Leg Hair, Don’t Care

I’m not a big fan of the movie theater experience, though I’ve recently found myself in those sticky dark rooms twice in as many weeks. Just on Sunday I was seeing Mad Max: Fury Road (just as awesome as everyone says it is). The other was Pitch Perfect 2 (which was as mediocre and dependent on stereotypes as everyone says it is– and I really liked the first one).

But for me the most offensive part of Pitch Perfect 2 wasn’t the unnecessary joke about “lady-boys,” the fact that Beca was the only character defined by more than her stereotype, or that useless original song. It was the Shick commercial that played in the previews.

Like, seriously. What the fuck?

I’m of the “do what you want, beauty is choice” school of thought- so if someone feels the need to remove all their body hair, good for them. I do think we need to critically examine why we feel this need, especially when it ends up being completely one-sided, but whatever- go to town, do whatever. But still, what the unholy fuck is this commercial? First, it seems dedicated to shaming the girls who don’t have perfectly smooth legs. Second “leg hair like a porcupine?” Maybe everyone is different but when you straight up don’t shave your legs you know what’s not a problem? Prickles!

At the time of writing this I haven’t shaved my legs since March. I’m not 100% against it- sometimes I get really bored and it’s a great way to kill time. But you know what I discovered over years of actually trying to shave my legs? A) I don’t do a very good job at it. B) I can’t shave my knees unless I want to bleed everywhere. C) It really dries out my skin and D) Why the fuck am I putting effort into something I don’t care about and is no one’s business?

“But Manbeast!” You ask, “Doesn’t he like, care?”

We’ve been together for five years and I was pretty honest from the get go- I’m not about deforesting my body, and I’m a lazy slob. Does he like me better with shaved legs and longer hair? Yes. Does he understand and respect the fact that he doesn’t have to live in this body so I get the ultimate say in what goes on with it? Yes. Is his attraction to me further reaching than “leg hair?” Hell yes.

And if you’re in a relationship and your answer to any of these questions is “No,” DTMF because you’ve got bigger problems than whether or not you care about shaving.

And you know, it goes both ways. I prefer him with a clean-shaven face and really wish he’d think about getting rid of his leg and armpit hair. I also wouldn’t complain if he dabbled in eyeliner. He has absolute no interest in indulging these requests in any way. We both have physical deal-breakers, we’re allowed to. But body autonomy trumps relationship. I’m not trying to make a politicized feminist statement (though don’t get me wrong, I am a feminist), I just want to be comfortable in the only body I have to live in.

I don’t really like having leg hair, if someone were to offer to laser it all off for me for free I’d consider taking them up on it. But the thing is, I have hair that bothers me a lot more, that compromises my quality of life and makes me outrageously uncomfortable. But that hair is on my head. And when I express a desire to shave my head I can get the exact same reactions as to why I don’t shave my legs- “Why would you ever want to do that?” usually followed with “Well I would never” (cool for you, I don’t have to live in your body, I don’t care what you do with it.) I’ve had to argue with hairdressers to give me a pixie cut before because “that’s like, really short. Don’t you want longer hair?”

And that commercial would be fucking obnoxious to begin with. I don’t need remixed pop songs and choreographed dancing about shave gel and razors any day or time. But if they were just singing about how  nice and smooth their legs were, I’d let it slide. It’s the shaming, how the unshaven women are the butt of the joke until they’re rescued, and the idea that your legs aren’t fit to be seen until they’re hairless that bothers me. My legs aren’t fit to be seen because they are pasty, scarred up messes, but they have far less hair than your average man in shorts. So if it bothers me that I’m a woman, and I have leg hair, but it doesn’t bother you when you have to see some Sasquatch man barelegged, you need to re-evaluate your priorities and gender expectations.

And you know what? I bet Furiosa doesn’t fuck around shaving her legs, and she’s way cooler than any of the Bellas (even though I love me some Anna Kendrick).

Makeup on Mondays

I look just as “pretty” and professional without makeup as I do with. I think just about everyone does. Some mornings I’m don’t wear makeup because I’m running late, feeling uninspired, and sometimes I’m just lazy.

That said, I always try to wear makeup on Mondays. Why? My Mondays don’t always set the tone for the rest of the week (fortunately) I always try to make a point and do something, even if it’s the least amount of something, on Mondays. It means I start my week feeling motivated and pulled together, and it makes me more likely to put time into my appearance the rest of the week. I work in a pretty casual workplace that’s pretty desk-based, but I do have to make sure that I’m wearing something that will allow me lift and carry a variety of boxes, and I never want to wear something I don’t want to get super dusty. Also if it’s a super hot day I’ll want to wear something light enough that I don’t die on my way to or from work, but then I’ll need to throw on another layer or two once I get to the office. So sometimes all my outfit planning is for naught as I just end up burrowing into a shapeless sweater.

