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I’m comfortable with my body hair now

It took a while to get here and that's Ok.

By Samantha ParrishPublished 2 years ago 3 min read

The 13-year-old Sami that used to be scared to raise her arms out of the fear someone would find the sparse stubble on her armpits would be surprised today. She became a 27-year-old that walks out of the house with hairy legs while wearing a skirt and doesn’t shave her under arms as much as she used to.

In 2019 I went a week without shaving.

In 2020, I participated in my own version of no shave November where I did not shave my legs my under arms my upper lip or tweaked my eyebrows.

In 2022, I changed my mentality towards shaving.

Throughout my life I’ve had a very uncomfortable relationship with my skin. I was raised that it was very unbecoming as a lady to have body hair. Even the tiniest speck of hair on my body was always pointed out by my family because they did not want me to be portrayed as an unclean woman.

Society has misconstrued the image of body hair as uncleanliness. For generations every woman had to be taught to shave so they’ll be attractive and clean. I can’t fault my family for pressuring that on me because they were pressured from society.

Shaving was already anxiety inducing because of the idea I had to shave to wear the clothes I wanted. No one knew what I had to do to shave, but it just wasn’t the anxiety, my eczema made things very difficult for me to shave. It was like playing Russian roulette with my skin, Because I never knew when I would rake the razor on my skin if I would end up going over a patch of skin that was already becoming sensitive because of the eczema. No matter what I tried for medicines to soothe my skin after itching my skin from shaving. I never knew that it was an option the entire time and it was not mandatory the way society perceives it to be.

But I was young, I had no idea.

After I gave myself a no-shave November challenge in 2019, I revisited my own challenge in 2020. I wanted to see how I could do now that I’m acclimated to those feelings of what my body hair feels like in my clothes, and knowing that it didn’t show as much as I thought it did.

It gave me a confidence boost and it dismissed the ridicule that was embedded in my brain. I used to think that if I walked out of the house I was going to be ridiculed because it was constantly pointing out on my own body from my family. And then I learned that people don’t give a shit about that. I walked into a store with my hairy legs showing from my short skirt.

I was already at a point in my life that I didn’t care what people thought of me, but I had to be comfortable with myself going into a store knowing I look different than the way I’m supposed to look.

That was a life-changing experience for me to know that I was wrong all of these years that I was not going to be ridiculed, that was all the pressure that I put on to myself.

I used to look forward to not shaving in November because it was the time I allowed myself to just be free for the whole month.

But then the thought occurred to me, why do I have to wait until November?

It’s my body I can do what I want, now that I know that people don’t care about my body hair.

The summer of 2022 was the best summer I ever had with my skin. Ever since I was 11 years old I’ve never known a day in my life that wasn’t plagued by worrying over my body hair and healing from the razor cuts. This was the first summer that I never had to worry about my body hair. I didn’t have to shave myself raw just to get bear skin when the hairy legs didn’t deviate the way I saw myself. I still see the same girl with her without the body hair. But I will admit the girl I see in the mirror does look a lot less worrisome by having her skin be one less thing to worry about.

Words can’t describe how happy I felt to wear short skirts, bikini tops, short sleeve shirts and never have one thought about my body hair being exposed.

I still shave, but I only shave if I want to. It’s a relief because I can give my underarms a break and I can finally let my skin heal.

It’s a relief to tell myself that it’s an option to shave and it doesn’t define who I am. Body hair is just a minuscule part of our body that’s a natural and doesn’t cause problems, it’s just a part of us.


About the Creator

Samantha Parrish

What's something interesting you always wanted to know?

Instagram: parrishpassages

tiktok: themysticalspacewitch

My book Inglorious Ink is now available on Amazon!

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    Samantha ParrishWritten by Samantha Parrish

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