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True Femininity: No Razor or Wax Needed.

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I proudly buzzed the hair on my head (something I had been wanting to do for a long time) and then let the rest of my body hair grow naturally on its own. And I’m happy to say it felt really, really good. I was shirking culturally accepted ideas of femininity and saving time, pain and money while I did it.

I embraced my body in this way, off and on, for about two years. And then, everything changed. I moved away from the safe haven of friends I had created in the Pacific North West, traveled around the country searching for my new home, and finally settled in Boston. Out came the razor!

I think we all want to feel beautiful and comfortable in our own skin. And no matter how many rights women may have gained over time, it is still trying to go against the socially accepted definitions of “womanliness” and “femininity.” I slipped so far back into the hairless body culture that I even got a FULL Brazilian! I shudder to even think of it now.

I, like my feminine body hair, was out of place in Boston. So after a couple of years, I went on another adventure and finally landed in the haven I had always hoped for. And not so surprisingly, there also wasn’t a razor, a tube of mascara or a bottle of hair dye in sight.

Even though I was around people who accepted me as I was, it still took time for me to let go of the cultural programing I had about what body hair signified. There was a friend’s wedding a couple of years ago that I pulled out the razor for, and other large family events where I mostly avoided tank tops and shorts because I didn’t feel comfortable enough to be myself, at least not fully. I am not an exhibitionist by any means and sometimes being really “visible” isn’t my cup of tea. I’m a people person, but honestly an introvert.

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Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati

Gentle World is a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. For more information about vegan food and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle, visit the Gentle World website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

253 comments

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10:24PM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

Your blogs and each of its stuff is so pleasurable and valuable it is making me come back soon.
best electric shaver blog

1:27AM PDT on Jul 18, 2014

Thank you

12:13AM PDT on Apr 25, 2014

Awesome! Immense information there.
Electric Shaver

4:47PM PST on Feb 5, 2014

I hate when women shave their pubic region and don't have a problem with a woman with hair, just no facial hair. I dated women in the 80's and 90's and they never shaved. It has become a disturbing trend and I hate the look of a woman who shaves it all off. Twisted thinking has led women to think they must be smooth all over, which is why I would love to go to France or Italy!

12:57AM PDT on Aug 3, 2013

this man does not care, I could not imagine being a woman putting on makeup......or doing the shaving thing......hair......Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill.........Janis Joplin, Mama Cass......I've worn my hair long and face hair of varying degrees since 1973....It has cost me lots of jobs and other opportunities.....there is a saying I started using in response......I bet you would have shaved Jesus before crucifying him, appearances are everything........live and let live and I would not look down on someone no matter how ''un-norml '' they choose to be.....rock on.....we are actors on the stage of each others life, lets enjoy the drama......

3:16PM PDT on Jul 23, 2013

I can't wax (as it literally rips my skin off with the hairs I'm removing) and shaving tends to leave me with bumps and such unpleasant things. As for creams, they just do not work for me (they take forever to do the job properly, smell terribly bad and give me burning sensations). Even though I've been struggling with hair removal for years (the perfect solution for me would be pulsed light hair removal, which I just can't afford right now), I cannot bring myself to leave it au naturel. I always feel uncomfortable after a few days and, strangely enough, not as "clean" as I would like to feel. This being said, I totally understand you & your choice. You should embrace your feminity, hairless or not ! Society does influence us, either we admit it or not. And I believe it is important to question our own decisions from time to time. Ultimately, you should do what makes you feel the best.

6:48AM PDT on Jul 7, 2013

ty

4:01AM PDT on Jul 2, 2013

When I was a 20 y/o single college student in the early 70s, I also decided au naturale was a more honest expression of femininity, and I quit shaving for several months. Then, one day, I wanted to try on a pair of great shoes. The shoe store was not a self-service store - clerks assisted customers by placing the shoes on their feet. A good-looking young man who worked there seemed very glad to help me until I raised my jeans and he saw my hairy leg. His reaction told me he likely had nightmares of being pursued by women with hairy legs for weeks after that. I don't remember if I bought the shoes, but I did buy a razor.

8:21AM PDT on Jun 28, 2013

The problem is people trying to convince young girls their bodies are disgusting and they should feel ashamed for. I accept my body and my body hair is in my body so I accept it.

7:15AM PDT on Jun 26, 2013

Razor/waxing may not be a factor in ones femininity..but it helps.
Growing up I had seen 2 women with unshaved armpits and legs in swimsuits....it really was disgusting...not because of any preconceived notion I had (I was preteen) but by the sight of that thick long hair growing like a plant on a human body......especially from the armpits
That sight said to me SHAVE! SHAVE! SHAVE! or I'd be watering the growth like a houseplant

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