...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Hairy-legged feminist

As I mentioned in the last post I stopped shaving my legs a couple months ago. There is a feminist motivation behind it (I do believe that shaving body hair is an artifice of femininity, though I think there's nothing wrong with it per se as long as you acknowledge the artifice), but honestly the primary reason is laziness. I just don't care about having smooth legs enough to expend the time, energy, and money (not to mention the inevitable nicks and cuts) required in keeping them that way. I wear skirts and dresses often, but to my knowledge I've never been looked at askance by anyone I come across for having hairy legs. If anyone at Shaarie Torah or Kesser Israel, the Orthodox synagogue I went to for a lecture on Monday, thought that it was weird, they kept their opinion to themself.

Occasionally now the kids at school notice my hairy legs. The other day I was wearing a skirt out on the playground, sitting on the corner of the sandbox and watching a group of my preschoolers play. S, a four-year-old girl in my class, came up and stood in front of me. She's sometimes like Jekyll and Hyde but we've been going through a great patch for the past couple weeks. She's going through a period of being very affectionate to me. "I love your legs!" she said. "You have hairy legs, but that's okay!" and then she kissed my knee. I don't let the kids kiss me for a multitude of obvious reasons, but she swooped down so fast that I couldn't stop her. There was nothing to do but laugh and tell her that next time she could just blow me a kiss.

Yesterday I was in the sandbox again in a skirt with C, a four-old-boy. I was wearing a skirt again. "Why do have hairy legs?" he asked. "Some women choose to have smooth legs; some women choose to have hairy legs," I explained in my Objective Observation teacher voice. "Oh," he responded, "...my mom chooses to have smooth legs." "I choose to have hairy legs," I said, and he ran off to play with a friend.

As my leg hair has grown in, I've been interested to notice for the first time that it's kind of patchy. My calves, lower shins, and ankles are pretty hirsute, but there is almost no hair on my thighs, knees, or upper shins. And what hair I do have is pretty light and short. I don't know if it's going to get any longer or darker as it grows, but I did tell Daniel that he could tell me if it gets crazy hairy and starts to bother him.