Saturday, 19 October 2013

Feminine problem: hairiness!

A long time ago I wrote a blog post about surviving womanhood, and all the things I have needed to face after I realised that I'm a woman and that my life is filled with feminine challenges.

These challenges included bras, periods, and hairiness - which is today's topic.

This is an important topic, because it is something that can make people feel very insecure about themselves. It is also something that is very embarrassing to talk about. And because I should face my fears of being embarrassed about everything –  I'm going to write about it!

Hair is a funny thing. Compared to our close relatives, apes, we're not really that hairy.

© Liran Samuni.

But our society likes to make us look even less hairy than we really are. I grew up seeing ads of all sorts of different hair removal products. The hairless female body image was all over the media. No wonder most men believe that women are practically hairless (that's probably the point of all this hair removal business we're engaging ourselves in) and most women believe that they are naturally hairier than other women.

Fortunately, I was never her biggest fan in the first place.

It was all very stressful, when I first hit puberty and thought that I have to shave. In fact, it was so traumatic that I didn't touch a shaver for 10 years after my first shaving attempt. In the meantime I tried out all sorts of different hair removal methods available. I tried waxing which mostly resulted in pain, mess, wax stuck everywhere and hairs still attached to my skin. I tried hair removal mousses that would allow you to scrub the hair of with a sponge or a "bladeless" shaver made out of plastic. Basically the mousse would first somehow corrode the hair so that it would just come of when you wash yourself. Needless to say, it's quite irritating for your skin - especially if you're not quick enough to get it off your skin. In the end, I discovered an epilator which works! It really hurts a couple of the first times you try to plug your hairs off with it, but it's easy after you get used to it. And mostly I enjoy the money I save when I don't have to spend it all on sticky waxes and corrosive mousses.

Hurray, archaeology! (I'm in the photo) © Charlotta Hillerdal.

My interests sometimes take me to places where I get the opportunity to get as hairy as I like and no one will know. It's fantastic.

WARNING! Please do not read any further if you get easily upset about personal things such as hairiness.

After I had grown back all of my body hair, I realised all the benefits this hair had. Well, mostly it kept me warmer in freezing wind and rain. Extra layer of something on: always useful in cold conditions. Suddenly, getting hairy didn't seem so bad at all.


But I have a secret to tell you: the hair that had started growing on my body was a lot more impressive than it was when I had started hair removal. I don't think it's because I had been removing it, but simply because I am now older. My legs, for example, were hairier than some of my male friends. After that experience, I feel that women are almost as hairy as men. Men have a tendency to get hairier and to grow stronger hair in places that women rarely get that strong hair growth – such as face, back and chest. But women do have hair in those places too. Did you know that threading* places almost always offer an upper lip hair removal service when you get your eyebrows shaped?

 * threading is a method of plugging hair with thread. It's often used for shaping eyebrows.

Last spring, I actually stopped removing my hair for several months. And surprisingly the world didn't end. I had classmates who occasionally talked about hair removal, and for instance, about how disgusting arm pit hair is. I very consciously wore sleeved tops and coloured tights around those people because my self-confidence wasn't quite strong enough to hear anymore about how disgusting they find me than I already had to. 

But apart from that I had no problems doing anything I wanted. I even went to a public swimming pool. And let me tell you: I didn't get kicked out of the pool. No one even looked at my hairly legs or armpits any longer than they did when there was no hair there.

There are actually several posts written by women who have stopped shaving completely. One good one was written by Emer O'Toole in

This was my favourite bit:

A scene from my life:
Small child: Why do you have hair under your arms?
Me: Because when girls and boys grow up into women and men they grow hair under their arms.
Small child: My mum doesn't have hair under her arms.
Me: She shaves it off.
Small child: She doesn't.
Me: She does. Ask her.
Small child: Mum, do you?
Mother of small child: Yes.
Small child: Why?
Exactly, small child. Exactly.

Should you remove hair? Why?

If you feel like you have good reasons, feel free. But I think it would do our society a lot of good if people who secretly want to be hairy, would just be hairy. It's not disgusting. Being a man increases person's chances of being hairier, but women have the same right to be as hairy as they like. It's also acceptable for men to shave their legs if they want to  –  people should really stop being shocked by it.

Oh, and since I've now talked about hair removal, I want to mention hair in one particular body area that no one ever talks about.

Please stop reading now if you do not want to read about the hair we normally tend to keep in our pants.

This thing has been bothering me since I went to see a film called Friends with Benefits when it came out in 2011. There was this one scene that made me very angry. You can watch that bit on Youtube. 20 seconds is enough if you follow that link. (If the link does not open at the right point, I mean the bit 6:41-7:01.)

Friends with Benefits.

The film is starred by Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. The plot is very simple. First their characters break up with their partners. And apparently if you live in a big city, it's difficult to survive without sex. So they decide to have sex together – as friends. And obviously, they will fall in love in the end.

In case you didn't watch the 20 seconds of the film that I linked, I'll tell you what happened.

