Mommyhood, body hair and me

No, this is not the story of how being pregnant turned my humongous bump into a velvet mountain. It’s also not the story of that stubborn hair on my chin that grows back so quickly after I pluck it that I wonder if I actually DREAMT that I plucked it, in a sleep-deprived haze. This is the story of how becoming a twin mama turned me into a hairy feminist.

It started with an inability to attend beautician appointments anymore. Have you ever experienced the logistics of carting two babies around at once? Assuming I could get over the mental challenge of even leaving the house to begin with, I would then be faced with the prospect of timing my appointment between three-hourly feeds and figuring out what to do with the babies while I’m somewhat compromised and distracted with having hairs ripped out of my skin.

Then, of course, there was the mere concept of anyone or anyTHING going even remotely near those parts of me EVER AGAIN.

These issues aside, there was the whole oh-my-god-where-has-all-my-money-gone thing. I began to chastise my former self for even contemplating spending 20 quid a pop to have someone torture me for half an hour. What was I; a masochist??

The Hubs was less than impressed, and this got me thinking: who exactly was I waxing myself for? It certainly wasn’t me! Why did I feel the need to change what was naturally mine, simply to please a man? Why did my husband think hair was unattractive?

And so I took a stand. I went 70s.

Let me tell you: it felt pretty liberating. I took ownership of my body.

Next came the armpits. I encountered photo upon photo of women baring all with their armpit hair proudly on show and I thought, “I could do that!”

I am a mom of twin girls. What I want most in this world is for them to be happy. I have to equip them with the tools to do this, and part of that means helping them to try to love their bodies as they grow up. I know that from a very young age, they will be bombarded with media telling them how they should and shouldn’t look. It’s so obvious and yet so subtle that they won’t realise how the choices they think they are making about themselves are really not choices at all because they don’t exist in a vacuum. Women’s choices are still dictated by what is considered “normal” or attractive by men. We have become so used to it that women judge other women by the same sexist standards. I spend every night examining my pores, fatty bits and hair in the mirror and I don’t want that for my girls.

Am I living in a dream world to hope that my girls will grow up to be confident in themselves? How much influence can I really have?

The best thing I can think to do is to lead by example. To rock that underarm hair in a vest top and a smile. To tell my girls that they are beautiful, outside and in. And to keep the pore-gazing for times when they can’t see me.

 

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