Monday, June 29, 2009

And I Shaved My Legs for This?

My husband's birthday was over the weekend.

He had only one birthday wish.

He wanted me to shave my legs.

"You know I like my women shorn," Mike tells me the day before his birthday, "You know I don't ask for much from you."

As I roll my eyes back in my head and quantify that his lack of expectations is one of the biggest understatements of the year, I sigh in dread.

"Which 'women' would that be? I thought you were married to me." I queried back. "Are you cheating on me?" I have not had bare legs since last August or September. Actually, I never shave in the winter. Begrudgingly, I usually shave in the summer or at the onset of short season, but this year I drew a line in the sand.

"Like sheep, shorn and hairless," he rejoins with glee, "Seriously, that's all I want. Please shave your legs."

"No. I was born with hair on my legs. I hate shaving my legs. Shaving is unnatural," was my response. I am a self righteous hippie about some things. Especially body hair and body image. So, here I am to rant my grievance with the western world's concept of beauty. I guess I hold a little grudge against the American standards of attractiveness.

"Pleasssse......" Mike went into his annoying whining mode.

"You don't treat me any differently when I do shave? Why should I???"

"It's my birthday."

Just so you don't flee in terror I subscribe to daily showering, but shaving just does not make it to my list of important. I mean, we are born with hundreds of hair follicles on our legs. We're supposed to have hair there! Right? RIGHT!

I know some of you don't agree with this philosophy. And those who are grossed out will be clicking away from my site about now. That's OK. I expect it. Go ahead and flee.

I actually relented and granted my husband's only wish. Using the "Prestige Emjoi" I proceeded to deflock my legs. It's the grown up baby sister to the Epilady. Remember that mid evil depilatory device?


It's totally one of those hair rippers that make you cringe in fear. It sounds like a snarling grinding evil machine you could find in a dungeon, but instead resides in my medicine closet for most of the year until I must commit self torture. But seeing as ice water flows through my veins I am able to endure the 1/2 hour agony in silence. The pile of hair on the floor afterward was hilarious. But now I feel totally naked. If you actually want to see the before and after pictures click here. I did not want to incite pandemonium by displaying these to the world...

This "gift" while seemingly insignificant, is really an imposition to my beliefs. Just so you know, I checked out some historical facts about the emergence of leg shaving and it's origins. Billions of women on this planet do not shave. This is a fact. We are just convinced we need to in the States and are indoctrinated at a very young age with this custom...

According to Wikapedia, for women, the practice of shaving the legs derives from a current cultural standard in the West that deems leg hair on women unattractive. This standard emerged during the early twentieth century, as women's legs became more visible owing to shorter hemlines, and when the safety razor made the practice of leg shaving practical. The reasons for this cultural standard are debated, but it is sometimes seen as an example of a cultural mechanism for increasing sexual dimorphism. Others have suggested that it was promoted as a means of selling razors to a broader segment of the populace.

Some women, despite the social pressures that favor hairless legs in certain Western countries, never shave at all. While some refrain out of lack of concern, others consider leg and armpit shaving an unnatural and repressive societal double standard. Still others refrain in an effort to be less environmentally wasteful.

Research also suggests that women who do not shave their body hair are "characterized by higher global self-esteem." Scholars suggest that this is because women with lower levels of self-esteem are less likely to be satisfied with their natural bodies, and thus more likely to alter them.

So with my self esteem intact I have gone through my yearly torture, but thoroughly resented it. My bare naked legs feel weird. Maybe next year I can convince my husband that hair is really OK, but I doubt it. You may still be asking why I rip my hairs out by the roots instead of shaving the old fashioned way. Well, I can only say it will give me at least two nag free months from my husband and that may be a gift in it's self... And I hate and detest and despise shaving.

Happy Shaving Ladies!

34 Comments for OSL:

MsSnarkyPants said...

OMGGG THat thing looks painful!!!!!! I bought a home...dang it I can't remember what their called, all I can think of is defibrillator and that is so not right! But you know the ones that remove hair with a pulse of electricity. It isn't too pleasant...it takes forever...but I have visions of someday never having to shave ever again. It will probably be when I'm about 80 given how long this thing takes and by then I won't care what people think of my legs anyway... But anyway there you have it. LOL You're a good wife! hehe

MsSnarkyPants said...

Electrolysis! That's it! On that note I'm going to bed. LOL

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

My dear girl, I must step in here. Yes I'm old-fashioned but ye of the younger and wilder generation need to settle down and fly right.

