So. For those of you following my travel blog, you already know that I departed my motherland (the USA) in September to live in the land of wine and cheese for a year. France is pretty cool. But if you want to hear about that, see my other blog. This post is about the two months I’ve spent not shaving. No underarms, no legs, no anything. It’s wintertime and (especially) since no one sees much of my skin anymore, who cares if it’s hairless?
France/Europe is like the United States in that women are just as concerned with not having body hair as Americans. Possibly even more so since beauty and fashion standards seem very high in Paris. When I told the teenage girl I tutor that I haven’t shaved in two months, she was horrified, and even more so when I told her I routinely show my hairy armpits to my close guy friend back home. I do it to make him miss me less because like most menfolks, he is grossed out by body hair on women. His armpits are hairier than mine, of course. It’s just another drop in the bucket that is male/female double standards. I’m trying not to hold it too much against him.
I asked why he found it repulsive and he said “because I feel like I’m hugging a guy.” He also echoed what guys in internet forums were saying (I Google-researched the subject for maybe 5 minutes to gauge public opinion), that armpit hair was unhygienic because it holds in sweat & BO. I’d like to counter by saying, from personal experience, that my armpits would sweat the same amount regardless of hair being there. Having armpit hair does not significantly heat my armpits. It’s wintertime, I would know. Hair is not making them any sweatier. Nor do I think it actually holds in odor, no more than for guys anyway. Hair isn’t a sponge. It doesn’t absorb. It gets wet, and then whatever makes it wet evaporates, and it’s pretty much unchanged. I actually think having armpit hair helps with air circulation and evaporation and therefore makes me less sweaty/gross. But that’s just my opinion.
Women have existed in a hairy state for most of history and they’ve still been the subjects of art, poetry, and other lauds to their beauty. Armpit shaving hasn’t even been a thing for a hundred years, yet. Not sure about legs. Anyway. I love not having razor burn and irritation, and spending my extra time in the shower thinking instead of conforming to a beauty standard I don’t think is right. I have no intention to start shaving again anytime soon. I’ll let you know if I have enough gall to show anyone else my hairy pits in person, but right now be contented (or disgusted) with at least a few pics to sate your curiosity.