Ask Momma Bare: Do I Have To Shave?

Credit: Thinkstock

Credit: Thinkstock

If you decide pit or leg hair isn't a big deal, then bam! It's not a big deal.

Dear Momma Bare,

I don't like shaving my armpits or my legs. Why is this such a big deal? Would people think it was gross if I stopped? Do men think it's ugly?


M. in Michigan

(ps I'm a girl)

Good day M,

This is a great question and one I have considered in regards to myself.

What does the presence (or absence) of armpit/leg/facial/body hair say about you? Are you a hippie? Are you lazy? Are you some crazy feminist who throws pie in the face of internalized misogyny?

Let me share a photo:

That is me.

What you can tell from that photo:

-I have armpit hair.

-I am not wearing makeup.

-I am wearing glasses.

-I like vintage paintings.

-I have an aqua dining room chair.

-My boobs are big.

What you are unable to tell from that photo:

-I am hungry. In fact, my stomach was growling when I took that picture.

-I am a heterosexual. I think any variety of sexuality is okay, provided no one is being hurt.

-I am a feminist.

-I have five kids. I am still a feminist.

-I left my career to take care of my kids. Yep. Still a feminist.

-I just finished encapsulating a placenta (it belonged my one of my best friends).

-I encapsulated her previous placenta as well.

-I'm not weird (mostly).

-My house smells like said placenta and the cinnamon stick I simmered to cover the smell. I call the scent "cinna-centa." It's unmarketable, though, because you'd really need a lot of cinnamon. And placentas.

-I have PMS. Pretty sure I'm going to start my period tomorrow. Ask my family.

-I don't wear deodorant. Thankfully the cinna-centa is covering my armpit scenta.

-I'm making refried beans and Mexican rice for dinner. I am not of Mexican/Latin/South American/Spanish descent. I'm German, but rice and beans are good.

-When I finish writing this, I'm having a huge Crispin cider. Huge.

-I am really mad at Shonda Rhimes right now. REALLY MAD. Because, really Shonda? Did he have to die?!

As you can see, you can't really tell that much about a person simply by looking at them.

I don't shave my underarms because I don't like the feeling of poking hair and ingrown hair hurts.

I do shave my legs because, oddly, I don't like pokey hair and my leg hair is pokey, even when long.

I don't shave my bikini line because, again, ingrown hair.

What does any of that say about me? Well, I don't like pokey hair or ingrown hair. It's not a political statement. It's not a feminist statement. It's not a statement at all.

If you don't want to shave any part of your body, do not. Why is it a big deal, you ask? Well mostly because we only see women without hair. What if we only saw men without hair? Then it would be weird if they were hairy. It wouldn't be a political statement, though, because everyone seems to not notice the grooming habits of men. Unless they have a beard. Because beards are "hot" again. (And man buns, too. Speaking of which: when I put my hair in a bun, it's because I either A) didn't wash it or B) am too lazy to do anything to it. Great idea: Let's make that "hot.")

That said, armpit hair? Not a big deal. I mean, it seems like a big deal, because everyone is making it a big deal. But if you decide it's not a big deal, then bam! It's not a big deal.

Would people think it was gross if you stopped shaving? Maybe. Probably. Do you care? I strongly advise you to get to a place in your life where you don't give one single shit about what other people think. Then when someone is like, "Ew. You don't shave? That's gross." You can be like, "Oh. You're a superficial jerk? That's unfortunate."

Do men think it's ugly? I don't know. Probably some. If your man tells you your armpit hair is ugly, tell him his armpit hair is ugly. If he wants you to shave because he can't handle the idea of your armpit hair, then seriously? Take a hike. If someone is so petty that they can't move past armpit hair of all things, then, bye Felicia. You're worth more than that.

Now. My cider awaits.

In love and cake,


PS Still pissed at Shonda Rhimes.

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