True story, I don’t shave my legs every three and a half days, or however often you’re supposed to take a razor to your gams to ensure that no one sees a single hair on your leg EVER. Sometimes it’s because I keep forgetting to go to the store and get blades, sometimes it’s just because it’s cold and I’ve been wearing a lot of pants. Whenever I’ve gone a while without shaving and I look down at my hairy legs, I always feel a little bad, like I’ve disappointed the Great and Powerful Beauty Gods, like I’ve somehow seriously messed up this whole being a human woman thing. I try to tell myself “No, it’s because you’re so glamorous and bohemian and you were just too busy having ADVENTURES to shave your legs (and maybe also armpits).” But my cultural conditioning is so strong, I usually don’t feel all that empowered eschewing shaving. I usually just feel badly for not following one of the cardinal rules of being a girl.
So, I am really fascinated by the “Hairy Legs Club” movement, and all kinds of inspired by these women on social media (Tumblr is the ‘Hairy Legs Club”‘s central place to congregate) for proudly breaking the beauty rules so many of us are so afraid to even so much as bend.
The founder of the “Hairy Legs Club,” known only as “Sarah,” issues bad-ass rallying war-cry in her opening post for the group: “This blog is dedicated to females with very hairy legs. Let our legs be the champions!”
What follows is SO MANY PICTURES of hairy legs with rallying cries of their own that by and large can summed up under the banner heading of “I’m so glad I don’t have to feel bad about my body hair anymore!” In addition to the bloggers celebrating their own just-as-nature-intended body hair, they’re also celebrating the community as a whole, women who support each other’s decision to quit their razors. A lot of times, the members of the Hairy Legs Club do not have this support in their everyday lives. There’s a reason most of us don’t go to brunch with our girlfriends rocking the hairiest of legs. If you don’t get comments, you’re at least going to get LOOKS. It seems like this group is just as much about fostering solidarity among like-minded women as it is about members posting pictures of their legs in all their natural glory.
And the movement raises valid questions. What is it about male body hair that is so normal and boring and not even worthy of conversation and what is it about female body hair that is so “Ew, gross, get it away, get it away!”? Why is the party line, “If you’re a woman, you have to get rid of every hair on your body from the neck down”? Why is the world so scared of a girl with a little hair?
The “Hairy Legs Club” has company on Tumblr with similarly-titled-and-themed group “Very Hairy Legs,” and over on Facebook the groups find more solidarity with “Women Against Non-Essential Grooming” (awesomely acronymed as WANG). The movement really is a movement, with tons of groups coming together to question beauty’s very narrow standards.
Look, I don’t think I’m ready to snap a pic of my hairy legs and slap it all over Tumblr (I’m not sure I even REMEMBER the password for my Tumblr, but this movement makes me feel a LOT better for sometimes having hairy legs. I love it for waking us girls up and making us realize that shaving is not mandatory, it really is a choice, and it’s ours to make.
All images via Tumblr