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Fuzzy Wuzzy Was Disgusting, or Was She? It's a Hairy Situation When It Comes to Mo'Nique, Amanda Palmer, and Their Shaggy Sisters

Julia-roberts-hairy-armpit We have been conditioned to see body hair on women as brazen and unpalatable. While men's armpit, leg, and chest hair is out and about all over the globe, an otherwise pulchritudinous Julia Roberts is suddenly seen as unclean, her hirsute armpit a shameful slap in the face of social decency.

In an age when remaining as hairless as a nine-year-old girl is seen as a nearly mandatory social requirement for women, there is a slow swell rising against the tide of our present definition of femininity. Who are these women who have dared to bare their hair and brave the finger-wagging masses?

One of the most recent offenders of this unwritten rule of femininity is Mo'Nique, who attended the Golden Globes in a gorgeous, floor-length gown with — GASP — unshaven legs:

Monique-hairy-legs

The public needed to know why, why, Mo'Nique would do such a thing, so Barbara Walters stepped in to ask her about her personal grooming choices on international television. Thank you, Barbara.

I tried shaving one time and it was so uncomfortable and so painful. When it grew back, it grew back even thicker and more of it. I said never again would I do that to myself.

Walters also asked Mo'Nique how her husband felt about it, because it is most important how the men-folk feel about a body that is not theirs. "Well, Barbara," Mo'Nique said, "he is a huge asshole who finds me perfectly disgusting, and we haven't slept together since our wedding night." Actually, she did not say that at all, because her husband is fine with her natural body and personal grooming choices, BARBARA.

Other women who have braved horrifying the public with this side effect of sexual maturity include Alicia Silverstone, who showed up at fashion designer Peter Alexander's launch party with hairy legs, Halle Berry, who attended Essence magazine's Black Women in Hollywood Awards luncheon with unshaven armpits, Céline Dion, who has been caught both fuzzy-legged and bushy-armpitted more than once over the years, and we can't forget Amanda Palmer, who also graced the Golden Globes red carpet with her own display of body hair:

Amanda-palmer  

Reading through the innumerable articles dedicated to criticizing these women for their body hair proved to be a sad exposé of North America's pathological disgust with the natural state of the female body. Apparently, a woman who has left her body to do its own thing is disappointing, disgusting, gross, unfortunate, disastrous, a failure, ugly, lazy, and unappealing. They are "brazen", they "flaunt" it, they have a "laissez-faire" attitude about personal grooming, and we "let it slide". Basically, hairy women are lazy jerks who are flipping the bird at those of us with better sense.

Female body hair is considered so revolting, in fact, that Michael Douglas was "scarred for life" when he saw a woman's woolly armpit at sixteen.

If I didn't know any better, I might think that over half of all adult humanity is so absolutely revolting by nature that society must enforce great lengths to ensure that these gross creatures are able to achieve basic acceptability and save us from seeing their true form.

This is, of course, ridiculous. But, the ridiculousness of this extreme stance against the natural state of woman didn't stop a co-worker from telling me that my leg hair is disgusting or a friend's mother from vomiting in her mouth when she saw my furry ankle flash out from under my skirt.

Their pathology is laughable to me, but it sends a terrible message to every man, woman, and child who is fed this sad line of bullshit from their very first sighting of an ad for razors, vaginal douches, or other feminine hygiene products that signs of female sexual maturity — extra body fat, menstruation, and increased body hair — are shameful curses that must be eradicated for the sake of others.

This message tells us all that a woman's body itself is the very thing that renders her inferior, and it makes me sad that our culture goes so far as to turn our own bodies into prisons against our social freedom.

There is nothing wrong with depilating yourself from head to toe if that is what you like to do, because we all have our own aesthetic preferences, but when it is done out of a sense of disgust with your natural self, it comes from a place of self-loathing, and that is not okay.

As far I and all of nature is concerned, fuzzy is fine, and this pig? Don't need no lipstick.

. . . . .
Schmutzie may not need lipstick per se, but it sure adds a splash of colour to her occasionally anaemic pout.







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Comments

Kim S.

Sing it, sister!

steff

well i will admit that i DO rid my body of hair out of disgust and no, i am not proud of it, it just makes me feel ugly seeing hair sprout in places it just should not be.
in regard to the Michael Douglas quote, i can honestly say that looking at his face has at least caused me to FEEL "scarred for life" on more than one occasion.
so take that.

BaltimoreGal

People need to get a LIFE. Admittedly, i'm blonde so can go a very long time w/out shaving and it's not very noticeable. So I just do it every once in a while. If I had to do it a lot, I am sure I wouldn't. And there is no way I am signing up for the world of waxing. I have no interest in looking like a pre-pubescent girl.

