I have hairy arms. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with this. But I’ll admit it, they are mildly wolf-like. I haven’t been outcast by society and people don’t mutter their last prayers when I walk past them, yet in the past I was self-concious about the fact that I, a real human being, had hair on my arms. It was ridiculous. This post is a combination of a self-confession and a polite request for society to take a quick reality check: female arm hair is not the result of witchcraft. No, just the result of being human.
At the tender age of 10, arm hair was a far from a pressing issue for me. I was too busy trying not to be awkward and was probably worrying about how my pencil case for arranged. In a nutshell: it was never something I thought about, let alone thought to remove.
I can’t remember exactly the age, but I was around 11 when I was in the bath and got razor happy with my sister’s razor (sorry sis!), and thought ‘Ooo removing hair from my legs makes it really soft, I want soft arms too’. This was the start of a very long arm hair saga for me.
After allowing it to grow in, I ended up with hair much longer and thicker than I had started with. Shoot, better whip that off with my sister’s hair removing cream. A few years on and the same old nonsense was repeating: hair removed, hair grown back, hair worse than before. Urg.
When winter finally came, I let it grow back and wasn’t overly fussed about what was going on under my jumper. That was until maths class. My desk neighbour – the class clown – loudly remarked ‘Shit you’ve got hairy arms. You look like a wolf!’. Cool. Bear with me until I quietly skulk back to square one.
To cut a long and very dull story short, this ridiculous hair removal went on until I was 20. That’s 9 years of worrying that my arms looked funny because they were hairless, or because they had hair. At the age of 20, I was much more open about hair removal, and was relieved but also horrified to find that I was far from the only one!
It transpires that some of my friends epilate or wax their arms on a regular basis (I have tried both – epilating is extremely painful!).I have also asked my local beautician if many women get their arms waxed, and yes – apparently it’s really common.
Why, why, why are we bothering? It’s time consuming, expensive and ultimately we’re all meant to have hair on our arms. Men, if you don’t like it when a woman has hair on her arms, go back to your playpen until you’re old enough to realise that you’re being ridiculous. Women, if you think it’s fun to sneer at another woman for having hairy arms, go find something better to do. Please can we just stop the nonsense of arm hair being ‘un-ladylike’, or whatever other sexist yarns are being spun. Surely we all have better things to be doing that worrying about a perfectly natural part of the human body? Yes, that’s what I thought.
Cool. So now that’s sorted, I need to go and decide if I want to pleat my arm hair or let it go au-naturale today…
C’mon folk, lets stop being so silly about this.