I’m not plucking my brows, I’m not shavin’ my ‘stache.
I’m not shaving where the sun don’t shine, and I’m not bleaching my a…nyway!
You get the point.
I’m letting my little garden of hairs e’rywhere grow wild, no intervention.
I’m not sure why. But I know that when I ask myself that question, it seems like there needs to be an answer more substantial than “Because I feel like it.”
Why is that?
Why is it that I feel like I should say it’s for Mo’vember—to raise awareness for men’s health issues?
Why is it that I feel like I need to explain away the reason I’m not taking a razor to the skin of the tops of my toes and feet, up over my ankles and knees, to the apex of my thighs?
Why is it that I feel the need to explain why I’m not taking a blade to my most delicate of parts, tweezers to my nipples, or wax strips to my lips?
I stroke my blooming chin.
And why is it that I feel like I need to write about it? It feels so dumb that a woman’s body hair should be something she needs to think about at all; her whiskers something she should hide.
I find myself reflexively reaching for the razor that I’ve reached for regularly since I was 10 years old, and looking back on why, at such a young age, I should want my legs to be silky smooth.
I remember the night with the girl who started the trend—how she told me that her dad bought her silky panties as she insisted that I borrow a pair to sleep in for the night. I remember that I made my way home that evening before the sleep-over had really begun.
I didn’t follow her silky panty trend, but years later insisted on shaving my legs like hers. I wanted to fit in.
I started shaving before I had much, if any, need to shave anywhere else. As new hair grew, out that went, too. No hair anywhere. Not in the pits aside my growing breasts, not in the pit between my legs.
So, now I find myself curious as to how my woman’s body grows what where. And do I really prefer myself bare deep down there, or is that something I have told myself long enough to believe that it actually feels better for me to feel him glide in silky smooth across my skin rather than buffered by a carpet however thick or thin it may grow?
And I wonder—now that I understand what those silky panties meant when paired with silky legs at such a young age—what I will tell my future daughter when one day she, perhaps also innocently, asks to join the crowd of girls “ready” to be less of a girl and just a little more of a woman before she’s even fully felt that womanhood ushered in.
I do not know the answers.
I find myself stroking an uncomfortably furry chin in thought, yearning to pull at the hairs. I press nervously atop the short wires poking out of the space just above the corners of my mouth. I wonder if someone passing by will comment on my mustache. And find myself grateful—grateful to be covered in yoga pants and jeans as the fall turns to winter, and as my arms grow keratin leaves in their underside, like branches.
And I wonder what in this experiment, beyond hair, will grow?