Shave Shame

Some feminist I am. I took one look at my black underarms in the mirror today whilst trying on a short-sleeved dress and my resolve melted. Before I had time to question myself, the razor was out and I was dry-shaving myself to the man’s ideal of womanhood.

A friend recently said to me that feminism isn’t about becoming a yeti; it’s about having the CHOICE about whether or not to do it. So, ipso facto, am I therefore a feminist because I CHOSE to get rid of what nature gave me???

As parents, we constantly question ourselves regarding our role model status and the influence we will have on our children. However, to what extent is this role model myth actually true? If I allow my girls to grow up seeing me shave my underarms, paint my nails and wear make-up, am I teaching them that this is what a woman should do? Or am I just making the most of myself, and actually celebrating my womanhood? Why do we assume we have that much influence anyway? In reality, won’t my kids be far more influenced by popular culture, music and Hollywood than they will by their fuddy-duddy, out of date mom?

Who here wouldn’t like to change SOMETHING about the way they look? Or who here doesn’t try to make the most of themselves – even if that just means having a wash and brushing your hair?! Am I lying to my girls if I try to bring them up to believe that looks don’t matter? Yes, I suspect that this would be the case.

Whether we like it or not, looks matter. To some more than others, but appearance is one of the first things we use to make a quick judgement about someone. I guess what I really want to do is to teach my girls to make a good impression; this starts with looks when you’re meeting someone for the first time face-to-face, and then quickly moves on to showing what an awesome person you are, until your looks no longer matter and you can remove your heels, put your sweatpants back on and grow your armpit hair with pride.

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