Hairy Beast Is Just Another Term For Sexy

When I was eleven years old, I asked my mom if I could start shaving my legs. I don’t know why. I just knew hair was bad. It was the same year as the unibrow incident.

Hair is unwanted on women. No underarm hair. No leg hair. No arm hair. No stomach hair. And sometimes no pubic hair. Head is fine. And eyebrows (but not TOO much). Oh and lots on our eyelids. {flutter flutter}

Well, I got the eyelashes, but in return, God gave me hair. Everywhere. Maybe to keep me warm during those hellacious Yankee winters.

I would eventually decide to bleach my stomach hair, which, let me tell you, if you bleach your trail, the other hair looks REALLY obvious. So buy a big ol’ bucket of hair bleach and coat that sucker. Because thin rectangles are NOT pretty. And I once made a triangle trying to fix it. I’m pretty sure that’s worse than a rectangle.

Anyway, my mom said no to shaving. She told me that I would have to shave for the rest of my life so I shouldn’t start yet.

Well, we all know how stupid moms are. So I ignored her and stole a disposable one-blade razor (I know. HOW OLD SCHOOL) and hid in my closet. The same closet I had hidden in six years earlier when my parents informed me that pacifiers were only for babies. I snuck into my closet with my one paci and sucksucksucked for another year. (I came by rebel without a cause quite naturally thank you.)

I dry shaved every few days for YEARS while still pestering my mother to let me shave. (Kinda destroying my own argument in the process. When it comes to stubbornness, smarts have nothing to do with it in my book. Which is why my book won’t be a bestseller. Or written. Or really told to my children. Shh.)


Actually, I was thirteen.

Exacerbated (and impressed by my tenacity I think), she handed me a razor, sat me at the sink and gave me shaving cream.

I shaved. For the eighty-thousandth time.

And proceeded to cut four of my fingers and both my legs in the process. For the first time in two years of shaving. WTH people.

Today, I shave less and haven’t seen bleach in years although I still cut my legs like a newbie. I can’t recall when most of my hair became just hair to me. I think that perspective coupled with extraordinary laziness really works for me and my positive body image. While I still fret over my eyebrows and upper lip, in another decade, I’ll probably be a one-eyebrow mom grooming her mustache for family portraits while my daughter begs me to SHAVE YOUR LEGS MOM! YOU’RE WEARING A MINI-SKIRT! AND A FEDORA! WTH! MOOOOOOOOMMMM!

I even hang my hair out for a cause! You can sneak a peek at my Ms. November and all the calendar pictures over at the Blogger Body Calendar!

Remember: proceeds go to the National Eating Disorders Association. So if you have been touched by an eating disorder or if you want to be reminded throughout 2011 that you are beautiful just the way you are, you hairy, hairy beast, buy a calendar!

It may be the best $18 you spend this holiday season. Or not. Either way you should buy one and let me know after the new year.

And think of all the money you’ll save not buying those newfangled fifteen-blade razors!

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

16 thoughts to “Hairy Beast Is Just Another Term For Sexy”

  1. hah! so my mom said no to me shaving my legs too. I was 11 or 12. and ALL my friends were! so I stole a bic and shaved in the shower. and took a chunk out of my shin the length of the Amazon. I used 75 band-aids and put on pants, thinking my mom would never find out. um. except I left the evidence in the bathtub: my pools of blood, razor, and band-aid papers. I will make an awful criminal one day.

    now I rarely shave. being single and living somewhere cold makes it easy. but I always shave my armpits. I get paranoid about armpit hair.

  2. I too have WAY too much body hair (mine is from PCOS) but I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one that just doesn’t care about it anymore.When I was in middle and high school I was obsessed with shaving, waxing, and all other things hair removing. Now I wax my eyebrows and upper lip and pluck any stray hair I find on my face, but other than that I just don’t give a darn. I shaved for the first time in over month the other night, because I for once didn’t have a toddler in the shower with me and wanted to celebrate, and I thought my hubby was going to have a heart attack when he felt my smooth legs.