Remember yr blog post where ye showed the injury sustained by the rooster? I blinked when I saw the leg photo, not because of the injury itself, but because I plainly saw leg hair and lots of it. I had to get up from my chair and go pour another cup of coffee before I could face it.

I thought, "That poor dear needs to put down that book on feminism, stop staring at plants all day, and SHAVE."

Hon, I don't know who these global women are with the high esteem from their ratty-looking legs. I am not even going to discuss a-r-m-p-i-t hair.

Bless yr hubby's heart, he's some kind of saint.

Yaya said...

While it irritates me to have to shave, I loathe body hair. I got that extra hair gene, you know, fingers and toes included? Yeah, it drives me nuts so I shave it all. you heard me, legs, feet, toes, my "area", arms, hands and fingers. Several times a week! Oh and I get my whole face waxed. Ick, I hate body hair!

Sara said...

HMMMM! Interesting! What can I say? To each his/her own. I did not notice the hair in the rooster peck injury picture. And I clicked to check out your before and after...I'm okay with it. :D Not a hater! ;)

Julia said...

Ms. SP-Electrolsis...hmmmmm.

ODP-I may have to delete you comment so my husband cant read it. He will get further ideas. No siding with the enemy on this issue lady!!!

Yaya-Yer crackin' me up! That's a lot of shaving!!!

Sara-Thanks for open mindedness. ;)

Pricilla said...

I don't shave my legs all winter either. I hate it. My hair though is still blonde. heh heh

Pricilla said...

and my husband doesn't notice if I do or don't....he doesn't notice if I cut my hair. He doesn't notice much. But he loves me.

Julia said...

Pricilla-You have a great situation!! Seriously. If my husband was to really have his way I would have hair down to my butt and not a scrap of hair any where else on my body. He is strange...

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

I want to go click on the before-and-afters but I'm too scairt...

Julia said...

That's why I hid them. Well I did not want to loose all my followers at one time ya know!!! The curious and brave will look. The chicken will keep their eyes closed. Bwak!!!

Drakonis said...

Sigh. It is almost worth coming up with a like-kind gift for your birthday... like asking him to shave HIS... uh, legs :-) But that might escalate a legs-and-arms race of ineffable proportions. It is probably best to wait a couple of days now, and then do LOTS of leg-rubbing with him, so he shares in the joy-of-stubble with you. (evil smirk)
ttfn,
Drakonis

Tink said...

Everyone should be entitled to do what they want with their bodies. I loved shaved legs. I love how smooth my legs feel, so I shave everyday. It is easier that way. Armpit hair is a must for me to shave. The hair holds in odor and I'm a big sweater so they always have odor. But if you don't want to shave that is up to you.

Julia said...

Drakonis-Well you have a great idea but Mike has already offered to shave his leg if I shave mine. This is seriously laughable at this moment. I wish i had a more arduous task for him to do in exchange but alack and alas I do not!

Suzi said...

I guess I must have self-esteem and body issues as I shave once every 4-5 days.

Alexandra said...

LOL I love this post! Go Julia. I stopped shaving last summer when I was too pregnant to bend over that far. And then winter came so I just kept the hair but I must say that I too must have body issues because once it got hot enough to break out the shorts... off came the leg hair! However I still loathe shaving and only do it once every week or two.

Julia said...

Alex-Do you remember waxing my legs? You and Suzanne right? I think you both had your turns at ripping off my leg hair back when you were still a teen. Oh the joyful memories!!! :)

blueviolet said...

I have to shave every single day of the year. If I feel any type of prickle, it's blade time.

And yes, I did look at those pictures of your before and after and I said to myself, "This is why I returned to blogging."

Grand Pooba said...

A hippy? You? Naaaaaaaawww!

That thing looks frightening! I wouldn't let that near my legs.

And leave it to you to do research on women shaving their legs lol!

jane augenstein said...

OMG Julia! What a post!! LOL I too hate shaving but I also don't like hairy legs or underarms. My leg hair has gotten less over the years, yay; in the winter I don't shave the legs either but when the shorts come out the hair comes off. I LOVED the before and after pix of your legs! The pile of hair is hysterical!!! Ouch, that must have hurt!!!
Great post! :-)
~Jane and Gilly~

The Mind of a Mom said...

Ohhh I am so with you I hate having to shave! I have to say I did act like a creeper and took a look at the photos, the on with the pile of hair made me laugh out loud. Now you make sure on your birthday to ask him to shave his and see how he likes that torture machine you showed.
You are a good wife and Happy Birthday to your hubby

Julia said...