This morning I forced, really forced, myself to do my makeup. Just some black pencil eyeliner, some matte grey eyeshadow (yup, only one color on the whole lid) and some “my lips but better” colored lipstick. Not even a foundation! And I instantly felt more awake and more ready to take on the day. It’s always fun when I have the time to really craft a look but the something is better than a nothing.

By Wednesday I’ll probably be back to my usual Bridge-troll self, but it’s good to take that time for yourself on Monday morning.

*Never wear makeup? I would recommend finding another small thing that makes you feel like a put-together grownup and make sure you do that on Mondays. Maybe it’s blow drying your hair, or sitting down to drink you coffee. The ritual is more important than the what.

Irreverent Reviews: Nadine West 2

I got a second April package from Nadine West! I am not sure if that takes the place of the May one, or is a special extra bonus, but I was super happy to receive two shipments in one month! Unfortunately, this didn’t have any must-have treasures for me, like the last shipment did.

Even though this package was a miss in terms of me keeping anything, I was still pleased with the quality and with the fact that they were sending me things I should like in theory (if Pandora has taught me anything, it’s that the stuff I like and the stuff I don’t like are a very thin line away from each other).

Let’s see what there was!

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I forgot to snap a photo of the invoice so I don’t have the names or prices for the items. Boo on me. This was a wrap bracelet that came in a nice little pouch and took a long time to get untangeled. It was long enough I could wear it as a necklace, and it didn’t feel like I could get it wrapped enough around my freakishly tiny wrists. I also wasn’t crazy about the way the little balls bunched.

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This necklace was also a tangled mess. It looks long but actually had a very short connecting piece at the top and really only hung at the top of my boobs. I liked it, but I didn’t love it.

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This is not the same shirt as last time, I promise! Even though it is the same color. This one sort of crosses over itself, so the fabric in the lower right corner (of the picture) is different than the rest of the fabric. This was comfy and I liked it, but again, I didn’t love it and wasn’t really sure where I’d wear it.

So I sent everything back because there were no “loves” and I have too much stuff already to take on pieces that don’t make me scream “Yes, I need this!!” Overall I’m still happy with Nadine West. Not everything can be a win and the necklace I received last time was such an incredible high, it is hard to beat. They’re on the right track though, and that’s the most important thing to me, because I can be so picky.

Remember, Nadine West is free to get, you only pay for what you keep, so you can sign up using my affiliate link and get 3 pieces (on average) of clothes and jewelry delivered each month!

Blogging for Books: The World Before Us

The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter, is a beautiful novel.It has a very similar tone to several other semi-spooky, gothic-esque, British-based novels I’ve read in the past few years, but it stands out as a unique piece in many different ways. It took me a long time to get through it, because grad school this term has been brutal, but it was not at all because of book quality.

I will try to keep this review spoiler-free, but make no promises that I won’t accidentally let something slip!

“When she was just fifteen, smart, sensitive Jane Standen lived through a nightmare: she lost the sweet five-year-old girl she was minding during a walk in the woods. The little girl was never found, leaving her family, and Jane, devastated. Now the grown-up Jane is an archivist at a small London museum that is about to close for lack of funding. As her one last project, she is searching the archives for scraps of information related to another missing person–a woman who disappeared some 125 years ago from a Victorian asylum. As the novel moves back and forth between the museum in contemporary London, the Victorian asylum, and a dilapidated country house that seems to connect both missing people, it unforgettably explores the repercussions of small acts, the power of affection, and the irrepressible vitality of everyday objects and events.”

Publisher’s weekly compares the book to A.S. Byatt’s Possession and I think that’s a very apt connection.

This book is beautiful, in both its physical nature, the language used, and the story told. I related deeply to Jane’s job related insecurities (though fortunately didn’t share much else with her) and her dissertation topic (19th century British asylums) is a topic of interest that I also share. The book started out with a more Gothic feel, but got lighter as it went on.

This book tells four stories: The first story is of fifteen-year-old Jane trying to come of age but instead facing a life-defining personal tragedy.

The second story is of adult Jane, an archivist at a closing museum, trying to tie the ends of her life together.

The third story is of those watching Jane

and the fourth is the story of N-, who wandered away from the Whitmore Asylum for Convalescent Lunatics.

This not a traditional ghost story, or a mystery story, which is what I expected from the synopsis. It also doesn’t end with a tidy resolution- if that’s something that will bother you, you probably don’t want to read this book. I definitelyrecommend this book to anyone who likes novels that have that hard-to-explain but easily identified British feel to them.

The World Before Us is an amazing book up growing up, moving on, the power of discovery.

4 out of 5 stars.

The book was provided free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review