I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Societal Norms Vs. My Own Rational Thought…

(Or “Mourning the loss of body hair”)

I haven’t shaved my legs since like January or something. And you know what? I was totally fucking fine with that! I even went swimming, in our apartment’s pool, in a bathing suit…it was fabulous! I did start to panic when other people came into the pool area. But then two things happened. A.) I realized that my legs were underwater and no one could see and B.) they were fellow fats (not sure if accepting or not). I was at once relieved a bit, but my social anxiety keeps me from enjoying such moments and it’s a bitch, I tells ya. Ugh! Part of me so wanted to get all chummy with these fatty couples that got into the pool. I’d never been in this pool though we’ve lived here over a year. It’s just always filled with rowdy kids and I hate that. I swim for relaxation and comfort and okay, a little fun. Where else can I safely do handstands and sommersaults? Hmm? Ha-ha!
I let the leg hair thing go for the most part. Later that same day I even donned capris in public and to our BFFs for dinner and a movie. I was self conscious but also so hot I didn’t give a shit. Knowing full-well that my friends aren’t the judgy types and had they said something I would have surely had some sassy reply ready for ’em.
I understand and have even written about how the women shaving their legs and armpits thing starts. I get it! I know the history. So why is it that today of all days, my day off, when I’m home alone that I suddenly start to rethink my okay-ness with my hairy legs? I even said to myself, “Who cares?!” My husband always says it’s fine because my leg hair is so blond it’s nearly invisible and it’s fairly thin and thus hardly noticeable, though pre-shave it was at least a half inch long. But c’mon, we all have something not so noticeable to others that seems to be blaringly obvious to us. Whether it’s a mole or a birthmark or what have you, there’s always something we worry about others noticing. I hate that this shit gets to me/us, but it’s there and I’m working on my stuff. It’s a daily thing, to work on it, but it’s necessary for me to get over these things in order to just get on and enjoy my life as best as I can.
So why in the fuck did I suddenly find myself in full-on hair removal process? It was like an out of body experience. I went into the bathroom looking for something, can’t remember what now, but came across a can of Nair spray hair remover and figured “Oh I should just use this up!” and next thing I know I’m in the shower waiting 4 minutes to tick off of my cell phone so I can wipe the smelly stuff off and get on with my shower routine. What? It was like I had no control over myself suddenly. This has never happened before. In fact it wasn’t until I was shaving my armpits that I realized I was doing something so drastically different than I had in a long while. The contortions one’s body must navigate in a small apartment shower/tub stall (the kind with the sliding doors) in order to shave their legs is enough for me to turn my nose up at the concept all together. But there I was, Silk Effects razor in hand (I find I cut myself 100 times less with this specific one, I’ve tried ’em all and keep coming back), swiping away at the rust colored hair in my pits until it was gone. I rinsed and suddenly felt that I’d betrayed myself. That I mourned my fucking body hair?! What?! Is that even possible?
This made me realize that self acceptance is so much more than body size/shape/etc. It’s about trust. I have a lot of trust issues, believe me, they suck. But I usually do trust myself. And suddenly feeling out of control was almost frightening for me. While I knew I needed to moisturize my legs because of the changing weather we’ve had lately, I hadn’t planned on shaving at all! So why? Why now? Why like this? Hmmm…I think it was a subversive/subconscious form of self-care that brought me back to many many years ago when the bathroom was my ultimate refuge, my only safe space. I would find things to groom in there just so I didn’t have to face the life and reality and abuse that stood on the other side of that door. And the truth is I didn’t want to go back to work the next day. I don’t want to be my own boss anymore and I often feel out of control when I am there. As though I am on a sinking ship, chained to the hull, just waiting for the air to run out. It’s not always so dire, but it’s the slowest season for the place and it can be soul crushing. And I am ready to start my next endeavor, whatever that may be. I’m ready for new challenges and learning experiences. The problem is that I am comitted to this cafe thing for awhile longer and even if it was as simple as walking away (it’s so not) what would that mean and feel like?
And I am realizing more and more that I enjoy helping people on a more personal level and not so much the retail experience anymore. I do not want to go back to school (the subject is moot). I am not sure in what capacity I could do what I want without some sort of degree. But I know that I will find a way. And I so enjoy talking with those of you who reach out to me through this blog. You touch my heart and my life in ways you could never understand. If only there was a way to do that for people in my area, in-person and for money. Ha-ha!
Isn’t it funny how something as simple as shaving can give me such a strange experience yet make me realize such interesting things about myself? Has this happened to anyone else? I feel a bit strange about it all. How did I block out my own rational thought? Ugh! Ha-ha! I don’t even know. Thanks for reading and commenting and just being you! YOU ROCK!!!<3
11 Comments to

“Societal Norms Vs. My Own Rational Thought…”

  1. On July 7th, 2011 at 4:12 am mimbles Says:

    I’ve had a sort of related experience a few times of deciding I would shave my pits, getting in the shower with every intention of doing so and then realising half-way through getting dressed that I’d managed to forget to do it and feeling a weird sense of relief that I hadn’t done it.

  2. On July 7th, 2011 at 8:34 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @Mimbles: Okay, I’ve done that, too. I am feeling a bit less weird about this. Thank you!

  3. On July 7th, 2011 at 4:12 am mimbles Says:

    Oops, forgot to change my website to its new home!

