• Rosemary Mac Cabe

'If the Underarms are That Bad, Imagine What the Downstairs is Like'

I'm watching America's Next Top Model. I could get into a long rant about how I haven't been sleeping lately (again) and can't concentrate on much more than Hollyoaks and Home & Away at the moment, but you can imagine how that conversation would go so instead I'll focus on - yay! - women's body hair! I recently wrote a post over on my fashion blog about my laser hair removal treatment, and I'll admit that I am really conflicted about it, in hindsight. At the time I figured, it's easier than waxing, and more comfortable than shaving - and the process itself was relatively straightforward - but now I wonder if I'm conforming to so much that I never really wanted to conform to.


In this episode of ANTM I'm currently suffering through, Ren, the "free spirit" character, doesn't shave her armpits, and both the girls and the judges are outraged. I share their outrage, although perhaps not the sentiments behind it. If Ren wants to be a model - surely the one career move for which you absolutely, 100%, have to conform (if not to the stereotype then to the latest stereotype) - then she's going to have to get over this free spirit shit and get down with her hair removal process.


But why does having body hair automatically mean you're a "free spirit" or - worse - a feminist?! (That's sarcasm, btw; I had a conversation with a male friend at the weekend wherein I convinced him that he is a feminist, which might be my greatest moral victory, oh, this month.) Body hair is natural. We all have it, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. It doesn't mean anything about you, much like getting rid of said body hair doesn't mean anything either, except that you've made a choice, an entirely aesthetic one.


I wonder, sometimes, if my own hair removal choices have to do with what I think men will think about me, or my desires to conform with what modern society thinks women are - and I honestly don't know the answer to that question. But I wonder: does having body hair make me a bad "girl"? Because I'm sure as hell that it doesn't make me a bad woman.I could tell you more of the perils and pitfalls of solitary living, but just now I have spotted what looks like the lid of my dry shampoo, beneath the magazine rack in the sitting room, beside an enormous ball of dust that I shall have to, forthwith, scoop under the couch. There's a lot of cleaning to do when you live on your own, you know.

Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

©2020 by Rosemary Mac Cabe. Created with Wix.com