I had this discussion with a guy the other day- men shave, so what's the big deal? Well, a man shaving his FACE is NOT equivalent to a woman shaving most of her body, last I checked. If I shave my ankles, armpits & knees that's more than a man has to shave.

Erin

I have a 15 year old daughter and we have had this discussion often. I do shave my legs, in the summer, not the winter. She is virtually hairless and wants to shave, and I think that she shouldn't start. But I also don't want her to be made fun of, and that will happen, whether it is right or not.

Sometimes being a girl stinks.

kelly @kblogger

Rock. On.

What a fantastic article. Retweeted.

PurpleBecca

THANK YOU!!! I could not agree more! I only shave when I really feel like it...which is rarely. I cannot believe that some women do it so often. If hair "should not be" someplace, it wouldn't grow there.

heidi

The only hair on my body that disgusts my is my chin hair. (I am old and am starting to sport a beard.) I do shave when I feel like it but as for waxing and daily shaving - HA! No way.

norm

Amanda Palmer - she's awesome and gorgeous, but perhaps bad example here? I mean, hello, what did she do with her eyebrows? Yeaowhch.

incognito

I look forward to this discussion in the comments. I consider myself wholly feminist and body hair on a woman doesn't bother me any more than body hair on a man.

That said, I don't really like body hair on a man. The first boy I dated shaved his pits because his dad taught him it was more hygienic and that seemed rather civilized to me (I'm not big on B.O., either). Maybe that's what led me to associate clean-shaven with clean. But it's not just pits. I've always preferred the sleek, shaved leg of the swimmer and the cyclist. And as far as men go I'm not wild about facial hair unless it's very tidy, so in my book they actually require a more extensive toilette than do women.

So then I wonder if I have a problem with "manly" men and wonder if I'm reverse prejudiced. I THINK it's just that I like the human body and I like being able to SEE it.

Of course it goes without saying that I ultimately married a hairy dude. When we first dated he WAS a cyclist but now he's quite the shaggy ape. (How does he get the deoderant into that thicket??) Sad for me, and I will admit I comment on the curtain of hair on his legs, but I'd never ask him to shave anything off for ME. Once when we were dating he noticed that his roommate had clippered off his chest hair and so he did the same - it looked terrible and I FELT terrible that he might have done it for my benefit. I realized, if I hadn't already, that it was not for me to pick and choose where he could be hairy. I feel guilty enough that he shaves his face every day (his choice) - it seems like more of a drag than my every-other-day leg swipe - if I don't feel like it, I can always just wear pants. When he skips, he looks completely unemployable.

Ah well. There's undeniably a cultural requirement for women to be hairless and I think it's brave of women who do what they like knowing they'll have to deal with the peanut gallery. More power to you. That said, I don't think you can blame individuals who were brought up with that aesthetic for having it, all you can ask them is to recognize that it's not particularly rational.

incognito

Wow, run off at the mouth much? Sorry for the novel.

Suzy Q

I also don't shave very often but have very light blond leg and underarm hair (and no current sexual partner). In fact, I'm sprortin' some sprouts right now. But, I really don't know what I would do if my hair was black and therefore showy.

Since I live in a tropical climate, I can't imagine having long underarm hair, if only just for the sweat issue. Oh, I know all about the "wicking away from the body" thing and what Nature intended. I just think it would be uncomfortable for me.

Solmaz

this was great. also great wrap up:
"There is nothing wrong with depilating yourself from head to toe if that is what you like to do, because we all have our own aesthetic preferences, but when it is done out of a sense of disgust with your natural self, it comes from a place of self-loathing, and that is not okay."
The worst part is lots of women agree and behave based on this but won't admit to it.

Nancy

I live in Vegas. It's too damn hot for a fur coat here, especially one that's attached to me all the time. Yes, I suppose there's the natural sunblock benefits, but the last think I need is something else to make me sweaty.

If folks want to grow out their fur, have at it. Sorry, kids. It's just not my thing.

Heather

I once had a job in retail fashion that required us to be "hygienically shaven". As if not shaving was not hygienic. It made my blood boil.

Robin

I haven't shaved my legs since 1993 and util a couple of years ago, my armpits were consistently shaggy as well. Because I perform with a dance troupe, I'll shave my pits for a consistent look when we are wearing sleeveless costumes, but I refuse to believe that my leg hair is so noticable that a flash of fur would be jarring amongst my smooth sistren. From on stage? Nonsense.

And I only shave the pits for a performance.

Coyote

As a guy I've never understood the shaving thing. Nor have I ever cared. I personally hate shaving my face, let alone any other part of my body, so why should I expect anything like that from anyone else.