  4. On July 7th, 2011 at 6:26 am Shieldmaiden1196 Says:

    I was in this place last year around this time. I’d gotten laid off from a job I hated anyway but remained at for the money, a job I took as a knee jerk reaction to being laid off three and a half years earlier in the same industry because I’d never lost a job before and thought I absolutely had to get off unemployment as quickly as possible. Back then I should have taken the time to think about what I wanted to do, but I was too afraid. Living in a rural area with limited options I thought I’d better grab what I could, resulting in three and a half years of relatively decent money but misery working for horrible people.
    So on June 16th of last year, when my boss told me my ‘position was being eliminated’, I didn’t feel shocked and heartbroken like I did when I left the first job. In fact, it was really hard to keep a big ridiculous grin from creeping over my face as I was packing my stuff. I was free!
    This time I did it right. I took some time off and thought about what I wanted to do. I looked around. I sought out non-traditional options. Dodged a few bullets. I didn’t think I could help people as a paid job (which I wanted to do) without going back to school (which I DON’T want to do) either, but I found something. Those opportunities are out there, and they can come through non-traditional routes. I got the job I have because of the experience and connections I established with volunteer work. If you live in a major metro area there are no doubt opportunities to volunteer in support services/mental health areas. I started out volunteering having no idea that I’d be in emergency services full time; I just wanted to put my hands to something that made a difference and helped people. Having that even on a volunteer basis made me feel happier and more fulfilled.
    I’ll stop yapping before my comment is longer than your post! My message is this; find something that ignites your passion and do it, even if its not for money.

  5. On July 7th, 2011 at 8:37 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @Shieldmaiden1196: Thank you! And yes, you said everything I needed to hear. I’ve been through the lay offs and terrible jobs cycle and that’s why I opened the cafe. It gave me a lot at first, but now “the thrill is gone.” And I’m coming to terms with that being an okay thing. I have met tons of people lately and my experience is nothing to scoff at, certainly. Thanks for the suggestions. You’ve given me some ideas to work with now. <3

  6. On July 7th, 2011 at 7:39 am dogwatcher Says:

    i can definitely identify with what you describe! i don’t shave my legs regularly either but every now and then i am overwhelmed by social panic and find myself doing the very thing you describe. it’s something i am still discovering about myself. going to the doctor recently caused that very same reaction. thank you for writing about it. i don’t have any answers but i’m very grateful for you writing. You Rock!!

  7. On July 7th, 2011 at 8:38 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @dogwatcher: Oh my gosh! No YOU rock! <3 This is why I write this blog. I get a little TMI and emotional at times, but I think it only seems that way because we're somehow told not to share these things. Well, fuck all of that. This space is open and honest and true for anyone who cares to participate. So glad you get me!

  8. On July 7th, 2011 at 7:45 am erylin Says:

    you can try doing what i do for a living if what you want is helping people? im sorry you aren’t liking the cafe anymore (im thinking about opening a food cart…maybe we can switch places) when i am not a stay at home mom i run group homes for the mentally retarded developmentally disabled. I it super rewarding to care about these special people who jut need an able body (or brain) to make their lives full and happy. SUPER rewarding. I have also cared for the elderly as well, but i dislike loosing client to death…its just too sad. (that being said my mom does end of life care….i am totally in awe of people that can help others go gently into that dark night)

    And frankly its not really that different than running a cafe…you cook for them, clean, give med ect. i know in my state i just needed a high school diploma…and first aide cpr classes (which my work paid for)…med handout classes (which my work paid for) and MANDT (which my work paid for AND is the takedown method in MO for restraining phych patients)a total of maybe 15-20 hours of training…out of pocket cost was like 200$ (for the classes…but most workplaces cover them and don’t expect you to have it already) regardless you don’t need a degree. (at least not in MO or KS or IL where i have worked)

  9. On July 7th, 2011 at 8:41 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @erylin: Thank you! You know, that’s interesting. My little brother has Asperger’s and my family has convinced him it’s this major disability. Yet he’s held down the same job at OSH for over ten years. But they treat him like a servant. It pisses me off to no end. I have always felt that there needs to be an in-between full independence and living at home for him and other Aspies. Perhaps this is something I can look into locally or get something started, a seed planted. I’ve considered the food cart thing, too…actually my next business idea I will private message you on FB! <3

  10. On July 7th, 2011 at 8:11 am Raven Says:

    so funny that you posted this today. I too for the first time in a long time shaved my lower legs and it’s not that i felt bad about it later, so much as I don’t know what pushed me to suddenly think taking that small bit of hair off would some how keep me cooler in the heat. my hair also seems to grow back crazy fast compared to when I was in high school, and teaching swimming. I guess the last 3 years of constant traveling and not having time to shave my legs, pits, even tweezing my eyebrows have made it a once and a while thing for me. It’s an odd mental place for me who was always so well plucked and shaved.
    I have my own public related hair issues when it comes to the unfortunate hair that is on my face. I always freak out and hide behind my hair more often than not just to keep my face hidden, I also hate when guys try to touch my face. Even though I read an amazing article on how women too shave their faces (even miss Monroe), and in some cultures it’s the norm. it seems to be an unspoken thing. despite commercials for laser hair treatments and natural waxing ointments, you never hear a girl talking about the razor she uses on her face (dirty little secret much), or that she even has to shave.
    ok rambling thought over…

  11. On July 7th, 2011 at 8:45 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @Raven: That is some sort of dirty secret! I love those! But ladies shaving their faces? Hmm…I don’t think it seems so odd. It seems that women are expected to be these hairless goddesses all dewy-faced and pouty-lipped. Right? Ugh! I say fuck the norms, do what feels best for you and throw a big fat middle finger to any who say otherwise. I don’t like my face touched either, but just for a face-space issue I have. I think hair removal in general gets the “luxury-spa-treatment” wash so no one actually pictures a woman shaving her face…but I think it’s common for a lot of us. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. <3

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