Why do so many Asheville women choose not to shave their underarms? It’s a turn off for me. Is this the new trend?
Sincerely, Not Into It
Dear Not Into It,
Oh, it’s a turn off for you? I didn’t realize. I’ll spread the word then. You can expect every woman to start shaving ASAP, once they hear it’s not your preference. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that. How traumatizing!
Was that sarcasm spread a little thick? I was actually holding back quite a bit. Why? Because you sound like an jerk. Woman are not your playthings. We’re not props set before you to entice and delight your senses. We’re actual real life human beings who have every right to adorn, groom and present ourselves however we see fit.
You asked if this is a new trend and the answer is yes. Not specifically regarding body hair, but in general, regarding women following their own compass and choosing their preference over yours. You can expect to see more and more women presenting themselves in a way that fits with their lifestyle and makes them happy, confident, and comfortable. Sorry if happy, confident woman are not your preference. That sounds like a personal problem.
Shaving one’s underarms has never been about cleanliness or femininity. It was simply a fashion trend that evolved into yet another way to make money off of women and brainwash them into thinking that we are not ideal in our natural state. That’s what these various standards of femininity are all about: making sure that women are constantly chasing an unobtainable, unrealistic Barbie doll version of ourselves until we drop dead.
The idea that women’s “objectionable hair” should be removed for fashionable purposes was first introduced via an advertisement in Harper’s Bazaar in 1915 due to the popularity of the sleeveless dress. As hemlines were raised and fashion changed, the trend graduated from just the removal of pit hair to leg shaving. Hair shaving has been in and out of fashion for the past hundred years. From the looks of it, it’s less in fashion now and likely to stay that way because women are getting sick of being told what to do.
I want you to ask yourself some questions. Why is it such a turn off for you? Is it because you think it’s unsanitary? Shaving often leads to cuts and ingrown hairs that are prone to infection and irritation, so not shaving is often more sanitary that slicing those hairs off. Do you consider it butch or unfeminine? I hate to break it to you, but the line between masculinity and femininity are becoming blurrier and blurrier. You can either embrace it or end up as the grouchy old man swinging his cane at children from the front porch preaching about the good old days when men were men and women were hairless.
I understand that we all have the things we are attracted to and we all have turn ons and offs, but I feel like when you allow those turn offs to become prejudices you are doing yourself a disservice. You limit the amount of real connections you are going to have with people in this lifetime. I, for one, opened up a world of love and friendship when I stopped judging men who wore sandals and socks. I mean, I still don’t understand it, but I no longer let it get in the way of me getting to know the lunatic.
I encourage you to challenge yourself and see if you can change your preferences or at the very least become a little more open minded. And if you can’t then it’s all moot anyway because I don’t think a woman who chooses not to shave her armpits would be attracted to you. I don’t think your views about free will and self-expression are those women’s preferences either.
Sincerely, A Woman
Ask A Woman is an anonymous advice column wherein this Asheville writer gives candid, honest advice about everything from consent to dating to harassment and whatever else you people cook up. I’m providing a platform of anonymity, not so either of us can hide behind invisibility, but to eliminate egos and insecurities and cut out the bullshit in an effort to perpetuate education. If you would like to ask me a question for my column, drop me a line here. -Eve S. Dropper