Body Hair Updates

Remember my Word of the Year?

Agrestal. Was it a prophecy or did I jinx myself?

I’ve taken the week to process my legs in their ever-increasing agrestality. Agrestalness? Agrestalation? Agrestaliciousness? My legs are more agrestal each day. This sounds more elegant to me than hairy.

Available at this Etsy seller.

I’ve become rather fascinated with the progress as the days have gone by, which feels healthier than my first reaction. The down is visible to me now but so far no one else has noticed. My morning walking partner says she can’t see it. My trainer (I still see her once a week) didn’t notice. The Chef hasn’t said a word. When I invited him to touch a leg he took a quick swipe, grinned, and said simply, “Feels kinda funny.” I made him take a better feel. He chuckled and made jokes and swore it did not bother him. He was believable.

Every day it gets softer, which is a relief. It seems to be coming in blonde (also a relief) but that doesn’t mean it’s invisible. I’d call mine a honey blonde. Turns gold in the sunlight but looks darker under indoor florescents. The angle also seems to matter. Looking straight down my legs I see it with contrast while from the side it almost disappears. I guess the biggest question I have at this point will be long it will get. I’m calm. I’m curious. I’m not as creeped out as I imagined.

I’m guessing I’m not going to have any real problems with it until someone notices and reacts negatively. From what I’ve read online that’s not a possibility; it’s a certainty. People use harsh language when they react to unshaven women: disgusting, gross, nasty, and people seem to think it’s somehow unhygienic. I understand why people think it’s unfeminine (social programming) but unclean? I don’t get that at all. The hair on my arms and head isn’t unhygienic at work and play. Why would it be any dirtier on my legs? Shaven legs can’t be dirty? Or is that people just associate leg hairs with pubes because they both occur below the waist? But not on men? Is chest/back/neck/arm/toe/knuckle hair on men unhygienic?

From my observations it also seems that anyone who lets her legs become agrestal usually goes the full nine and lets her underarms grow as well.  Seems to be a package deal. So far I’m not feeling that particular urge. Every day that I don’t shave my legs is a day I do shave my underarms. Perhaps this is the kind of change which requires stages of adjustment and after I get all juiced up on freedom and empowerment and wildness I’ll want to go all the way native.

Not today.

I guess what I’m trying to confess here is that I thought this was a crisis and that it was going to require me to be brave brave brave. For heaven’s sake, I was crying when I wrote Monday’s post. I had genuine anxiety over it. And yet I haven’t had to call up any bravery so far, because no one has challenged me, shamed me, or rejected me. It’s not grossing me out. I don’t feel ugly, unfeminine, or unhygienic. My spouse is not offended. No one at work looks at my legs. I got myself all worked up for a crisis. And it’s not. Yet.

I might change my mind if I get bullied in public over it or if a loved one takes issue with it at upcoming family gatherings. But so far I’ve only had to be brave enough to surrender to the idea of it all being so awful. The reality has not been awful. Either I drastically underestimated my ability to adjust my own self-regard, or I overestimated how much my physical appearance matters. Probably a little of both.

— Mercy

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