My relationship with body hair has been complicated. I have hirsutism (Excessive hair growth all over my body) due to PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I’ve been called names because of my hair, I’ve been annoyed with my hair and in the past few years I came around to accept it and not be ashamed of it.
I didn’t even realise the taboo until I got bullied like shit in school–for what? Being that girl with ‘too much’ hair on her face.
I grew up seeing hairless women all over the media, so I obviously believed there was something REALLY wrong with me and my hair everywhere.
4 times my body hair made other people uncomfortable:
- It was back in high school when not just boys but also girls, bullied me for having hair on my chin and neck. They’d say ‘teri toh ladkon ki tarah daardi hai’ (‘you have a beard like guys do’). That brought my confidence down to Antarctic level cold. I still remember how I’d keep my folded fists on my face to cover my facial hair so no one would notice them.
- And then the occasional stare at my chin with friends and relatives asking me about how I handle my ‘hair problems’ and the annoying comments seeing my unwaxed fingers or legs, ‘Omg, you’re due for a wax ya.’
- ‘Your mustache is better than mine’, said another guy friend. *eyes rolling*
- While getting my eyebrows done, parlour aunties be like ‘upper lip toh kara lo, aapki fair skin pe dikhta hai’ (get your upper lip done, at least, the hair shows more on your fair skin).
- And the naked truth—I didn’t accept my body hair myself. I realised it when a few years back I had sex for the first time—totallly bare and super conscious—only because my body wasn’t waxed. But fast forward to 2020; I am a proud bush believer.
My body hair is my business.
Body hair shaming needs to stop. Seriously. Nowhere does that mean that we shame women for waxing or shaving. How you choose to keep your hair is a personal choice and everyone has the right to make theirs for themselves.
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