From giving the skin necessary protection from the sun to keeping the body warm during the biting cold weather to retaining vital stem cells in hair follicles, body hair is beneficial and very much an essential part of our natural physique. So when my failure to remove it is termed as being unhygienic, I will not quietly accept is as some form of constructive criticism. Because let’s face it, it is not.
There are no proven biological benefits of hair removal. Why then does a majority of women not only choose to do it, but also believes it to be the correct thing to do? And to add to the horror of that ignorance, the also go to the extent of condemning the women who keep their hair intact. This is mainly because of the evolution of the idea of ideal beauty in our culture and now this cultural hegemony has developed to be a part of the common consciousness and we now perceive it as ‘common sense’. But unfortunately, this common sense is far from being scientific – like how until the 16th century, the belief that the sun revolved around the earth was common sense.
A lot of us are victims of this need to fit into these ideal beauty standards. And that in understandable, because it is difficult to escape this trap that has only become stronger with time, thanks to popular culture and its ever improving reach to the masses through advanced technology. But what is not acceptable is the shunning of women who choose to not follow this norm and backing it with nonsensical reasons of body hair being unhealthy, unappealing or unclean. It is appalling when women who do this call themselves feminists. I am sorry, but that is something you are not.
If, instead of bringing other women down for something so completely harmless we try to understand the origin of this frightening and false widespread belief of certain beauty enhancing grooming practices being essential for hygiene, we can give millions of women their right (which has been long due) to be comfortable in their own skin.