All of us battle our way through our teenage years hoping to find that place where we are comfortable in our skins. Some never succeed and find life and relationships of all kinds to be awkward, intimidating or just a bit of hard work. Others seem to never reflect upon the pressures of ‘society’, the airbrushed advertisements, seasonal fashions, the latest hair style, and become almost like a chameleon, changing with every trend, continuing to do things to themselves which are extremely harmful.
My daughter shocked me recently when I realised she had taken up a certain habit as part of her grooming routine. I asked her why she was doing it and I was aghast when she replied that it seemed to be what society ‘expected’ of her. I attempted to discuss with her that I had brought her up to be comfortable with her own body and I had thought she would toss out certain ideas and practices on the basis of their superficiality and irrelevance to her worth as a person.
We must all evaluate our practices and choices in this way at some point — even men — as we can seriously compromise our health and even put our fertility on the line.
Pin it. Who would have thought that the razor, epilator, lady shave, waxing or any other kind of hair removal could cause serious health problems? Hopefully, we all use our own, so that’s one less risk. The majority of women shave their legs. That is fairly safe, although I’m sure we’ve all known the unsightly ingrown hair, the odd cut, and sometimes a rash breaks out. All of these are prone to infection, some worse than others. As long as we keep clean, treat them properly and seek advice if necessary, these remain minor. The same is true of removing hair from our under arm. This area can feel sore at times and we really should check them with a mirror regularly to make sure there are no skin breakages that could lead to problems. In some western cultures, women don’t remove their underarm hair. If you are not familiar with this, it can be quite a shock. In the west, we tend to associate hair in this area with men only. It is a question of taste, culture, what is normal for individuals, and should not be looked down on.
For me, the ‘biggy’ is the shaving of the pubic area. We tend to think of this as being clean, tidy, and pleasing to men. Well, not all men are thrilled by this but even if they are, we really should not give in to that pressure.
Chrissie Morris Brady lives on the south coast of England. She lived in Los Angeles for several years, studying at USC, and working with recovering addicts. Chrissie has been published in various journals and poetry publications on the Internet.