One reason I love jeans so much is that girls weren’t allowed to wear pants at my elementary school! The minute that changed in sixth grade, I refused to wear dresses for a LONG time. Can you imagine?

Eighth grade chorus photo. Who is wearing pants? Me.

One reason I liked pants is that teen girls HAD to shave their legs (white girls; black girls didn’t back then). I had pretty darned hairy legs, so I spent more time than I liked with the shaving. Yuck. But I had to do it. The one Orthodox Jewish girl whose parents didn’t let her got whispered about. Poor kid.

16th birthday. Big pants! Low waist! Pigtails (not fashionable, just weird me).

I aged into college and tried my best to be one of the cool radicals. But, “real” feminists and fans of being “real” women read The Joy of Sex and didn’t shave themselves. Check out that book’s illustrations some time. Teen Suna did.

I just could not stand my hairy legs. I felt feminist guilt, but I just was too brainwashed by my culture to go against the norms. It still baffles me why that was so. It’s not like I was conventional in other ways.

Fast forward. Rather than becoming more accepting of natural body hair, the US went way overboard the other way. Women got Brazilians, which appeared to be making little stripes on their privates. Then they started going hairless, except on their heads. Not for me. I thought that all looked painful, itchy, and expensive. It did make a nice tattoo canvas (another trend I prefer to observe rather than participate in).

Now trendy men shave all over, too. I keep thinking how prickly day-old arm stubble must be for the Property Brothers’ partners. Day old beards, though, that’s still trendy. Um, enjoy trendy celebs.

Then I began to notice young women bucking the trend. I sure admired that. The partners of both my sons, who are gender fluid, don’t shave, far as I know.

And as I thought about how femininity has never been my favorite mode, and how no one looks at blue-haired old ladies anyway, I gave myself permission to stop with the shaving and rashes and all that.

My legs.

As they grew out, I realized they are a lot less hairy than they used to be. I’m okay with them. The first time I went outside with leg hair, I felt the breeze on my legs. How strange! I’d not felt that since age 11!

I’ve been swimming in the hot tub and pool here, and no one seems to have noticed. There are even a few other people in covered bathing attire, even men. And there are the deep tanners. But, I enjoyed hot tubbing with a Muslim woman, because I’d always wondered if they got to enjoy pools. Yes! All covered up and happy.

Mr. Sparrow is not offended.

So, hooray for my legs and freedom of choice. It’s making me feel happier.

Sartorial Strategies

Here’s a quick one for you. Have you ever just been standing around, waiting in a line or a queue, when something about yourself hits you like a lightning bolt? I have, and it happened this morning when I was checking out and back in for another couple of days in South Carolina (more on that later).

I was just looking at the people in the incredibly echo-filled check-in area at the resort, and I realized I was the only person there wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Whoa. I am no longer the typical American wearing the typical American uniform.

Current attire. My legs sure look big!

What were people wearing? One couple had sweatpants outfits on, top and bottoms the same color. They looked comfy, but to me looked like they were wearing their pajamas.

The only place I’d wear this outfit. Image by @haehanna via Twenty20.

Two other groups were decked out in what I guess are track suits? I don’t know much about those. People tend to wear very bright ones with the names of shoe manufacturers all over them, along with giant shoes with the manufacturer name or symbol on them. I just don’t feel authentic in those outfits, not being a runner. Of course, many people I see in those outfits do not appear to be runners, either. On the other hand, these could also be warm-up outfits from other sports, since a lot of the people so attired look like they could be basketball, baseball, soccer, or lacrosse players (depending on accessories and hair, I guess).

I’m sure these track-suit guys are a team, a boy band, or something.

I’m at the beach, so others were wearing shorts (even though it is not hot outside), and still others were in bathing attire, which is a whole other topic. The see-through pants and tunic is very popular here. I am not going to share an image of these, because they tend to hurt my eyes, but I’m sure the wearers and their partners enjoy them.

Back to jeans. I’ve always worn them, pretty much every day unless I am going to a fancy function, wearing a dress to work in the olden days (with leggings; no one is to see my legs), or wearing shorts around the house. I do wear yoga pants to do yoga, and have one pair that passes for dress pants (I used to own a lot of non-jeans pants, but I no longer need them for work).

Even my avatars wear jeans. This one has a jean jacket, too.

I have come to the realization that I have never worn sweatpants outside my house, at least that I can recall. It could be because they make me look like a pile of crumpled laundry. I’m not sure, but that does not make me “average” these days! I think, perhaps, it’s time for me to go back to rural Texas, where at least ranchers dress more like me. Oh my gosh, I’ve become rural.

My other jean-clad avatar. I realize none of these really look like me.

Sadly, or maybe not, we extended our trip two more days, so that we can be more sure to have enough gasoline to get us home. I will be doing a lot more work from the car next week, but I can handle it. I think I can even plug my laptop in and use my phone for a hotspot. Rock on, me.

So, is anyone else stuck in the 70s like me? Or is it the 60s? I did always want to be a hippie as a little kid, so that may explain my attachment to good old jeans and t-shirts!

Nope, not me. Image by @tcboncore via Twenty20.

PS: I do own a few, but I am not fond of hoodies, either. All that material in the back is uncomfortable when you are sitting in a chair or couch, in my humble opinion.

PPS: Subsequent boardwalk observations revealed that there is a group of people who wear jeans and t-shirts here: women in their 60s. Oh. That’s me. Old.