Get Out of My Hair

I saw a tweet by Laetitia Ky on body hair. In the tweet, her armpits and those of her companion were bushy, and it was obvious they were flaunting their hair. After all, the post was about body hair. Her friend had a really pretty sprinkling of hair that ran from her navel down to her waistline. Seriously, it was hot.

Some of the replies to the tweet were affirming, but many others were negative, with a large majority of them asking them to be ashamed that their armpits were that hairy. A lot of people asked them to shave, and the vast majority of this population said it was necessary for hygienic reasons. That didn’t irk me as much as those who were indignant because “women shouldn’t let their armpits get bushy like that.” 

People were talking about the hair on her belly, asking why she didn’t remove it. A woman having hair on her belly isn’t attractive thus she should take care of it. This was me reading the tweet replies like why are people this mad? 

My first point of bafflement was why people were worried about someone else’s armpit and belly hair. Like why are you on the internet saying this is a turn-off for you as if someone is trying to fuck you? Many annoying statements like those assume that there is going to be a situation where the woman in question is going to be interested in the person making the statement. If not, why else would you be publicly listing your turn-ons? So who’ll run and go and shave to impress you? Ha! 

This isn’t the first time I have read about women with body hair, especially belly hair, being shamed about their hair. It baffles me how a person is ridiculed for a part of them, especially a part they have no influence over. 

My second ick was that some people genuinely thought that it was unhygienic to keep pubic hair, the health implications being bad. Again I was like, why are people this ignorant? A lot of y’all niggas don’t read, and it shows. Pubic hair, like hair on other parts of the body, has functions. Just like eyelashes and nose hair, it traps dirt and protects pussy from potentially harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. 

Your hair follicles produce an oil called sebum which is very important. The lipids in sebum help with skin hydration and protect it from potentially harmful pathogens. Because sebum is slightly acidic, it stops some bacteria and viruses from penetrating the skin. Hair is literally a barrier to diseases at this point. 

It’s easier to rub hair against hair than it is to rub skin against skin. Having hair on your genitals protects the delicate skin there from friction during sex and any other things you may be doing with your genitals. Think of it as a protective buffer, or a mediator between your skin and the skin of whoever you’re doing the nasty with. If there were no hair on our genitals, your skin would feel quite raw after some sexual encounters, especially since some of y’all take the phrase breaking beds quite seriously. Plus, hair helps keep you warm. Won’t it freak you out if your partner’s genitals were always cold af? 

Not having hair gives you no extra benefits over those of us who haven’t removed our hair in years. The only health benefit of shaving is preventing pubic lice.  Lice are a menace, but they’re largely uncommon and wouldn’t bother you if you keep your hair clean. So, the argument that pubic hair is unhygienic and could cause negative health problems is a highly problematic one. In fact, the lack of it could prove more troublesome than its keeping. 

Shaving regularly isn’t all that bad if it’s what you want. However, cutting the hair on your genitals regularly could lead to skin irritation and damage. Remember, the skin there is delicate. Constantly taking away its protection is leaving it open to damage quite regularly. It is also contributing to said damage. The few times I’ve shaved in this life have been quite unpleasant for me. My skin itched and itched till there was some definite new growth. My sister itches when she shaves. So does my girlfriend and a lot of the women I went to boarding school with. It’s not exactly a fun experience. I won’t even get started on getting waxed. 

I find the idea of needing women to be clean-shaven almost paedophilic. A usual characteristic of getting older is growing hair, as a lack of hair is associated with youth and prepubescence. Not everyone is turned on by hair, but when your “needs” extend to telling total strangers, who are very likely not going to fuck you, what to do with the hair on their bodies, there’s a problem. 

Darwin’s The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex said removing body hair was necessary for women who wanted to be found as feminine and attractive. As with many harmful trends throughout history, one man said something and the rest of them agreed, without questioning what the people who were being discussed actually preferred. 

Bare pussy is taught to us in ways we don’t even realise. If a major (or minor) part of your sexual journey has been porn, you’d agree with me that porn star pussy will tension you for no reason when it comes to how they wear their hair. From entirely bald flesh to cute landing strips and triangles with no discernible angles, porn star pussy has put an idea of what pussy should look like in the heads of many men and women. 

TV shows (I’m looking pointedly at Sex and the City) and the women in them teach us this too. There’s always the joke about the hairy woman or the girl who’s never waxed her pussy or her legs. Some shows would have a few scenes that focus solely on the efforts of a group of friends to get their unshaven friend to shave else they’re going to gather cobwebs forever. Why must a person have to alter their appearance solely because it is the preference of men? They’re merely guests you’re inviting into your home. It is YOURS, and they have entirely no say in how you decorate it. 

Talking about women’s hair and how they should keep it is part of the patriarchal obsession to call the shots over women. It isn’t really about health or hygiene. I’ve said this before and I will say it again; it’s about the almost pathological need to be able to control and regulate women’s bodies and how they are presented in various settings, even if the setting is the woman’s own bedroom.

I don’t have sex with men, but I have friends who do. It’s interesting to listen to them complain about how a man with hairy balls would be chiding them for having a hairy pussy. Or how a man would refuse them head because they hadn’t shaved when the man himself wasn’t bare. Double standards, much? 

I find hair very attractive; the more the better. I understand that we all have preferences, but as someone who prefers hair, I don’t get those who find it unattractive. I’ve been trying to get why many women willingly go through the stress and pain of waxing and other hair removal methods. My girlfriend is quite hairy. I enjoy this immensely. As someone who goes for literal years without shaving and still has minimal hair in all the places, I love being with someone who can grow a full armpit of hair in two weeks. 

However, as fast as the hair grows, she removes it. I’m not hairy at all and have gone years without shaving. The hair her pussy grows in two weeks is the same amount of hair I’ve had for years, no cap. I couldn’t understand why someone with so much hair wouldn’t revel in it. I was unwittingly projecting my wants onto her, asking that she fulfil my fantasy of having hair by keeping hers, whether or not it made her comfortable. 

This is what’s happening with the conversation around body hair on women, except in the reverse. People who shave and wax don’t understand why you don’t shave and wax. They shame you for deciding to keep the hair on your legs or not having a landing strip. 

Today, I’ve learned to come to terms with my partner’s dislike of her body hair. A large part of getting to this place has been accepting that it’s her body and she chooses to share it with me. Thus, it’s rude to make impositions. She doesn’t enjoy having body hair and would very much like it if hair only grew out of her head. Cutting away her hair is entirely her choice. 

How one person chooses to live in their body doesn’t determine how others live in theirs. Darling, if you shave, let it be because it’s what you want to do. Let it be because you don’t enjoy having hair. Don’t get rid of something you like having because someone else with their own body to worry about is dictating to you how to live in yours. It’s your body; yours. Yours is the opinion that matters. 

Shaming other women for having hair is a disgraceful thing to do. Live in your body, and let others live in theirs. Here’s something interesting to read about shaving your legs. I enjoyed reading it, and I had learnt a thing or two by the time I was done. I hope you do too. 


JAMA Network

The Chatty Gal

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