My Body, My Choice: Body Hair Edition

Maya Lyou, Copy Editor

Although body hair is a mammalian feature on the human body, in order for women to be deemed socially acceptable by society, they must be seemingly hairless on their body. According to social media’s portrayal of body hair, hairless women prove cleanliness and good hygiene. Those statements are contradicted when society claims that it’s okay for men not to shave, in fact, it’s “weird” for men to shave their body hair.

“My body, my choice” is a very popular phrase most commonly referred to when speaking about consent or abortion. People rarely connect that phrase with the simple act of choosing what to wear or drinking alcohol or shaving body hair, but it should be a simple act of respect and consent that seals the deal.

It’s promoted by many celebrities to normalize female body hair, and although many seem to support it on social media, society still does not acknowledge it as “pretty” when an average woman does the same. They’re often faced with criticism, lots of stares, and hate.

On the Instagram account @Feminist, they shared a piece of art that highlights different hate comments women recieve for embracing body hair. You can see that the women’s legs are pointed inwards, a common thing people tend to do when they’re embarrassed.

Body hair is okay. It is not dirty. It is not unhygienic. It is a natural human trait.

“Women’s bodies are constantly politicized and policed, down to the way we grow hair out of our skin, and not everything women do to or with their bodies has to mean something,” said Sofia Barret-Ibarria, guest writer for the Huffington Post.

Many women shave for big events like sports events and professional events. They shave when they wear exposing clothing because they were taught to do so.

While the majority of the country is staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are not shaving. It’s a small example of how the outside world is impacting the way women treat their body.

The concept of body hair and promoting the normalization of it is often misunderstood to be saying that you should not shave. The idea is that it’s YOUR choice to keep your body hair or not.

It is okay to shave and it is okay not to shave. Your body hair does not define your femininity or masculinity. Your choice should not be influenced by social media or the people around you. You have the right to choose what you want to do with your body. You have no obligation to anyone to shave or not to shave.