Friday, January 30, 2015

Shaved or Unshaved: Personal Choice

            Before reading the posts in The Last Triangle blog, I have never questioned my shaving practice. Since the age of 12, I have taken my time in the shower to shave. Thinking back, it wasn’t until that day, that embarrassing conversation, that I started to shave. As the sun shined, we lounged on the pool-sided chair. In the middle of our conversation, my male friend (who was around the age of 16 at that time) said in that horrified tone of his, “You need to shave! There’s hair on your armpits.” My face turned tomato red in an instance; my 12-year-old self immediately became embarrassed. After that day, I have always been very self-conscious about shaving. Summer days were extra worrisome. There was a constant reminder in the back of my head asking “you shaved, right?” on the days that I wore a sleeveless shirt.
            Meredith Dault’s posts on her blog The Last Triangle strikes home in more than one occasion. It’s easy to simulate with the things that she writes about, particularly in the piece Somewhere to start. She mentioned that shaving not only gives women one more body issue to worry about, but also, a new set of esthetic services to enlist and heap more of specialty product to buy. As more time passes, the less hair a female body should have (at least that’s how things are going in the mainstream). Females have constantly been told to “keep it under control, or keep it covered.” This no longer solely apply for visible areas such as legs and underarms, it also goes for genital area.
            It never bothered me that I have to shave, per mainstream customs, because I do feel cleaner and fresher when I’m shaved. However, I’m exceptionally annoyed by the phrases that are said to describe unshaved women. It’s the individual’s personal choice to shave or not, to remove certain body part’s hair or not, and others should respect that choice. Despite this, many commercials advertising razors still uses discourteous words, describing the practice of shaving pubic hair as “mowing the lawn” for females. Is there a need to tell women to shave so that they will “feel tidy and together?” Are females not tidy and together if they are unshaved? The answer is no, and no. As noted by Dault, we have managed to “sell women on the idea that the curly little strands associated with physical and sexual maturity are unclean and unruly, unsexy and untamed.” I believe I have fallen victim to this hairless scheme that started before I was even born. It should not be thought that those who aren’t hairless are dirty; this is just a personal choice.

            Another issue that I have with the languages of razor commercials is the sexism involved in those words. Why females’ version is “feeling tidy and together” while males’ version is “making the tree look taller?” What one can infer from these two phrases is that if females don’t shave, they are unclean, if males don’t shave, their genitals wouldn’t look big. So, it’s fine for guys to be unshaved because they will still be clean regardless? If females are told that they are not clean if they don’t shave, then males should be told the same thing (even though there is no medical research supporting the fact that shaving is cleaner).

            What I’m trying to get at is that shaving is a personal thing. If someone choses not to shave, it is their preference. Society’s view has changed. Individuals are pursued by the mainstream to shave unwarranted hair in areas such as underarms, legs, pubic, and even arms. We should respect whether one choses to become hairless or not.

1 comment:

  1. No question shaving products are a multi billion dollar industry that highlights gender inequality.