Shame & Women’s Body Hair

IMG_1357editedI was 13 years old, standing in the playground stark naked from the waist down. I don’t think the girl who pulled my trousers down expected my panties to come with them, but they did. I stood there, my pubescent hair suddenly exposed. “What can people see as I bend down?” I thought as I pulled my trousers up. A hot wash of shame spread through my body. No one followed me as I turned around and walked blankly to the girls toilets. I was shocked, mortified and wished the ground would swallow me up.

I repressed the experience. In order to face spending the rest of my day around people who’d seen me stark naked, I donned a mask of stoic indifference. They had borne witness to the exposure of a deeply private, uncomfortable and unowned aspect of my changing body, brought into plain view of eyes and minds that, along with my own, conspired to keep it shameful and concealed. My transition into womanhood was heavy with the discomfort and shame of what my body grew and where it grew it. Without my consent, these eyes had seen a part of me I was keeping safe and hidden for a time IMG_1784EDITwhen I could accept it. That time never came.

As I grew older it was an undiscussed rule that all girls and women should remove the hair from their bodies. From my legs and my bikini line, to my armpits and my upper lip – and these are just the obvious places – the hair was regularly waxed, shaved, bleached, plucked or somehow concealed.
The whole process was kept under wraps like a dirty secret, only shared with my beautician and best friends; a bizarrely rigorous operation carried out to make sure that no one noticed we grew any hair at all. Today my girlfriends and I delight in disclosing to each other how hairy we are, or how long we’ve gone without waxing our legs or shaving our armpits, as if our temporary break from hair removal is a cheeky and rebellious ‘up yours’ to society (that we keep safely under wraps, of course). I did find some sanctuary from the relentless cycle of hair removal during my most serious relationship to date. After time spent apart I kept myself preened and ‘fresh’ when reuniting with my beloved, yet was more lax with the regrowth after some time spent together. Though this was only ever a minor deviation from standards imposed. Generally speaking, not having smooth child-like skin in the presence of a man (or woman) one is, or could potentially be sexually involved with, is done at one’s own risk – a woman can only really relax when she is hair-free.
IMG_1756 Edit 2For this blog post I have photographed myself and a group of close friends ‘wearing’ our hair without shame. An obvious reason for this is to rip the lid off the taboo that is female body hair by showcasing the confidence, self-acceptance, sexiness and even sensuality with which one can wear it. I have not had the resources to include other ethnic groups, age groups, or transgender women (if it hasn’t already been done, I would strongly encourage such a project). Yet, for me personally, I could not have photographed a more inspiring group of women. They have each touched me deeply through the lives they lead, the choices they make and the attitudes they have chosen. I am honoured they now grace the pages of my blog and join me in exposing their hair.

Another reason for this post is to encourage deeper discussion. More than just making a statement, I wish to seriously question the norms we take for granted as women, but also as a society. I am hardly the first woman to take issue with these norms, and the rich history of feminism(s) bares witness to such questioning around issues – many that are far more urgent and more violently oppressive than these. I stand on the shoulders of giants, but stand on their shoulders I will; until we truly begin to heal our individual and collective shame, such conversations will remain necessary. Many different avenues can be used in order to open minds and start chipping away at the unconscious seeds of oppression that germinated long ago and have a stranglehold on our hearts and minds. We can start anywhere – today, I have chosen to start with body hair.IMG_1495

There is no real understanding of oppression of any kind without unpacking the factors that keep it in place. To women who feel that removing their body hair is an empowering choice made out of their own free will, I ask you – how many of us have consciously chosen to opt into a paradigm that treats aspects of our bodies as shameful or repulsive? I respect the choices of women who wish to remain within the confines of normative behaviour. I often choose to do so myself – to transgress these confines often means looking our shame in the face, requiring the practice of both courage and vulnerability. Yet let us know that we were socialised into hair-removal through shame, and that shame is a tool used to control behaviour. In other words, we are buying into oppressive practices. None of us were naturally born disapproving of the hair on our bodies. Our early friendship groups, our early experiences of the male ‘gaze’, our film culture, the corporations that own hair-removal beauty products and spend billions on advertising – these factors amongst others have imposed upon us a standard that we cannot meet naturally. Not only can we not meet it naturally, but we must pay for the privilege of meeting a standard that shames us.

