My Armpits Are a Political Statement

As a woman, shaving your armpits is actually a really big deal.  It is like the hair under your arms is a metaphorical vocal vagina, nestled away and roaring at the world of your feminist status.  If you don’t shave them, you are sending a message every time you high five that has serious moral ramifications.

But you know what world? Sometimes I just get lazy, and my razor is all used up and rusty, and I tell myself to get another one next time I am out but every time I forget.  And then months go by and all of a sudden I have a tuft of hair in my pit place that resembles a small Sasquatch.  These things happen.

So I was in this dance performance over the weekend that was a fundraiser for an arts program for kids.  Sounds wholesome enough right? I get to the venue and realize my costume is a leotard and tights.  I started to feel shy and self-conscious.  I felt like my armpits were going to take center stage, so I pulled the choreographer aside…

“Ummm yeah. Has your boyfriend left the house yet?”

“I don’t think so why?”

“Unless you want my armpits to be making a political statement, do you think you can have him bring a razor?”

“Oh shit I don’t have one.  Mind is all gross and full of rust and hair.  I will just text him to bring his but tell him its for your legs though.”

“Fair enough.”

Now it is not that I don’t want to be making political statements, nor am I afraid of identifying as a feminist.  You guys know me.  I am a feminist loving pagan worshipping Gaia munching priestess.  But I was embarrassed!!! I feared all these uptight people would be staring at my armpits dancing around  the whole time.  I would like to consider myself a self-possessed woman who doesn’t give a care what anyone thinks, but I have to admit, I was a little timid.

I finally got a hold of a razor and went into the public bathroom to shave them in the sink (because I am classy like that), and was followed by one of the high schools girls who wanted to see if they were really as bad as I said they were.  Now the saddest thing about this whole story  is not only the social pressure that totally broke my laissez fair armpit hair attitude, and subsequently my spirit and confidence as female, but also that I was too shy to ask a 17 year old girl to take a picture for my blog.  A really tragedy on countless fronts.

(Why can’t I be more like this chick?)

 

 

 

4 Responses to My Armpits Are a Political Statement

  1. holly says:

    Wise move. Armpit hairs would have been distracting in your dance and asking a high school girl to photograph you shaving them in a public bathroom for your blog would have been childish. I wear my armpit hairs proudly until I noticed a guy jacking off to them while I was holding on to a subway strap, wearing a sleeveless dress. I guess they do look like nether parts.

  2. Liz Puloka says:

    I want to open with saying ‘Woooooooow Holly’ re: jacking off. Just wow. And Toni I pretty much love the shock factor of having hairy armpits, especially in the face of classy people! I shall return from Tonga and come to see you and we can shock in solidarity and maybe that will help. Like really I make a point to wear tank tops and put my hair up as often as I possible can when talking face to face with people. Yes it is one part cheeky to do something just to get a rise out of folks; however my interest in and that reaction in and of itself are contextualized by how femininity is constructed in this (*cough*heteronormative*cough*)society and speaking to that (er, unshaving to that?) is provocative precisely because it forces a legitimate discussion (internal or otherwise) of how acceptable female beauty is constructed and performed. Also it’s a good way for me to suss out dudes. The ones who are piqued charm me/make me want to jack off to them on the subway.

  3. carol says:

    Yay… for people that challenge the status quo and rebel and teach thier children without shaming them! In 1971 when I was 20 and visited my parents, my mother (53)responded to my hairy armpits, saying:”Do you show your pubic hair in puplic too?” Her generation taught mine not to show any part of undergarments either…bra straps, slips, etc.

    I began high school in 1965 being required by the dress code to wear skirts or dresses below the knee. Like my mother,I wore a girdle that had clips to hold up my nylons and wore uncomfortable but fashionable shoes. I slept with brush rollers in my hair held in place with little stappy plastic sticks that wedged against the scalp to hold the roller in place!

    By the year after graduation, I was liberated from bras and shaving and in summer I wore my mothers old full skirts hiked up over my breasts and hanging way above my knees! After finding Earth shoes and sandals and later Birkenstocks, I seldom wore an uncomfortable shoe and I never learned to tolerate high heels. I did have to conform to dress standards when working as a teacher’s aide and teacher later, but in my senior years, I am again liberating myself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>