Women will shave if they want to

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Tis’ the season for bearded and scruffy men. 

I love good, thick facial hair on guys more than I love many things. But it’s hard to be a woman and continue wasting money on shaving items such as razors, shaving cream and waxing strips and not be a little envious of the opposite sex. Women’s shaving equipment is much more expensive than men’s. 

Guys don’t even have to shave after “No Shave November” is over. But for women, shaving is a societal norm.

I vividly remember being 10 years old and telling my mom I wanted to start shaving. It seems like such a young age to me now, but all my friends were starting to shave, so I felt like I had to as well. I received my first pack of razors, instructions on how to not give myself a hack job, and have been shaving nearly every week since then.   

I decided to defy what society thinks of my silky, smooth legs last week and tossed my razors in a drawer as I participated in “No Shave November.”  

I wanted to see if I was the only girl participating in “No Shave November,” so I took to social media and used Twitter’s handy poll tweets to see what girls thought about not shaving. Out of the 26 people who voted, 58 percent said they love not shaving. I used Facebook as well to see if girls were going to participate in “No Shave November,” and the majority said they weren’t because they like the feeling of smooth legs too much.

During this experiment, I decided to go around and tell my guy friends I wasn’t shaving for a week. The reactions I received both saddened and amused me. From a guy telling me it’s considered bad hygiene if girls don’t shave to the look of horror on my boyfriend’s face are what made me feel like women only started to shave because of the appeal it has on men. But the idea that women shave for men is oh so very wrong.

Harper’s Bazaar magazine ran an advertisement in May 1915 of a young model in a “sleeveless, slip-like dress posing both arms over her head.” It was custom back then to be covered from wrist to ankle, but after that ad was printed, women began shaving their body hair. Ultimately, my ancestors began shaving because of a stupid ad.

Society and media have an alarming effect on how women manage themselves, which is nothing new, but it’s quite saddening that women were influenced to shave because of the way a dress was designed.

Despite what role society and the media have on women, there’s someone who has just as much power over what you do, and that’s yourself and what you think about yourself.

After a few days of not shaving, I decided to shave again. I felt ashamed at first because I gave up on my quest to defy society, but I realized I didn’t shave again because of the models’ silky legs in the magazines or the guys telling me it’s gross. I shaved because I wanted to and because I actually enjoy shaving.

Whether women decide to shave or not, it shouldn’t be society’s job to say “gross.”

Women continue to defy society’s norms by redefining beauty. If you Google Miley Cyrus, you’re more than likely to find a picture of her colorful, grown-out armpit hair, and many women are starting to follow along with this trend. 

In the end, women will do what they want, and there’s no use trying to change that.