IMG_1657editedAt first, much of corporate advertising is intended to create the market it hopes to exploit. Simply put, corporations are in the business of duping us into believing we need what they want to sell us – by pulling on the strings of shame, belonging and self-worth, they manufacture our needs. In 1915, while female fashion was evolving to reveal more skin, Gillette saw an opportunity to cash in on what was a ‘gap in the market’ and put out its first womens razor. The beauty industry and other corporate
competition honed in on the profit-making, and the rest is history. Since then the likes of magazines, beauticians and girlfriend cultures have been the gatekeepers of our body-shame, reigning us in lest we ‘let ourselves go’ to the wilderness of our own hair. Natural creatures we shall not be – not if capitalism has its way. My dear friend and model Ruth E expresses the sentiment behind this paragraph perfectly: “Don’t try to tell me my [facial] hair is ugly. Don’t try to get extra money out of me by making me feel disgusting and inferior and imperfect. Don’t hold me to a standard I do not consent to being held to.”

We pay a far higher price for conforming to these standards than what it costs us to ‘look good’. While growing up, belonging was a matter of survival and so we perceived no choice in the matter: conform or be ostracised. For many women this belief remains. Not only do women conform to what they think men want and expect, they conform to the expectations of other women too. A woman unconscious of the shame that keeps her oppressed will be strongly affected by the unspoken competition amongst women for desirability, as well as the need for approval from other women for her looks. In order to belong, a woman has had to unconsciously agree that her value is not inherent but found in the eyes of others. So giving up her purposefully planned hair-removal routine (which often carefully coincides with plans from nights out to holidays) would mean totally revolutionising her self-image and, crucially, reclaiming her body. Are women ready for such radical inner change? Are we ready to consciously explore our bodies, minds and hearts for the shame that oppresses us? If we are we can begin the serious work of healing. We can plant the seeds for true and lasting self-liberation.

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All images © Anaïs Charles 2015. All rights reserved.

69 thoughts on “Shame & Women’s Body Hair”

  1. I¡¦ve been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or weblog posts in this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this site. Studying this info So i am glad to show that I’ve an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I so much undoubtedly will make sure to don¡¦t forget this site and give it a glance on a continuing basis.

  2. When I was a much younger man, I chose to wear a beard. The fashion of the time was clean-shaven men. Now stubble is the style. Hair comes and hair goes. Ladies, if you want to let it grow, by all means do so!

  3. i love hairless just a matter of how and what you like. I’m from central America and is hot as hell out here so women are costume to shave everything

  4. But armpits… and sweat… even mans shave armpits nowdays (not all of course)…just for hygeine. But if it’s some kind of manifesto, stop taking a bath then and make everyone around sniff your female pride odor.

  5. I just wanted to say that some ethnicities are naturally less hairy. It isn’t A choice of them shaving or waxing, they are naturally that way. I have many friends from central america and they are on average way less hairy than my american counterparts. Also, my S.O is from guatemala and he doesnt seem to have a problem with leg, armpit, or pussy hair. Hair is hair, what turns you on turns you on, no one ahould be shamed because of their hairiness, or lack of hair, the color of their skin or texture of their hair, or anything related to their natural body. If you dont feel sexually attracted to a person, don’t have sex with them. A natural body is a beautiful body. There are so many types of beauty, we should celebrate.them all.

  6. I was in my early twenties when I decided not to take a razor to my body any more. I am now 44 and have spent many years happily hairy. I recently decided to shave my legs (very intermittently). Whilst I enjoy the brief moment of smooth legs, they soon grow hairy again. My husband of 17 years loves my body and my hair. He recently asked me to shave my vagina because it brings him pleasure. It brings me pleasure too so I do, Sometimes. Then it all grows back and life goes on.
    I support women’s choice. Shave. Don’t shave. Shave here, leave there. Do what works for you.
    Let the wild women inside you guide your decisions.

