Feature Image: Billie Via Unsplash
The places hair grows on a womxn’s body is a beauty standard. To be honest, I’m tired of feeling as though I need to have hairless, soft and smooth skin whilst being covered in thick, full, glossy hair on my head.
It wasn’t until I was 21 years old when I realised the pressures on me to have the right amount of hair in the right places. Up until then, I was entirely conditioned to think that being female meant that this was how I had to present myself. My realisation happened when I was shopping for toiletries and my anxiety surrounding my hair kicked in.
I was extremely conscious of the thin appearance of the hair around my temples. I thought those thinner looking baby hairs were so annoying; how could the Kardashians, beauty bloggers and singers all have perfectly full hairlines with no gaps at all and yet I didn’t? This thought that my hair looked too thin grew and grew. After not too long, I felt that my entire head of hair was simply not up to scratch. Everywhere I looked, women had this bouncy hair that was so voluminous and full. These women were able to style it in so many ways without it looking limp or tiny. I, on the other hand, felt as though I was in no way as beautiful as these women with so much hair.
Ironically, I was simultaneously shaving my entire body. I felt that I had to have smooth, shiny legs along with perfectly shaven, light underarms and a bump-free pubic area. I would use mens razors to get the closest shave possible and assume that I would never be able to attend a party or go on a date without being perfectly bare. My body was supposed to be free of hair, but my head was supposed to be full of it.
I found this contradiction, as I mentioned earlier, whilst shopping for toiletries. I was buying mens disposable razors on one internet tab, and on the other I was looking through hair growth supplements. It’s crazy to think that I was so disgusted by the thought of hair growing in certain places and yet willing it to grow more in others.
As I’ve learned that hair shouldn’t be something I have such a love/hate relationship with, I’ve had a more neutral perspective on both the hair on my body and the hair on my head. I’m by no means a typical ‘body positive’ activist that outwardly celebrates my body or my hair, but, I’m less harsh on myself. For me, being less harsh on myself with the opinions I have of my hair is the biggest improvement I could ask for. Yes, maybe I do still live up to the beauty standards that make women shave their bodies whilst get extensions added to the hair on their head, but at least I’m more understanding, happy and validating towards my own body.