Saturday, 7 July 2012


The Devil Wears Prada on E4 was proving just as boring as I thought it would be, so I found myself waching a BBC3 documentary, How to Get a Life, which was exploring how appearance affects us and the lengths some people go to in order to keep them up.

On this show were a group of girls, young, feisty and feminist, Those Pesky Dames, who I found on the internet to be vloggers whose aim is to "challenge sexism, discuss feminism, and generally annoy misogynists". I immediately took a liking to their ideas and what they stand for, and not just because one of them had an utterly magical miniature TARDIS hung around her neck.

Those Pesky Dames on Cherry Healey's How to Get a Life

I remember when I was about thirteen, I overheard some girls in my year talking about waxing and plucking and all those awful-sounding things people do to themselves to rid their limbs of hair. I was condescendingly disgusted and appalled - what are children doing, shaving themselves?

Years later, watching this programme on TV, I'm no longer shocked by the general public's gross misconceptions that body hair is dirty, abnormal, repulsive. I'm no longer disgusted at people who seek to remove body hair - this has been replaced by indifference to what they do with their own bodies, which is absolutely their business.

Nevertheless, I am sickened by this general public who seems to quietly condemn those who choose to remain hairy, rejecting them as ugly, unclean and unfit to look at or be with. With unrealistic images implemented by glossy magazine photos of mere fantasies, and peers whispering in each other's ears defining what's acceptable and what's not, yet another criteria of 'beauty' impresses itself on the collective public mind.

Much to many's disbelief, people grow body hair, on arms, legs, face, and those places where the sun don't shine. If you wish to pretend you don't, if you wish to pretend body hair is something that should not, must not be there, that's your freedom. If, however, you wish to let your body be, what's wrong with that? It's preposterous that something your body naturally grows is seen as so disgusting, and doing nothing to remove it is such a taboo.

No one should feel like there is a public pressure pushing personally down on you, no one should feel that it's compulsory to wear make-up or have a certain skin tone or be smooth and shiny and hairless like a Barbie, not even just to be 'beautiful', but to be deemed acceptable to walk out into the street. I want to melodramatically scream 'FREEEEEDOM' in slow motion, which is laughably ridiculous, but that's what this is all about, in the end.

Those Pesky Dames aren't preaching anti-hair removal. Neither I nor they are hippies or lesbians or whatever apparently-derogatory label you want to throw. We're preaching something else, and you have to scream it melodramatically in slow motion.


  1. People judge body hair on women way too much. Everyone needs to get over it. Women are not perfect hairless beings and it should be shown more so that people can understand that and women don't have to feel the pressure to rip out every hair on their body.I wrote a short post inspired by how my beautician was horrified that I let my underarm hair grow for a while until I shaved

    1. Urgh I totally agree. I'm fine with my hairy limbs and my sideburns and moustache and you know I would love to have a beard so I can stroke it when I'm in deep thought (which doesn't happen that often.)


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