  7. I decided in my early twenties that I wouldn’t bring a razor to my body any more. I am now 44 and have been happily hairy for many years. Recently I started shaving my legs (very intermittently) and while I enjoy the sensation of briefly smooth legs, I soon let it all grow back. My husband of 17 years loves my body and my hair. He also recently asked for me to shave my vagina because it brings him pleasure. It also brings me pleasure so I do. Sometimes. It all grows back and life goes on and its no big deal.
    I wish all women the right to choices. Shave. Don’t shave. Shave here, leave there. Do what feels right for you.
    Remember the wild woman inside you and let her guide your decisions.

  8. This is a really touching evaluation on why hair removal is such a tricky addiction to break and thanks for it! I love my armpit hair and am learning to love my pubic and leg…although the leg hair will take more time than the others. I recently shaved it all off as a friend of mine invited me to go to the the pool in his gym and I reverted back to form, ridding myself of it all. Since then that annoying, irritating itchiness of it growing back has started and its almost like a nagging alarm bell telling me what I know and that’s I buckled again. I want to be strong enough to show up in public with the leg hair as is but I’m patient with myself to know it’ll take time and self love and strength to be able to overcome this hurdle. My armpit hair I love! However sometimes I like not to have it as some dresses/tops look better without it…same as tying my hair back or wearing makeup when I want. I choose these times as an aesthetic and conscious choice for my own reasons, I hope some day I can do the same with my leg hair and when I feel like shaving it, shave it…and when I don’t, I won’t. Just like the choice a man has with his facial hair.x

    1. I haven’t shaved my underarms in 35 years – not a big issue. I notice there are no photos of hairy legs, why not? I think it would be wonderful if young girls did not have the pressure to shave. Shaving (thanks Gillette) exacerbates and increases the “sense of need” because hair grows back darker and thicker.

      Whether to let the hair grow on my legs has always been the quandary for me. At this junction, I do a once a year waxing ritual. It seems less hair grows back and is lighter and softer each time but it still grows and at a certain length, I decide it’s time. And I’m very comfortable with this level.

    2. wow you caught my attention with this … as a longtime TPE culture-ist I’ve been shaved smooth for almost a decade from the entire waist down and yes, the armpits… but I know my attraction to the pheromones you describe, as I am aware of these in rasta friends (men) and some women too… and as a holistic teacher, dry brush my skin to keep the natural oils intact which is where this subtle mantle produces Vit D from the sun … so, hmm, we’ll see what happens if I actually change my ways or not, but, very cool and informative reading your point of view and experience…

      1. btw I shave daily so the nubs aren’t a nuisance … but your compelling reminder about the sacredness of the armpit hair so similar to the privacy of the yoni and the aroma which is so magnetic and contains important biological phermones does give me pause …

  9. I live in the UK. I’d love to hear from other Europeans about how it is there. There is a pressure here to remove hair but I do think it’s less than in America. It’s hard to say because the people I know aren’t the norm. As much as kids don’t like school uniforms, I do think they help with this. It’s quite common for girls to wear trousers or tights if they choose a skirt. So I guess there isn’t necessarily more acceptance but less pressure to show skin especially since summers aren’t that hot.

  10. Anais, this is simply brilliant. Congratulations on such a beautiful piece. I have written a simple response on my new blog about body hair and women, focussing on workplaces and my experiences in workplaces. If you’d like to read it, its here (I’ve referenced you and your blog post!): I also have a ‘hairy survey’ designed to provide a space to understand why we do what we do. I’d love to know your thoughts (its on You’re amazing.

  11. It’s not just for the girls you know, a mother of a fifteen year old son, he constantly asks me if I would take him to the salon to have his “unibrow” waxed, and he doesn’t even have one! Great read! It goes all the way to having “saddlebags” from child bearing, or sagging breasts from breast feeding, stretch marks too, I say show it off all of it, we are the real models of the world, the natural see no fake, this is what I am and I am happy! , so except it or get outta ma face ! I’m proud to have endured three pregnancies, and my body shows how proud I am! For the miracles in my life, my children!