Mila's character says: "If you don't start shaving here" *taps his chin*  "I will stop shaving down there".


I dislike that bit so much.

Why does this film need to make it sound like it's "a norm" to shave pubic hair?

Everyone blames porn for this. They say that because men watch porn, they get used to female genitalia being hairless, and then they get turned off when a girl has hair between her legs. And that's why all women need to shave. Because it pleases men.


No. I don't want some porn industry to have control of everything. Porn did not force the American rom coms to picture the image that all women shave everything.

But I find this issue so stupid. It's the same as the rest of the hair issue. It doesn't matter.

Not everyone does anything to their pubic hair. It might be a shock to someone. Especially those men who thought that women are hairless and don't even grow pubic hair. And some people just trim it a little bit so that it doesn't stick out of their pants.

Some people prefer to shave or wax. And it's okay too.

PA Photos.

What I feel like the problem is, it's that these two groups seem to think that the other group is worse. It's like the whole "it matters if you have a vagina or penis" thing all over again. It doesn't matter! What is in our pants it's none of other people's business. Your partner will be okay with whatever is in there if it's the right partner.

I once considered going to one of those salons that do waxing, but then I decided not to because it seemed like such a big thing. I felt like the ladies at those places doing it might have strong opinions about how all women should have brazilians, and if they don't they are not good enough. And I didn't want to risk it, what they would think of me, if they'd know that it's my first time at a waxing. So I didn't want to let anyone who might have strong opinions of what I have between my legs, anywhere near between my legs. I've heard people who work with customers, say awful things about their customers in the break room too many times.

True, I still have a lot of insecurities about people having opinions about me, that they might not have. But since I can't know, I'd just like to keep my protective bubble around me. A little bit at least. Just a little one around my private parts? Well at least I will save even more money on hair removal!

Your judgement says more about you than it does about her.

So yeah, basically this problem is about self-confidence. But I hope this post would help those, who feel concerned about their body hair and what they should do about it. There is nothing we should do. But there are a lot of things we can do to achieve the result we want to.

By to way, if your partner has preferences about your body hair, that's between you two (or however many of you there are in your relationship) but it has nothing to do with the rest of us who are not in your relationship.

We can be as hairy as we like if it makes us feel good. But it's also okay to remove that hair if it makes us feel confident and happy. The good thing about the whole hair removal industry these days is that there are a lot of methods available, if you do want to get rid of your body hair.

Have you considered what you could buy with all the money you would save if you stopped hair removal?


  1. I like to shave some hair - because it makes me feel more clean and also beautiful (Especially removing armpit hair & some hair down there makes me feel cleaner). However, at the moment I am not shaving my legs at all, and it doesn't bother you. I totally agree with you here!

    1. Exactly, everyone should just do what they feel makes themselves feel best. :)

  2. Loistavaa tekstiä! Mä oon ite ollut aina aika laiska sheivailuiden suhteen! Harrastan kyllä sellasta lajia jossa esiintyessä pitää olla jalat ja kainalot ja kaikki siletä ja siistit, mutta etenkin talvisin mä laiskottelen aina sillon kun ei ole "pakko". Kesäsin mä pyrin useasti pitämään karvat loitolla, mutta kuten sanottu, olen aika laiska. Välillä lähen ulos ovesta shortsit jalassa ja katsahdan että hupsis, nyt ei oo paras sheivaus, niin mun poikaystävä vaan totee että ketä kiinnostaa onko sulla vähän sänkeä vai ei, kaikillahan kasvaa karvat! (= Mutta niinhän se on!

    1. Talvella tuntuu usein siltä, että on ihan kätevä muutenkin olla muutenkin sellainen ylimääräinen karvakerros lämmittämässä vähän lisää. :D Poikaystäväsi asenne on kyllä loistava! :)

  3. Tosi asiaa sisältävä teksti! :3 Tämmöstä pohdiskelevaa tekstiä on aina kiva lukea :)


  4. Hei tulin vain kiittämään ihanista sanoista, joilla arvostelit blogini! Samalla sanon etten yleensä pidä suomenkielisten englanninkielisistä blogeista, koska teksti on tönkköä ja olen vähän neuroottinen kieliopin suhteen, mutta tätä oli mukava lukea ja tosi hyvä aihe! Lisäksi vielä ihana humoristinen ote. Itsekin olen laiskanpuoleinen.. t. Vaateterapian tyttö ja englantia toisena äidinkielenä puhuva

    1. Kiitos paljon! Heh, no musta tuntuu, että tämän teksti ei olisi laadultaan yhtään parempaa, vaikka kirjoittaisin tätä suomeksi. :D

  5. Hei tulin vain kiittämään ihanista sanoista, joilla arvostelit blogini! Samalla sanon etten yleensä pidä suomenkielisten englanninkielisistä blogeista, koska teksti on tönkköä ja olen vähän neuroottinen kieliopin suhteen, mutta tätä oli mukava lukea ja tosi hyvä aihe! Lisäksi vielä ihana humoristinen ote. Itsekin olen laiskanpuoleinen.. t. Vaateterapian tyttö ja englantia toisena äidinkielenä puhuva

