my beautiful hairy legs

I was talking to a friend yesterday who I haven’t seen in a while. During our conversation she was excited to tell me she recently had electrolysis done on her chin. She was so happy about it — it was only $65 US, the doctor was very friendly and warm, and it was easily done in only two sessions, and should be permanent. I’m happy for her, since she always hated the hairs on her chin and was relieved not to have to worry about them anymore. She offered me the name and phone number of the place she went to, since I’ve mentioned my interest in the past.

I’ve been thinking, though. I have always hated my leg hair. Hated with a burning passion. Unlike Celine Dion, my legs are not covered in a beautifully soft peach fuzz. I have dark, think, coarse, black hairs (which I have often compared to spider legs) on my pale white legs. I would be incredibly embarrassed if anyone were to see them. I shave in the summer, but even then I don’t often wear shorts because even after I shave, you can see the hair under the skin. My legs are unacceptable to society.

That would be my reason for getting electrolysis. Because I am embarrassed by the natural hair on my legs, because society has conditioned me to find my natural state repulsive. Because of this, I think it would be wrong of me to do it. I want to do it. Believe me when I say I would love to have smooth, hairless legs for once in my life. To be able to wear shorts whenever I wanted, and to change in front of my boyfriend without being embarrassed, even though he says — and I believe him — he doesn’t care. To go to the beach and not constantly worry that I’m grossing everyone out with my disgusting legs.

But because I am now a feminist, and because I believe that I should not feel this way, and neither should anyone else, it would be wrong for me to do it. I would be buying into society’s definition of beauty. I would be agreeing with them that the hair on my legs is disgusting. That my natural self is disgusting.

I’m not at the point yet where I could go on stage in front of thousands of people with unshaven legs. I’m still trying to accept my body, and find it beautiful. But the point is that I’m trying. I’m fighting, and I’m defying. It may not seem like much, but every tiny step moves us forward. Every unafraid hairy-legged woman makes our natural bodies a little more accepted, a little less taboo.