  12. The article was very good and I would recommend Naomi Wolf’s book “Promiscuities” as an excellent extension. however, I found your pictures ridiculous. Tiny threads of armpit hair juxtaposed next to clearly waxed eyebrows? And no facial hair? Sure it’s comfortable to show a little armpit hair – after all, in Europe it’s status quo – but Gd forbid you really cross the line and show something that might render you truly unsightly.

    1. I’ve written a follow up piece to this. I still feel uncomfortable with some of my body hair, facial hair in particular. With this article Anaïs and the rest of us weren’t saying arm pit hair is the final taboo – it was simply arm pit hair that we emphasised. Personally I quite like the contrast between what is seen as feminine (make up etc) with what is seen as the antithesis of femininity.

      1. What you Ladies have done here is a courageous beginning! It would be lovely to read your follow up piece… Does it have a home?

    2. Hi Sarah. It is not actually the status-quo for women to show or wear body hair in Europe – we’re a pretty heterogeneous bunch of nations, cultures and therefore taboos, yet women’s body hair remains a common taboo experienced here. It was important to me to capture women whom I had close and trusting relationships with, who therefore felt comfortable exposing their hair in whatever way truly felt empowering & beautiful to them because, crucially, they were able to express this to me without incurring judgement. A few wished to make a statement about what’s seen as sexy by juxtaposing how they felt most ‘beautiful’ with the regrowth of their body hair. I think a pertinent question would be to ask why these women felt more beautiful adhering to certain ‘choice’ conventional standards of beauty, than not. It was not my intention to showcase the most controversial and ‘unsightly’ hair possible – from various conversations I’ve had, this is often entirely subjective. My focus was on making sure my subjects felt beautiful & empowered, in whatever way they wished to define it – respecting the perspectives of the women I work with is vital to me. I do not believe shame can be healed by enforcing onto others what our own ideas of empowerment must look like. I also see that courage is built up over time. Women who are encouraged to reveal the hair they are comfortable with today will more easily, and more joyfully, dare to wear more hair in the future.

  13. I love this article. I love it so much. I just posted it to my new Facebook group “No Shave New Year 2015″… I’m trying to spark a wave of acceptance, discussion, and respect for hairiness. Much love to all, hairy, waxed, or shaved.

  14. As an “intact” (non-circumcised) American male, I know all too well about body shaming as I’ve witnessed a few woman who ridiculed me for having a normal, natural foreskin-laden penis! I’m all about natural feminine beauty, and I absolutely adore women who wear zero makeup, don’t wear bras and don’t shave their armpits and pubic mound! These are the types of women who should be today’s role models for young girls to aspire to…these women have stood up against closed-minded social stigma and taboos, and have proven their worth to society in my eyes! Thank you, Anaïs for such an inspiring article…and for just being yourself, body hair and all!

  15. I’ve been “slack” about shaving for a few years now. I hardly ever do during the winter. But the shame is still there. So when I make plans to go swimming, or I think I might end up in shorts (rare), I end up in the bathroom for ages shaving it all off. And I hate it even as I’m doing it because I don’t think I should have to. But I’m too embarrassed to have the hair seen. I don’t like to stand out or be noticed and I fear making such a ‘statement’ would be noticed. I’m afraid if I were actually questioned on it I would be mortified. Not because of the choice, but the attention to it.

  16. I hate hair- It’s just my personal preference. I shave everything but my eyebrows and the hair on my head. I feel more attractive without it. But that’s just my .02 and my opinion. More power to those who feel better otherwisie.

  17. This was a very interesting read! Hair has always been a touchy subject for me as I have always been a hairy girl and lots of thick dark hair for that matter and was made fun of throughout school. Anonymous writer in my year books as well as verbal jabs right to my face. I don’t know as if I will own my arm pit or leg hair just yet as I do enjoy the feel of the hair free smooth skin but the message you are putting out there is very inspiring!!!! I have definitely just given much more thought to this subject than I ever have. You and your friends are very stunning women and very inspiring!! Anyone who is willing to speak up about something they are passionate about it inspiring and just plain beautiful!! ❤