  3. I joined the Air Force when I was 19. In basic training everyone had to shave every morning. I didn’t have to shave. The drill sergeant caught and agreed that I didn’t have to shave but insisted that I smear shaving cream on my face every morning and wipe it off with a razor.

    Never did get chest hair. Dad said it was the Indian in the family.

    Wife used to pluck ear hair out while I was asleep. Daughter inspects shaving job and finds fault every time. What is it with you women???

  4. I’m hairy too. I would actually spend a few extra minutes on my middle school and high school mornings trying to arrange my dark arm hair so I didn’t look so hairy. So sad. Luckily in the summer it turns blond, so I got a few months off from grooming. Don’t worry about it these days.
    My mom is practically hairless (no arm OR leg air – barely eyebrows) so she wasn’t so great in the teaching-me-to-shave department – since she never had to herself. I learned on my own, with many gaping wounds and band-aids. Luckily I’ve got the hang of it.

  5. I had the same interaction with my mom about shaving! Only it took me forever to just grab a razor I saw in the tub and do it. Before then I pretended with soap and a cap from a bottle. But my mom had the same response, “Once you start you can’t stop and you’ll be doing it forever.” I still cut myself and loathe shaving. I can’t remember the last time I shaved my legs actually.

  6. The older I get, the hairier I get. I swear I could shave twice a day. And don’t even get me started on my beard and mustache…it’s blonde, but it’s thick. Sigh.

    And can I just say, HOT STUFF!! You look beautiful on the calendar…congrats to you for doing it and supporting such a great cause!

  7. The first time I shaved I didn’t ask my mom….which obviously meant it was the first time in years she decided to walk in on me in the bath. Furious doesn’t describe it.

  8. I refused to regularly shave in my 30’s and only shaved a few times a year. I also cut myself constantly from the time I started and have huge scars up my shins. Wearing tights with long leg hair is not comfortable, but it took awile to get long. If I felt my leg hair blowing in the wind, or saw long hair poking out of my tights, I’d cut it with scissors. Once I turned 40, I decided that maybe I could start shaving regularly again (once a week). Amazingly enough, I rarely cut myself now.

  9. Along with perspective and laziness, I would like to add: Having snagglepussed a husband who is willing to tolerate said hair with minimal smart aleck comments.

    North of my neck, I attend to things with care. Highlights, bang trims, making sure I have two eyebrows and no ‘stache.

    Anything south of my collarbones? It all straight up runs amok.

  10. I cut myself EVERY single time I shave my legs. Which is only a few times a month. Must be because I also started out shaving dry, hidden from my mother. For the underarms and cooch, though, I wax. No Brazilian nonsense, just enough to keep it off the thighs. Clean it up a bit.

  11. I likewise requested a razor at 11 (after discovering in gym class that, OMG, EVERYONE ELSE WAS ALREADY DOING IT) and was also denied. (Wait, did I even have leg or pit hair at that point? unlikely.)

    Nair, however, was approved for 11 year old hair-removal use.

    This was actually a stroke of parental genius i think – becuase, sure, you only need to use it once a month, but mostly because once you try that stuff a couple of times you’ll be totally OVER the idea of hair removal as a necessity in your life. (The stench is just that painfully foul and brain-cell-killing.)

    So I say, go on ahead and plan to just get miss N her very own bottle for the 11th birthday celebration, and you’ll be all set.

  12. I used to spend my days whinging to my mother about needing a razor, STAT because I was hairier than a gorilla (at least in my own head). PE swimming lessons with 20 other pre-teen girls who hadn’t had that fuzzy growth spur yet didn’t help in the slightest.

    Then, one day, I found the answer..

    It was so simple; it was hanging right there on the bathroom wall…

    My father’s electric shaver.

    A week later my mother, for some unexplained reason, gave me a ‘ladyshave’ of my own. “Just because” Yeah, ok mum.

    Now the art of shaving has lost its appeal; I’m single and won’t be rubbing against anyone in a wee whiley. So, to fight the sub-zero temperatures, I’ve decided to let my fuzz grow. It feels very liberating, funnily enough. Besides, one less thing to do in the morning means I can sleep that wee bit longer!

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