Shy and Upset

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Question

Is it normal for females to have body hair on their breasts and stomachs? I'm just wondering because I do, and I find it very embarrassing. I can't wear a short shirt or bikini top, and showing my body to my partner is very awkward. Is there any other alternative?

Answer

Yes, it's normal. You are a mammal. Not having hair would be as weird as not having nipples. Unfortunately, Western industrialized nations expect women to be smooth-skinned. Getting rid of hair on the legs, underarms, and even the "bikini area" is often expected. There are, as you have experienced, social penalties for letting the fur alone in forbidden zones like the breasts and stomach. I happen to think that fuzzy skin is sexy. It feels silky and soft when it is stroked. But if you want to be perceived as pretty in a conventional fashion, the only alternative you really have is to remove the hair, either by shaving or waxing. If you want the hair permanently removed, you can try electrolysis. I know there are many advertisements for laser hair removal, but I haven't heard good things about the results of that, and it is very expensive.

The other alternative is to leave the fur alone and get political about it. Why should a woman have to alter her body in order to be attractive? Hair removal is painful, expensive, and time-consuming. If you like the way you look, you can perhaps inspire others to share your outlook. Feminist men would be especially receptive to your determination to challenge the dominant rules of feminine image.

On the other hand, there are probably more important goals for feminism than the issue of whether or not you have a fuzzy tummy. So if this is a big hassle, and you can't seem to accept or feel okay about your body, I don't think you should feel bad about removing the hair. I have no idea how important feminism is to you, but if it is, please accept permission from me to make your own decision about this. It is your body. Nobody, including the feminist fashion police, have the right to tell you how you should look.