  18. This is such a positive, powerful, moving, thought provoking subject that I support 1000 percent, have tremendous love , support, and respect for all you extremely wonderful, beautiful woman representing normalcy in a very confused, hypocritical, greedy society, that cares more about money than true health and beauty that ALL woman should have no qualms about keeping their bodies whole and naturally unshaven. Every day, there is more proof of the health risks of shaving, using poisonous deodorants that contain aluminum salts, and, yes you wonderful woman, even bra use is now coming into question. It turns out that an ambitious study over many years and involving over 4000 women has proven that extended bra use is major risk factor for contacting breast cancer! I actually figured this out for myself prior to this studies findings. It’s really not that hard to understand, basically it has to do with the wonderful lymphatic system that all breasts contain, yes, those lymph nodes located under those gorgeous hairy armpits of yours with small capillaries that carries the lymphatic fluids to the lymph nodes located around your gorgeous nipples in your breasts. This lymphatic system needs” breast movement” to freely circulate and exchange the lymphatic fluids between these two sets of lymph nodes! Obviously, when you wear a bra, especially tight fitting underwire and sports bras, YOU ARE CUTTING OFF THE CICULATION of these all important fluids! Many women with this condition develope ” cystic disease” which is the lymphatic fluids, not circulating properly, forming small lumps, and guess what, these are the pre cancerous cysts, that in time, will turn cancerous! That study, which I mentioned above with 4000 women, proved, that IF A WOMEN WORE A BRA 24/7 FOR MOST OF HER LIFE, she would be more than likely to develop BREAST CANCER! AND MORE IMPORTANT, IF A WOMEN STOP USING A BRA COMPLETELY, SHE WOULD HAVE THE SAME CHANCES AS A “MAN” ( men don’t were bras), ABOUT 1 OUT OF 175, OF DEVELOPMENT OF Breast CANCER!!! Another myth, that bra use prevents the premature sagging of the breast, it’s just the opposite, think about it, when a person breaks their arm, if it’s left too long in a “sling”(a “bra” for your broken arm), the muscles supporting the arm atrophy, your arm will dangle like a “sagging breast”! Another analogy is the beautiful, very natural indigenous island women and aboriginal women found scattered throughout the world. THEY WEAR NO BRAS, DON’T SHAVE, DON’T USE POISIONOUS DEODORANTS, and guess what, Their HEALTHY, THEIR BREASTS DON’T SAG AS MUCH, AND THEY DON’T HAVE BREAST CANCER!!! Please, you wonderful woman, take heed, I have been personally congratulated be many medical doctors both in person and on the Internet the way ” they say” that I have brilliantly understood and explained this subject, most of this is my creation, NOW BACKED BY THE Greater MEDICAL COMMUNITY! You don’t have to wear bras, camisoles cover and give support without” strangulation” caused by a tightly fitting bra, and if you are forced to use a bra for certain social, business times, wear a bra at least one half cup size LARGER, and Don’t wear the damn bra at NIGHT!!!

  19. I just held my baby girl beside me and read together ♡ she had to finish as the tears where too much…Thank you so much Xxx you are an inspiration! Xx

  20. I love what you’ve written! I’m so glad I found your blog. I keep debating with myself over the issue of body hair. My opinion is that we should let be: those who are uncomfortable with the idea of body hair should be free to remove it, without causing stigmatisation to those who are comfortable with the idea of it.

  21. This is so powerful.

    I feel most of society’s expectations, as you said, come from corporate marketing. In this case, the main market is pornography. Pornography in of itself is a huge problem since it objectifies both men and women and promotes an objectification mindset starting at a young age (for me, it was 12 when saw my first naughty pics.) Most porn has shaved vags and armpits, so it’d only make sense that shaved vags and armpits would be a cultural norm. It’s a machine starring unhappy individuals and run by unhappy individuals that creates a worldwide culture of unhappy individuals. So much unhappiness…

    I randomly found your blog while browsing Facebook. Super glad I did! It’d be cool to meet open-minded individuals like you and your friends someday 😀

  22. Hot damn, these are some beautiful women! Great article and a must-read for all young girls.
    The structure of patriarchy is a nasty thing that encourages people to become what they “are supposed to be” instead of searching for their own identity.
    The focus on the female body and all the impossible ideals is meant to create insecurities in women so they wont go around demanding equal rights and disturb the warped picture of:
    A mans worth is what he does.
    A womans worth is in how she looks.
    This is of course a generalization of the problem, but it applies in a lot of situations.