So I'm totally down with ya Schmutzie! Ladies, if you feel you need to shave, go right ahead. But I don't expect it.

Maria

Thank you. This is awesome.

Becky

My husband shaves everything on his body Except his chest. He has done it since he was a teenager in Puerto Rico. No one there even put a thought into what another person shaved. Now that he is in the states he gets comments from men and women all the time. Sometime it's a casual "that's odd" and sometimes it's a harsh "dude that's gay!". It's crazy how much other people care about his body hair.

funda62

I haven't shaved my legs in years. Once my husband admitted he couldn't tell since he has his glasses off when he goes near them that was it for me! Why was a shaving for a man anyway? :shakes head: I do shave my underarms because I don't like to wear deodorant and begin to get ripe if the hair is long as well. I hope my daughters never pick up a razor though I'll help them if they make that choice.

funda62

Oh and my husband also shaves his underarms and other um parts of his body as is the cultural appropriate for Turkey were he is from. I hate men's underarm hair. Blerg.

Kate of the North

I was disappointed by the Sex and the City movie's attitude toward female body hair, when so-called "liberated" Samantha criticized her friend Miranda for not getting a bikini wax.

Kate of the North

re: previous commenter's remark about deodorant:

just discovered that if I rub some baking soda between my palms and rub them over my armpits after washing them, there is no odour. Cool!

Katie

To be quite frank I am SHOCKED ladies that you feel you don't need to shave! Mamapop is certainly a melting pot of cultures and approaches to life, because, call me dumb!, but I honestly would have never thought such a stance so popularly existed amongst young women!

cagey

Michael Douglas? He is something a I would rather carry, than marry. (Pssst! Dude, SUNSCREEN, you look like a HANDBAG.)

Sadly, I am anti-hair for myself, pro-hair for everyone else. Since my daughter descends from a major Pelt Belt in the world (India!), I really hope that I can get her to accept her Destiny of Supreme Hirsuteness.

Keely

You rock. I hate shaving my pits & legs and will avoid it as long as possible, but I eventually do because it's freakin' itchy. I used to care what other people thought, but now it's just cause I'm uncomfortable.

The single, random, super long hair that occasionally appears on my forehead overnight though? That sucker is just gross.

Betsy

I know I've told you this before, but I've gotta say it again: I love you, Schmutzie!

Mark

I love beautiful powerful women with unshaven armpits. Please never shave them - you're lovely as nature intended!

Anna

Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman are cynical Scientologists in a business relationship. Every moment of their lives is contrived to get your money and attention.

Neil Gaiman just donated another $500,000.00 to Scientology in 2010 through his business partner Mary Gaiman who received a "Gold Humanitarian Award." Gaiman is a Scientologist and so is Amanda "I can't play a fucking note" Palmer. http://forums.whyweprotest.net/304-celebrity-news/neil-gaimans-scieno-front-65295/

Amanda Palmer is engaged to Neil Gaiman and Gaiman belongs to a cult that opposes free speech and free movement. Scientology runs prison camps for it's members, litigates enemies into silence and is responsible for suicides and suspicious deaths worldwide. Gaiman grew up being audited and intimidated himself and is used to lying. He may not even realize he's a hypocrite. Scientology persecutes gay men and woman, by supporting Prop 8 in CA along with so many crazy scams and crimes I can't list here.

schmutzie

Anna, I'm all for thinking Scientologists are freaky nutjobs, but this has to do with the topic at hand how?

kim/hormone-colored days

So am I the only person who sees the irony in Dove's new deodorant that is supposed to stop or prevent pit hair regrowth? You know, Dove, the brand that helps women love themselves for who they are and what they look like? (Expect if their armpits are getting fuzzy?)

@KimMoldofsky (a total shaver, BTW)

Blondie

As a mostly-blonde-legged woman, I epilate my legs on a kinda monthly basis. But, that's mostly because if I don't do something about the hair, they get ingrown and infected. Shaving or plucking is less of a hassle then de-infecting. As for the pits, I live in a humid, muggy and hot place, so they get shaved 2x a week. That's personal preference, not hubby's. My own BO just bugs me...

Peeved Michelle

When I lived in Alaska, I didn't shave in the winter unless I had a boyfriend. I think smooth legs feel sexy. I didn't shave my pits, though. I liked my furry little pelts.

Now, I shave, I don't shave, I do whatever I feel like doing, whenever I feel like it.

Oh, but I am vain. I get my eyebrows waxed every two weeks and pluck my chin hairs every other day. I like a pretty face and I don't think I look pretty as a gorilla.




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