I have a confession to make–I don’t shave my legs anymore. I know what you’re probably thinking. “Is she nuts?”
I have to admit, I started out like almost every other woman on the planet. When I turned twelve years old, I begged my mom to let me shave my legs. You could barely even see the hair at that age. I was blessed with blonde body hair, so it only could be seen when the light hit it at a certain angle. I regret my naivete. I wish I had been like my great-grandmother who never put a razor to her legs.
After I got into high school, I decided to not shave more than a couple of inches above my knees. And I maintained this from then till the birth of my second child, a girl, and a little while after her birth I thought, Why do I shave my legs? I hate shaving. I’m not going to do it anymore.
I couldn’t really shave past my knees early on in the pregnancy and I didn’t really bother once I was in my third trimester with either of my pregnancies. So why is it acceptable for a woman to not shave when pregnant, but expected after having baby?
Now when I watch television and see a commercial for fill-in-the-blank razor blades, I think to myself How lucky am I to be free of this pressure to fit into some kind of mold that says, “You must shave your legs, or no man will ever love you.” Is that not what we’re teaching our girls? That if they don’t wear make-up, shave their legs, wear their hair a certain way, or dress this way or that that they’re not valued, treasured, and ultimately loved by a man or anyone else?
I refuse to believe that shaving my legs makes me ugly. I am not defined by the hair on my legs or lack thereof. I am defined by the heart I have–the love I show to my husband and children, the kindness I show to strangers, the things I do for others and for God. Looks fade, but only what’s on the inside will remain.
So I really don’t care if you find my confession disturbing or disgusting or repulsive. If you can’t love me with hairy legs, then you never really loved me at all. I am just happy to be free–free to not shave my legs. And I hope that one day when my daughter is old enough to choose whether to shave or not, she’ll see that it is completely up to her and she doesn’t have to feel pressured to do it, because at least one person she knows doesn’t shave her legs–her mama.