  23. It’s a lovely post. I’ve worked as an art nude model as my full time job for 8 years, and last year for the year I grew out my hair everywhere. Some what surprisingly to most, I only lost ONE booking in that time. Meaning I gained work from new clients and my existing ones supported and embraced the change. The transition made me realise I prefer having hair then not and my already slack shaving routine has become even more so. I’ve always suggested to girlfriends keeping their hair, or at least *some* of their pubic hair [I’ve never liked being without some pubic hair and normally am a trimmed natural] but now I talk more publicly about it. Thank you for this article and putting this ‘out there’ more. More women need to know their body hair is their choice, not that of the media or society.

  24. At nearly 60, I stopped shaving pretty much everything (except my head!) years ago. Now, with a little age, hormones, whatever, I find that I have less hair everywhere anyway…and I never did have a whole lot, but even then, I rarely shaved. It was just uncomfortable to me. Also, the best lover I ever had, and the only man I’ve ever really loved (long story) absolutely ADORED my unshaven self. He made me feel sexier and more glorified than anyone else I’ve ever been with. Even though it’s been nearly 30 years since I last saw him, I still get a little tingle when I think about my unshaven armpits. God bless him. Really.

      1. Yes, you truly were blessed to have a wonderful gentleman who appreciated the “whole you”, lucky girl, indeed♡♡♡

  25. Be wild. Be untamed. Be the best YOU that you can be. And personally I love hair and hate stubbles. As I tell my wife: Shave, or don’t shave, as you will. Just none of the in-between, please.

  26. Awesome article. Has really forced me to question myself about how many of my “choices” are truly made out of free will. Thank you. Xxx

  27. This is a fabulous article and photography project. As a mom of a very curious 8-year-old daughter, I really contemplate how to teach her about self-care, self-presentation and social norms.

    1. Absolutely, I really feel you there. This fascinates and troubles me frequently. As a teacher I am often faced with how best to discuss and question social norms with the children, and how to steer well clear of shaming them or the perspectives they have.

  28. I love this article. I hope more women learn to accept their bodies the way they are! I decided to stop the hair removal routine several years ago, while I was still dating. I had a blood clotting disorder and the doctor said it was unsafe to shave since I could bleed uncontrollably. Since then I’ve had several partners tell me my body hair was “gross” or “indecent”. I simply told them that there is nothing unnatural about my body and the hair that grows on it. I finally met my husband who loves me as I am and couldn’t care less if I want to have body hair or not. I do still trim my pubic hair on a similar schedule to getting my normal haircut because if it gets too long it’s unruly and gets in my way. The freedom I feel by not having to be ashamed of my natural body is amazing!

  29. Looks like beauty in a woman is about how plastic she could be, with hair at the right places! I was no exception to shave my hair off my limbs and armpits but this rule doesn’t apply to males and I felt more burdened at some point to please someone of my looks and myself of how cumbersome it gets … I think its about time we sweat on real issues and not be consumed by creating an artificial lack about ourselves 🙂

  30. Anais, I am honoured to have been a part of this project. It was fun, exhilarating, empowering. I felt strong, powerful, brave. Most of all, I felt myself and that is a gift that others can rarely give. You are an inspirational woman, and you make me proud. I love you, unconditionally. Ruth E xxx

    1. So don’t look. Sad for you. I love my yummy hairy crotch. My lovers breathe it in like I do candles in the Yankee Candle store. MMMMMMMMMM, they say. Hair just holds my scent better. And I feel the same about theirs. MMMM. Heady.

      1. As a man, I totally agree with you, Donna…I adore a woman’s soft tuft of pubic hair I can nuzzle as my nose takes in her luscious scent. And I have yet to be with a foul-smelling women as they all practice proper daily hygiene! Viva la female body hair!

