Do you shave, wax or use a nasty, smelly cream?
I’ll wager that if you are an adult woman, you are bound to do one of them. And have done hundreds of times since you first reached the shores of puberty.
I know some of us are inclined to be somewhat lax in this regard during the winter months when our oxters are only exposed for the briefest time between pyjamas and clothes and never, ever outside in public. As soon as the sun shines, or the occasion demands less garment in the sleeve area, it’s bald pit time.
But I didn’t always. There was a time, some 15 years ago, when I let the follicles of my underarms do their worst. And I loved it. At the time I had lost weight and enjoyed my new shape. I was confident and really enjoyed the little gasp sight of my furry armpits would cause. People were shocked and I was having fun.
I let all my body hair grow and it was also a damn sight easier not to have to bother with the whole painful, expensive rigmarole. And tufts of soft underarm hair was far nicer than stubble.
I can’t remember exactly what prompted me to return to the razor – perhaps my confidence began to buckle under pressure, or maybe the need to conform was too strong. After a while I found it hard to keep up an air of I don’t care in the face of other people’s disgust.
The sight of Emer O’Toole on This Morning looking beautiful as she displayed her bushy pits brought it all back.
Back then, though, women were still allowed a healthy triangle of pubic hair, they were just supposed to make sure it stopped before the leg of their knickers did. It was in the days before the Brazilian.
Now, I gather, it’s normal, preferred even, to get every bit of your body hair whipped off leaving – optionally – an improbably skinny strip of pubes. I am delighted to be too old and too married to have to bother with this nonsensical practice.
But where will it end? Will girl children now grow up expecting that they must remove every single sprout from everywhere in order to pass muster?
Consider this. Women are hairy. Some more than others. We have hairy labia, hairy mons pubis, hairy stomachs, breasts and armpits. Our pubes don’t know they’re supposed to stop before they get to leg or buttock, but we pretend they do.
But because women are so efficient and automatic about the removal of currently unwanted hair, girls are growing up not knowing that we’re all at it. I remember as a teenager feeling bewildered and mystified that I had all this hair and, as far as I could see, no one else had it. What was wrong with me?
And in the face of balder bodies visible in more places, surely this must be getting worse and worse. At least then it was possible to sneak a reassuring peep at the ubiquitous copy of The Joy of Sex hidden somewhere in the house.
How about it then? Let’s leave off the Bic, the Immac and the wax. We’ve nothing to lose but our shaving rash and ingrowing hairs.