One woman’s tale of no shave November

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Here at BlogDailyHerald, we love to cover things facial hair related. However, it goes without question that it is possible for one to grow hair in more places than just your face (in fact, most of our staff members are woefully incapable of growing hair on their face). My name is Caitlin, my preferred gender pronouns are she, her, and hers, and I didn’t shave my legs last month.

I know that many women do not identify with the practice of hair removal, and this anecdote is in no way prescriptive of how anyone should behave. Put simply, the decision I made last month was special to me because I have been peer pressured into shaving my legs since I was fourteen. There have been times in the past during which I let myself go, but some hall-mate or family member would always shame me back into the cycle with “Ew Caitlin, please shave.” Not this time, amigos, not this time.

It came about by accident. Right now I am living in Denmark, and it’s really cold. Lacking even an imaginary study abroad boyfriend, and with no fashion incentive not to, I wear pants often. Constantly covered, it didn’t feel necessary to waste time on calf maintenance. Normally, I go between a week or two weeks without shaving, but this November, I said to myself, “f**k it, let’s see where this takes me.”

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My leg, circa November 11th.

I write this now, to communicate some of the things I have learned in my fuzz-filled adventures:

  • Moisturizing was not that helpful. I thought that if I frequently rubbed lotion on my calves, the hair would feel softer, like my thighs. Unfortunately, when you begin growing your leg hair out, it is particularly thick and prickly. I think, had I continued to not shave, eventually my hair would have been softer, and moisturizing would have been more efficient.
  • Possessing extra fluff was comforting, because I haven’t seen my cats in four months, and I miss petting them.
  • I did not get nearly as hairy as I thought I would. To clarify: the paternal side of my family is really hairy, and I assumed I would level with my uncle’s leg hair by the fourth week. To my bewilderment, after about half an inch of hair, my growth plateaued. I was disappointed. Maybe I have been watching Teen Wolf too much of late (I have absolutely been watching too much Teen Wolf), but I was ready to embrace my fate as a were-woman. Not only did my leg hair not grow long enough to curl, but it didn’t even grow all over my calf – just on the shin!
Anticipated results

Anticipated results

  • Putting on/taking off pants when you’re bristly is an experience filled with unpleasant friction. It is also essential to invest in thicker tights in order to avoid your leg whiskers poking through the nylon.
  • I actually like myself with a bit of hair. I started to understand this earlier in the semester, when I opted not to shave my armpits more than once a week. In my opinion, a little five-o-clock shadow in the arm crevice looks cuter on me than nudity in the pit space. A month with prickly legs cemented my opinion; smoother is not always better.
  • American society is obsessed with hair removal. Beyond peer pressure and distorted standards from the media, it’s not good for your skin to shave so frequently. If you indulge too often, you get razor burn, lots of tiny cuts, and ingrown hairs. You are probably thinking: “yeah, duh.” Here’s the secret; if you don’t shave, none of those unfortunate things will plague you!!

Now, I am embarrassed to confess. . . I actually shaved on November 28th, because I’m a loser. See, I frequently pace around my bedroom in just my underwear, and my leg hair was causing some distracting static sensations when my calves rubbed together. That, and a feeling of self-consciousness surrounding romantic encounters. Okay, it was almost entirely to get rid of the static electricity between my legs. I want to burn some energy, not start a literal fire.

Within that fateful Friday night shower, I was pleasantly surprised to see how long it took me to shed shave. It may have not looked like I had too much hair, but I had to repeatedly clean out my razor for each leg. I was sort of concerned about clogging the drain, but mostly I was proud of my furry abilities. Afterwards, my skin felt soft and hydrated pre-moisturizing, unlike the usual dry itchiness and irritation.

I was sad to see my leg hair go, but I was also happy to experience the catharsis of a long awaited date with my Venus Embrace. For once, hair removal seemed like a treat, instead of an obligation.

Images via, via Caitlin Dorman ’16, and via.

2 Comments

  1. Janet

    I have to say this article stinks of desperation. Movember as it is called by most people is for men to raise awareness for prostate cancer. They grow their facial hair for a month and raise money for the charity by doing so.

    All you have done here in some kind of feminist way is look desperate to try and fall in with that.

    You have done so even though there are loads of women only charity days throughout the year and female charities get significantly more money than the ones trying to help mens health issues.

    Im sorry but this article has just made you look rather pathetic.

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