  6. Sä kirjoitat tosi hyvin!
    Oon samaa mieltä monista asioista. Haisuli-kuva myös kiva. :-D

  7. Mikä on raindeer :-------l Vai tarkoitatko reindeer?

    1. Ihan ekassa postauksessani selitin, että päädyn kirjoittamaan varmaan vaan sateesta, poroista ja alushousuista. :D Niin tuo raindeer on sitten sellainen sateen ja poron yhdistelmä. Vähän sellainen vitsi se on, mutta sitten siitä vaan tuli juttu. Nyt mulla on "Raindeer"-yöpaita ja -pyyhekin, kun sain sellaiset ystävältäni joululahjaksi pari vuotta sitten.

  8. Mua ei ole kauheasti tuo aihe koskaan stressannut. Tajusin alkaa tehdä niin vasta aika myöhään (no, asuin Myrkyssä, niin ei kai siellä tarvinnut). Tai siis että vasta joskus ammattikouluikäisenä tuntui, että voisi. Silloin mua pelotti kaikenlaiset terät. Nyt ne ovat musta ihan ok, ja osaan käyttää niitä ihan hyvin. Kesäaikaan harrastan sellaista enemmän, talvikaudella paljon vähemmän (esim. jalkoja ei jaksa melkein koskaan). Mutta kainalot kyllä täytyy säännöllisesti ainakin, ei tunnu kivalta muuten. Mutta kaikkien oma valinta tietenkin.

    Tuossa pari viikkoa sitten brasilialainen Aline tuijotti hetken paljaita käsivarsiani. Olin ehkä tehnyt niille jotain puolitoista sitten. Sitten se kokeili käsiäni "poistatko karvat?!" se kysyi. Sanoin, että joo, mutta nyt on kyllä vähän aikaa siitä. Se sanoi, että tykkää siitä. Se itse ei niin ilmeisesti tee, ehkä se ei ole Etelä-Amerikassa niin yleistä.

    1. Mäkin olin varmaan jo lukiossa, kun noita kaikkia karvanpoistometodeja kokeilin. Mäkin kyllä usein yllätyn siitä, että jotku poistavat käsikarvoja. Mulla ne ovat onneksi tosi vaaleita ja ohuita. Varmaan kaikki karvaisuuteni on sitten mennyt sääriini.

  9. Ihan älyttömän hyvä teksti, en yhtään ihmettele että löytyy tuolta suosituimpien joukosta!

    Ite oon vähän niin ja näin ton ajelun suhteen. Kainalot on ainoat jotka ajan säännöllisesti. Jalat kun jaksan ja on joku tapaus jossa pitää olla esim. sukkiksissa, muuten on aina pitkät housut. Alakerran olen ajanut pari kertaa mutta se nyt ei kyllä ollenkaan ole minun juttu. Kädet ajoin joskus kerran teinimpänä kun ahdisti tummat käsikarvat :D Ne on edelleen tummat ja pitkähköt mutta ei häiritse enää.

    Ollaan karvaisia tai karvattomia, ihan miten hyvältä tuntuu! :)


    1. Kiitos ihanasta kommentista, se piristi päivääni tosi paljon! :) Ja mahtavaa kuulla, että karvat eivät ahdista enää! :)

  10. Jos kommentoin vielä tähän, niin sitten lupaan lopettaa!

    Kun mulla alkoi karvat kasvaa, tietysti luulin että ne pitää poistaa. Poistelinkin niitä tiuhaan tahtiin aina johonkin lukion kakkoselle saakka. Sitten aloin pohtimaan perimmäistä syytä, miksi teen sitä. Lopetin sen tajuttuani että ihan pölöä hommaa, jos ei edes itse tajua miksi sitä tekee. Nyt annan kaikkien karvojeni kasvaa (paitsi etuhiuksieni, hih) ja olen paljon onnellisempi näin! Paljon ihmiset mulkoilevat kainalokarvojani ulkona, mutta siinä mulkoilevat. Toki olen siinä mielessä onnekas (pyh pah oikeasti, mitä väliä?) että mulla on vaaleat karvat. Säästyn ihmisten katseilta niin. Toivon vain sydämestäni, että tämä karvattomuusbuumi, joka on kestänyt jo vuosikymmeniä, lähtisi! Karvajutut on mulle todella lähellä sydäntä. Onhan se ihan normi, että naiset sheivaavat kaiken. Haluan olla esimerkiksi kaikille, jotka ovat miettineet sheivaamisen lopettamista. Ihan yhtä kaunis on karvaton, kuin karvallinen nainen.

    T. (taas)

    1. Kyllä mun postauksia saa ihan mielellään kommentoida! :D Kiitos kovasti mielipiteesi ja kokemustesi jakamisesta! Mahtavaa, että haluat olla esimerkki! :)