Jane and Mind of a Mom-So glad to be entertaining today! I am glad some other ladies see things my way. We need to form the leg hair club for women. ;)

Well maybe just me and MOAM. :)

So Not Mom-a-licious said...

Okay. Before I go look at the pictures you need to be quicker with the comebacks next time. So. Now when your birthday rolls around, and he wants to know want you want, you need to tell him "To not have to shave my legs for your birthday." End of story.
I apparently owed my husband something for his birthday. Luckily Mother's Day came around and when it was my turn, I basically cancelled it out by wishing for the opposite. It worked.
Since I don't wear shorts anymore I don't care about shaving much. More because I am just lazy. However, I HAVE to shave my pits. Otherwise I sweat so bad.

the ungourmet said...

I noticed in your post about that horrid chicken injury that you didn't shave your legs. I admire you for not following the crowd! I have been shaving my legs since the 6th grade and I have to admit that I do hate it and this past winter I was very lazy with the whole shaving business.

Your torture device reminds me of when I have tried to give myself a bikini wax.

Jennifer said...

Research also suggests that women who do not shave their body hair are "characterized by higher global self-esteem." Scholars suggest that this is because women with lower levels of self-esteem are less likely to be satisfied with their natural bodies, and thus more likely to alter them.

I find this questionable. Shaving seems more natural and less permanent than many of the body altering practices that span the globe - tattoos, piercings, neck rings, tribal scarring, etc.

Anyway, your b'day gift was Very Generous. Very.

Julia said...

Jennifer- Thanks for visiting.

I think one must compare apples with apples here. The comparison of non shavers among countries in which shaving is the norm must be applied. In other countries where women do other body alteration you would look for those women who don't adhere to those standards and evaluate their self esteem in comparison to the other women of their culture.

Peer pressure is tough to resist. It takes some fortitude to go against the norm no matter what the culture.

Kirra said...

I think you should have him use the "device" on himself. My husband shaves his legs for cycling and he's also let me wax them before. So, step up, Mike. Be a man. Tell him you like your men shoren like a sheep!

Alexandra said...

Yes I totally remember waxing your legs with Suzi in your apartment at Paladin. That was a hoot, your legs were just as hairy back then. Memories... I had good times staying at your pad :)

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

I am SO cracking up at this! The first time I EVER went more than a week without shaving was when I decided to get waxed and had to grow it out. To be honest, I didn't mind it at all, but I'm too embarrassed to be seen in public with all that fur. On the other hand, I can't stand having hairy pits. Not sure why, but I like it bare there.

Some of these commenters are very funny (and have strong opinions). Fun stuff, Julia. Only you, I think.

mbduke said...

I totally agree with you. Shaving your legs is a stupid custom, but I succumb to peer and societal pressure and shave when my legs are showing. In the winter I go weeks without shaving, and only shave when I'm going to wear a skirt. Does this mean I have low self esteme? LOL! I think shaving is a male conspiracy to keep women in their places.

Sharkbytes said...

HA "higher global self-esteem"- I love it. Now I have a lofty reason to skip the self-torture. About 10 years ago I said to myself, "For whom are you doing this ridiculous ritual?" The answer came, "Your mother and college mates told you to." "Alrighty, then," I replied, "I'm done!"

If I'm forced to wear stockings, I wear navy or black ones.

Hairy women of the world, unite!

Julia said...

MB-Glad you are joining the conspiracy. One leg at a time!!!

Sharkbites-For some reason I am not surprised by your joining the ranks of the unshaven! :) We unshorn just know these kind of things.

Mountain Woman said...

I have one of those nasty contraptions. Used it once for a couple of seconds and cringed with the pain.
I'm unshorn here and proud of it. I'm always wearing jeans and I don't think MM is really looking at my legs. I really feel for you. OUCH.

Leisa said...

I fully support your choice- I'd follow if I were physically more comfortable not shaving- okay not quite- I'm pretty sure I'd still shave during the summer. I don't find dark hairy legs in shorts sexy even on guys.

armpit hair seemed to make me sweat & stink more- I don't feel the need to smell like flowers all the time but I also don't like to reek of bo shortly after getting out of the shower.

long leg hair didn't work for me either because it actually felt like clothing was tugging on it and it hurt- like wearing a ponytail too tight!

my one suggestion: if you're going to give in, give in gracefully so you "score" maximum points for your sacrifice. and unless you were hairy the whole time you dated I'd cut the guy some slack (at the same time I most likely would have injured him for comparing me to a sheep).

I enjoyed your post- your candor is refreshing!