If you're a woman, EVERYTHING, apparently. It's not only that patriarchy made us adhere to the beauty standards that make us women want to be thin as sticks, young-looking as prepubescent girls, and sexually inexperienced and chaste and quiet (pumping money into cosmetics and plastic surgery industries that literally prey on insecurities implanted in women since birth), it made us police ourselves. How many times when you go online you see women telling other women how to dress, what to wear, what makeup to apply, shave or not shave? Yeah, a lot. And what happens to anyone who dares to step out of line and do whatever the hell she wants with her body?
She gets yelled it, humiliated, shamed, punished, trolled. You name it.
Ever since I've announced that I'm growing out my armpit hair and my pubic hair and my leg hair and even my boob hair (well, there are like two hairs around each nipple), I've been having people commenting on my posts (about hair) with hostility, some of it polite, some passive-aggressive, some charged with personal anger that has nothing to do with me or with my hair. Amazing. So in the eyes of those people I have somehow crossed some taboo. As a person, I must be put back in place. Why?
BECAUSE OF MY DAMN HAIR.
This makes me laugh, and then at the end of laughing I start crying. Because I realize how strong this monster is, the monster against which I started fighting only recently. Because this monster as as ridiculous as the monster of racism, where people hate other people simply for the color of their skin. If you think about it conceptually, if you remove all the history of suffering behind it, how ridiculous is it? We're in infancy as society. We're fucking babies. We have so much work to do, it's not even funny. Well, I'm ready to keep fighting no matter what it takes.
Pictures of armpit hair are coming, so are pictures of my pubic hair, so are pictures of me naked. I'm on the path of liberating my body that's been battered and hurt and abused, and that I grew to hate. Well, I LOVE IT NOW. Not fully yet. I'm learning to love parts that I despised, and growing out my hair on my body is part of this process. Freely sharing the images of my body is part of this process.
We talked with Royce about it for a long time. I used to have a nice camera (sold it) and he took some amazing shots of me naked on the bed. Through his pictures, through his love for my body I actually for the first time in my life liked what I saw. It was stunning to me. I froze when I got the meaning of this. When he can afford a camera he wants, he'll start taking pictures of me again, and I will share them with you, I will share with you my love for my body, my healing, my humanity that is my hair and skin and bones and that is me and my brain and my mind. I encourage you to do the same. I've talked with Anna about it, and she supports me, and when your children support you, it's huge. She also sent me a website of her friend who is doing just this, and an Instagram account of a photographer who posts pictures of people's naked asses in nature, and it's so fucking liberating to see that we are slowly coming to loving our bodies and shedding all that crap that's been stuffed in our heads of what we should or shouldn't do.
Fuck this shit. (It's been lately my favorite phrase.)
I'm no less me if I'm bald and shaved all over, or if I'm hairy as a Neanderthal. I'm still me. I'm still me when I'm naked, and I'm still me when I'm clothed. I'm me when I'm angry and sad and happy and calm.
The problem is not in shaving or not shaving body hair, the problem is in having a choice. Until recently, I had no choice. I didn't even know I could NOT shave. It was unacceptable in my mind. No man has ever been fired (tell me if I'm wrong) for not shaving his armpit hair or not wearing makeup and showing up like that to work. Now imagine a bank teller showing up at the local bank branch in a sleeveless summer dress with her armpit hair black and curly and her face free of makeup. Let's add no pantyhose to this, and her lovely leg hair black and curly too. What will happen? At best, she will be called in to the manager who will tell her it's unacceptable. At worst she will be fired right away. If she persists, she will be fired either way. You see? This is no laughing matter.
WOMEN HAVE NO CHOICE.
It's a matter of survival, or life and death. She has children to feed and rent to pay. She will die without food and out in the street without a roof over her head. And that is what people don't see, those who get all pissed off at me for growing out my body hair, which is none of their fucking business. But because women's bodies are objectified and publicly discussed in our society, so these people think they have permission to tell me what I should or shouldn't do with my body.
And that is tragic.
That is what our kids see. Still. We had a discussion with our boys at dinner one night, and they understood it very quickly and said they didn't like the fact that girls feel they have to wear makeup and do their nails and obsess over it, and they like them just natural, without any beautification, and it was amazing to see the light go on in their eyes. They got it. They got why. And I almost cried. It took me so long to get to this, and there is so much work to do still, but they got it. They understood.
Now imagine what will happen next. I will get better at writing. I already am, I can feel it. My books will sell better and better. I'll get more and more attention. Now, I will also keep freeing myself and start posting pictures of liberated me, naked, hairy, whatever. THERE WILL BE PEOPLE THAT WILL SAY, "Oh, her? Yeah, people buy her books because she's posting pics of her boobs and vagina online. What a whore."
Lovely logic, isn't it? Well, I don't give a flying fuck about it. If I could, I'd post pictures of my liver, though this is crossing into Janna category, and I better not go there. I better only cut people apart in my books, right? Right.
Well then, here you have it. My rant on hair is over. And if you laughed and cried and got disgusted while reading this, and maybe even offended, then that is awesome. My job as a writer is done here. I made you think. I made you feel. Now go and make your own revolutions, and let's make this crazy world we live in a little more understanding, a little more open, a little more loving, word by word by word. And picture by picture by picture. Or armpit hair, of course. What else?