Chortle Portal / Confessional

Give Pubes a Chance

One morning I sat down with a mug of coffee to peruse my Facebook Newsfeed. I was delighted to encounter a picture ofMadonna Hair Madonna proudly displaying her hairy armpit.

I love women who are not afraid of their own body hair. I usually keep my own pits shaved pretty high and tight, but every now and then, I let my hair grow out. Then I chase my kids around asking them to “pet my squirrels.” So I was pleased to see Madonna representing for us squirrel-pitted ladies.

As I scrolled down below the photograph, I was disgusted (but not surprised) to see that the internet had some mean things to say about Madonna’s latest statement:

Most commenters were repulsed by the photo of Madonna with her arm up. Some just said “ew” or “gross.” One person doubled down on the insults by suggesting that Madonna needs Botox for her wrinkles as well as a razor (because aging is much ew, just like body hair). Another person said that Madonna’s armpit was “NOT LADY LIKE”.  That comment especially bothered me. I would agree if they had said that armpit hair is not girly, but it absolutely is lady-like.

It seems unfair that body and facial hair are considered masculine even though every adult grows them. As a child, I was excited when I began sprouting body hair; it meant that I was becoming a young woman.  Although some people may not like body hair, it’s something that separates women from girls.  Adults grow hair in the crevices of their bodies. It’s a natural occurrence.

A hairless armpit hasn’t always been the standard. American women had no need to shave their armpits until around 1915, when the sleeveless dress came along. Before then, underarms themselves were considered indecent. Even the word “underarm” was scandalous.  Now, you have ladies like me who swear like sailors and flaunt their pits. Some days, I even make more farts out of my armpits than I do from my butthole.

Women shouldn’t feel pressured to keep their bodies bare. I admit that I have mostly complied with this double-standard, even though I think it’s unreasonable. But I guess I have been an accidental body hair activist for years.

I teach my daughters that body hair is a natural part of growing up. When they say that I need to shave my squirrels, I ask protestersthem why my hair makes them uncomfortable. I also ask them why they think body hair is inappropriate for Mom but totally OK for Dad. Right now they find my fringe opinion embarrassing. But I hope that when they start sprouting their own body hair, they won’t feel gross. Because they aren’t gross.  And Madonna with her armpit full of sandy blonde hair is not gross, either.

The other morning, when I read those nasty comments, I covered my squirrels’ eyes so that they wouldn’t take the Madonna-hatred personally. But I was upset over all the vitriolic attention an unshaved armpit garnished. So I’m planning my protest. Merely growing my hair out doesn’t seem like enough. Maybe I should add some flair to my hair à la Captain Lou Albano. Ponytails or even braids would surely grab people’s attention. I could print up some sleeveless t-shirts with pro-body hair messages: “We’re hair, we’re there, get used to it!” or “Give pubes a chance!”

Are you more offended by the body hair double-standard than you are by Madonna’s hairy armpit? Do you have any plans to protest with me? Please sound off in the comments!

MaryLouPits

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19 thoughts on “Give Pubes a Chance

  1. Excellent post! I’ll protest with you, I’m usually too lazy to shave much, and too tight to pay for any other form of torture to meet expected feminine standards. The good thing is it’s cold enough here to get away with it for most of the year and not feel too conspicuous. 🙂

    • Yes, the real challenge for me will be my bikini line in the summer… may have to switch to a swim dress to keep from getting nasty looks 😉 Thanks so much for reading and for your comments!

  2. You’ve raised some very interesting questions! I actually hate shaving, and this winter, didn’t do my legs at all. That said, I was very conscious of the fact, and if ever I needed to bare my legs (just the family, you understand, not the public!), I would be rather embarrassed! When my armpit hair gets a little long, it disgusts my two boys – I don’t know why this is. They don’t really know enough about the world to realise that most women shave, and as you say, they don’t say “ergghhh” to dad’s hair!

    • I empathize.. because for all my feminist ideals on the topic of body hair, I still feel insecure exposing my hairy legs or armpits. Now that I’ve committed to growing out, I’m feeling nervous about it. But I guess that means it’s worth doing it.
      My husband read my post and wasn’t very pleased that I won’t be shaving my legs. But I told him I don’t give an F if it makes him uncomfortable. I’m doing this for me 🙂 Hopefully our marriage is strong enough to withstand a couple of hairy legs.

  3. I’m going to be the odd one here and say, I am NOT a fan of body hair. I know it’s natural, but I just don’t like it. After giving birth both times one of the most blissful moments was being able to properly shave again. I can’t help it. I think I would rather get men shaving along with women 😉 I’m not judging others, do whatever you do. It’s my life’s motto. But this girl likes a nice shave.

  4. I am only here because Violet is a nutter and if she likes a post I want to find out why! 🙂

    I am not a great fan of Madonna ( music) to be honest, with or sans hair.
    But ones body is one;s own business. Haír or not.

    I only ever shave my face and the one time I was obliged to shave for a minor op, and after confidently informing the nurse I had shaved myself, she and her young assistant insisted on conducting a thorough examination of said area for any hairs I’d missed;
    much to my embarrassment, and no doubt their amusement to show what she thought of Smart Alecs who shaved themselves to try and avoid embarrassment. Sigh….
    Anyway, ”Smooth” might be okay for Santana but for me it caused enough post op discomfort to dissuade me from ever taking a razor to any hair besides my beard.

    • LOL That is the best story I’ve heard this week! Thank you for stopping by and commenting!
      And I’m sorry for your pain, but glad you can empathize. Shaving is such a chore.

  5. I have an informal protest about this every time I get too busy to get myself waxed, which is usually. Not sure if that counts as joining you, since I do start to feel I should cover myself up and also it isn’t deliberate.

    I met someone recently who just doesn’t shave, though – never has. I have to say I felt uplifted and relieved at her attitude, and also, I didn’t even notice til she told me (but I may be super unobservant).

    Have a look here for more thoughts via Jackie Mallon:
    http://jackiemallon.com/2014/03/03/the-shock-of-the-old/

    • Ooh, thanks for referring me to Jackie Mallon’s blog. I really enjoyed that post! I found it very interesting how many women had terrible things to say about Madonna’s arm hair! I wish the people who “just don’t like” body hair on women would give some thought as to why that is..?

      Honestly, I have a bias about it as well.. I don’t particularly like it on myself. It makes me feel masculine. But I feel like I’ve been conditioned to feel that way, so I’m embracing it. At least until swimsuit season is in full swing 🙂 Thanks for your comments!

  6. I felt my ears burning! Using my name in vein, were you? I’m delighted 🙂
    It is interesting how women are more disgusted by female body hair than men. Men don’t realize how much effort goes into the simplest date. Hours of prep. Sometimes my husband come straight from the gym, eschewing the shower. Uh, hello. (We’re still new, so we still do dates) But we women encourage the artifice and present ourselves like little girls. It’s weird! I’ll join your march and wave a placard. Pubes, though, I might need a pep talk…

    • Oh, c’mon Jackie, let those pubes live out their potential! 😉 That was my first-ever pube-pep talk! I totally agree that it’s so weird that we “present ourselves as little girls” as you said. I know that aging is frowned upon, but grooming our body hair to appear young is taking it too far, in my opinion. However, I absolutely do it. And in the past few weeks, since I’ve taken a stand and stopped shaving, I admit that I’m uncomfortable being so hairy. Am I changing the world? Definitely not. But I certainly have myself thinking a lot more about why I feel the way I do.
      Thanks so much, Jackie, for stopping by and commenting!

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