Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Hairy Situation

    One of the things Joey and have always striven (that is the correct past participle, I double checked) for that is now even more important is living intentionally. That is, we want to make sure that the choices we make have meaning and purpose behind them and we aren't just mindlessly bobbing along. We like to examine our actions and choices and their consequences as well as our intentions to make sure we're keeping the vibes good. Like I said, this is even more important now that Perrin is here because he will learn from how we live more than he will ever learn from what we tell him about living.

   One of the ways this intentional living has manifested itself lately is my recent decision to stop shaving- legs, underarms, ...everything. Let me back up for a minute. I'm not saying there is anything wrong whatsoever with shaving. That's the great thing about your body- you can do whatever you want with it. But for *ME*, I started shaving before there was really anything to shave save some peach fuzz on my calves. And more importantly I started shaving because I just thought that's what girls did. I was a girl, so I had to shave. Girls with hair are gross. If I didn't shave I wouldn't be sexy/pretty/whatever. And this is a problem for me. It's one thing to alter your body because it makes you happy. Altering your body to make other people happy is another thing all together.

   Being comfortable in your own skin and normalizing the human body is very important in our family. Perrin will be bombarded with airbrushed, photo shopped, perfectly groomed images of the human form his entire life. One way to combat this is by promoting media literacy- teaching Perrin how to ask questions and think critically about the images and values that he encounters and where those ideas are coming from and what they mean for him. Another way is make sure he is also exposed to normal bodies and normal expectations.

  So what does this have to do with me shaving my legs? At some point, Perrin is going to want to know why I shave them. Or why Daddy has hairy legs and I don't. Or some variation of those questions. Or maybe he won't ask, but he will notice. And that will become part of his inner understanding of what it means to look feminine. But really, what the hell does body hair have to do with feminity? So to prepare for these seemingly minor lessons, I will be going au naturel for a while.

   Maybe I will find I like not having to shave. Or maybe I will miss being hairless. In that case, when the day comes and Perrin asks me why I do it, I can honestly say "Because it's my body and that's how I like it. Just like some people like to cut the hair on their heads, some people cut their hair in other places." But right now that isn't the case. Right now if someone asked me why I remove body hair, I would honestly have to answer "Because I feel like I'm supposed to. Because I feel like I'm unattractive if I don't." And that is not a lesson I want to teach him. So now I am beginning an experiment to return to my natural form and see how it suits me.

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