  31. “Hair,” Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler:
    “You cannot love a vagina unless you love hair. Many people do not love hair. My first and only husband
    hated hair. He said it was cluttered and dirty. He made me shave my vagina. It looked puffy and exposed
    and like a little girl. This excited him. When he made love to me my vagina felt the way a beard must feel.
    It felt good to rub it and painful. Like scratching a mosquito bite. It felt like it was on fire. There were
    screaming red bumps. I refused to shave it again. Then my husband had an affair. When we went to marital
    therapy, he said he screwed around because I wouldn’t please him sexually. I wouldn’t shave my vagina. The
    therapist had a German accent and gasped (Gasp.) between sentences (Gasp.) to show her empathy. She
    asked me why I didn’t want to please my husband. I told her I thought it was weird. I felt little when my hair
    was gone down there and I couldn’t help talking in a baby voice and the skin got irritated and even calamine
    lotion wouldn’t help it. She told me marriage was a compromise. I asked her if shaving my vagina would stop
    him from screwing around. I asked her if she had many cases like this before. She said that questions
    diluted the process. I needed to jump in. She was sure it was a good beginning.
    This time, when we got home, he got to shave my vagina. It was like a therapy bonus prize. He clipped it a
    few times and there was a little blood in the bathtub. He didn’t even notice it ’cause he was so happy shaving
    me. Then, later, when my husband was pressing against me, I could feel his spiky sharpness sticking into me,
    my naked puffy vagina. There was no protection. There was no fluff.
    I realized then that hair is there for a reason — it’s the leaf around the flower, the lawn around the house.
    You have to love hair in order to love the vagina. You can’t pick the parts you want. And besides, my
    husband never stopped screwing around.”

    1. A man (or woman) who is going to screw around, is doing it because of them, not because of you. Mine did too. And nothing I could have done would have prevented it. That is the ultimate ruse they pull…to try to make you think that their decision and actions were somehow your fault. Don’t buy that shit. It’s not yours. Don’t own it. This for you, babe! This, for US!!

  32. You continue to amaze & inspire, Anaïs… Such beautiful writing! Such courage to explore & embrace the taboo topics! ☺
    I feel blessed when I experience your writings.

      1. I recently stopped to pruning myself. I have always been natural,have never worn make up, never shaved my lady garden, only ever trimmed it, to keep it within the confines of a bikini or knickers. But I did shave my legs and armpits in the summer when they might be on show. After a very nasty verbal event with a new boyfriend, who staged a bush intervention with his friends, to try and shame me into shaving everything. I first dumped the boyfriend and then let everything grow. At first it felt like rebellion, and then as my armpit hair started to stick out from my t shirt sleeves as I was teaching and my hairy legs got stared at as I demonstrated yoga moves, I felt ashamed.(I live in Bulgaria, where every hair on the body is removed with wax on a regular basis) Me who doesnt feel shame about anything much, me who doesnt care what people think…..or at least thats what I thought until I felt the stares.
        I breathed through the shame, as I knew it wasnt mine, it was a shame that has been placed upon me. The first lover I was with after I let everything grow, commented on my bush, but nothing else, I asked him what he preferred and he said bare, but a few meetings later he breathed in and kissed my armpits and said `I think I might prefer natural`
        I must admit, that I have fallen in love with my armpit hair, it makes me feel really sensual, it looks very like your own Anais, but my leg hair doesnt. I dont like it. I have tried but love is not between us, so its gone! Is this deep rooted shame that makes me think it look ugly….probably.
        Subsequent lovers have been aware of my non bare status before we got it on, and its all been really good. Hair seems to scare the bad lovers away. So yippee. Men who really love women, dont seem phased, its me they are making love with, me they are laughing with.
        My female friends and their daughters have all been really interested in my journey, and we have had many discussions and they all talk about personal choice and I say, grow your hair and then walk the streets and then tell me how you feel, tell me how you feel the shame society has created to block wild free women, very few of them do, because it is not about personal choice, its about not being seen as disgusting.
        One thing I will say, I am nearly 40 and when I look in the mirror now, I love and appreciate myself so much more than when I was in my 20s. Now I love me.
        I think the more this topic is discussed the freer we can become as women.
        So big love to you for writing about it x

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