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unshaven legs

topic posted Tue, April 13, 2010 - 10:45 AM by  MaryEllen
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it's a Lilith thing ~ are we surprised that it freaks some people out?


On the red carpet, if a woman has hairy legs or armpits, it is assumed to be an accidental misstep — a failure of time management, if you will. But that hasn’t been true lately. In January, at the Golden Globes, Mo’Nique, who won for her portrayal of a gruesome mother in “Precious,” lifted her floor-length dress to reveal her unshaved calves, abundant in their hairiness.

This did not go over well. The New York Daily News crowned her “the least superficial actress ever.” On Web sites like TMZ.com, people posted comments like “I have to HURL now ... Disgusting is an understatement.” It would seem that a collective ewww rang out nationwide, one designed to make every ’tween girl snap to attention and realize that leg hair is not allowed.

Confusion set in when it became clear that Mo’Nique didn’t forget to shave her legs. No, she doesn’t ever shave her legs. She tried it once, bloodied herself and decided Band-Aids weren’t her thing.

excerpted from www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15...15skin.html

love all-ways (hairy legs & all),
mem
posted by:
MaryEllen
SF Bay Area
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    Re: unshaven legs

    Wed, April 14, 2010 - 4:39 AM
    Never heard of this Mo’Nique before, but I love her on the spot. You'll have to kill me first before I'll shave my legs & armpits. I even hate wearing a bra. Same thing for plastic surgery. What on earth is so ugly about a natural woman?
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    Re: unshaven legs

    Sat, April 17, 2010 - 10:20 AM
    I had a girlfriend in high school who didn't shave her legs. She was sort of loony, but I didn't mind her leghair, lol.
    • Re: unshaven legs

      Mon, April 19, 2010 - 1:14 AM
      Repetitious theme of my dreams: I look at my legs and I'm suprised that they are unshaved... in these dreams sometimes I'm afraid that someone will notice my hairy legs but the other time I feel very comfortable with it - freedom of wild woman ;)
  • Re: unshaven legs

    Fri, April 30, 2010 - 4:53 AM
    I think shaved legs and pits are weird and think hairy legs and pits are sexy. I like the way women look naturally. I like the way they smell naturally too. I like women. I like them just like they are. Just like the goddess made them.
  • Re: unshaven legs

    Sun, May 2, 2010 - 11:36 PM
    How interesting to hear about all that silliness regarding Mo'Nique's leg hair. I hadn't read about that at all. It just seems absurd that people would focus on that (and with such strong reactions, no less!), especially considering her Oscar win. Dang. That really gives me a HUGE amount of respect for Mo'Nique, though! How incredible that she has been able to resist conforming to expectations for women, especially since she's a famous woman. The pressures to live up to the standards set for femininity/to restrict femininity to being one specific thing must be especially hard to resist when in the media-spotlight.

    I remember being really shocked when I learned that other girls (and, I'm sure, boys, though I didn't hear from them about it) were disgusted by hairy legs on women and cruel about women who had hairy legs. I grew up around feminists who had leg hair much of the time and who certainly didn't encourage me to learn how to shave when I was young (though I don't recall them discouraging me from doing so, either). I recall sitting with some of my friends in elementary school and one girl saying she knew the secret of a woman who worked in the lunch room and that it was that she didn't shave her legs. I was shocked by this statement, just because I didn't know that I was SUPPOSED to find her leg hair shocking. I also recall, in late elementary school, other girls making fun of me for growing leg hair when I was hitting puberty, and that must have been when I decided to start wearing pants all the time/never showing my legs, in order to avoid having to deal with figuring out about shaving for several more years (i really didn't want to shave my legs). I respect women who don't shave and don't feel ashamed about it. I actually felt ashamed for STARTING to shave for a while, for the opposite reason - I felt like a bit of a traitor or a conformist. I came to peace with it quickly, though, and don't mind it anymore, but I still think it's cool when a lady resists. I also think long, grown-out leg hair feels nicer than leg stubble, too, and is much easier to maintain!

    It's strange what expectations evolve/are created for genders, cultures, ages, etc. Great topic for this board! Women who resist conforming to the expectations for femininity definitely embody some awesome Lilith energy. it's crazy such a trivial thing as leg hair is still such a taboo!!
    • Re: unshaven legs

      Mon, May 3, 2010 - 1:13 AM
      while I commend the shunning of superficiality in Hollywood

      unshaven legs on a woman is unsightly to me. I had a teacher in highschool that didn't shave. While I remember her fondly in a strange way (we butted heads a lot) , I will never forget how nasty her legs looked to me.

      I prefer a woman to shave her legs and her....... :-)
      • Re: unshaven legs

        Mon, May 3, 2010 - 9:37 AM
        I think clean shaven legs look lovely and all, but I think it's a shame that it's practically REQUIRED and that's it's such a taboo not to do so. I was curious about when it became a social standard (at least in much of mainstream U.S. culture), so I just looked online and, if my quick and un-thorough research provides accurate information, it looks like it started with shortening hem-lines in the 1920's, though they lowered in the 1930's and shaving didn't become really common until the 1940's (Bette Grable, pin-ups, sheer stockings). Seems like there was a pretty aggressive anti-armpit hair campaign beginning in 1915 that kicked off/led up to the anti-leg hair trend. Seems like a lot of it was related to fashion trends, new body parts it was okay to expose, and claims about hygiene in marketing, though.

        I'm citing from a citing of a book, here - the description is more specific and mentions some other interesting observations/questions about the issue:
        askville.amazon.com/women-st...Viewer.do

        Out of curiosity, I also looked into when Lilith was observed, astronomically, and Wikipedia (also not thorough research on my part) says it was:
        "...proposed by astrologer Walter Gornold (Sepharial) in 1918. Gornold claimed that Lilith was the same second moon that scientist Georg Waltemath claimed to have discovered at the turn of the century. Gornold also claimed to have seen Waltemath's moon and opined that it was dark enough to have escaped visual detection. However, Georg Waltemath's proposed natural satellites had already been discredited by two Austrian Astronomers at the turn of the century...

        "In 1898, Hamburg scientist Dr. Georg Waltemath announced he had located a second moon inside a system of tiny moons orbiting the Earth. However, after the failure of a corroborating observation of this invisible moon by the scientific community, the idea of a second moon was discredited. In 1918, astrologer Walter Gornold, also known as Sepharial, claimed to have confirmed the existence of a second moon. He named it Lilith and believed it to be the same moon Waltemath claimed to have observed. Sepharial affirmed that Lilith was indeed invisible for most of the time but claimed to have viewed it as it crossed the sun. The majority of scientists object to these theories, pointing out that any second moon of the Earth would have been seen by now..."

        Seems like the turn of the century and 1918 were big years for interest in Lilith (BML? DML?), astronomically. 1918 definitely has overlap with the anti-armpit-hair campaign (which was actually a loosening of standards about women's clothing, in some ways, leading up to the big shifts of standards in the 1920's - so rather more of a move forward for women, I'd wager). That era, in general,seems very significant in terms of changes for women in society, particularly in the U.S. with women's suffrage and the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment. I'd really like to do more extensive research into what all transpired historically and to the specific date-based overlap of anything that seems particularly significant between Lilith/women's history.

        Or does anyone know of any parallels or research into this subject? Does anyone know when astrologers began to use Lilith? When her 'popularity' increased? Sorry this got a bit tangential...
        • Re: unshaven legs

          Mon, May 3, 2010 - 9:39 AM
          Additional note:
          I'd like to learn more about all of this (cultural standards for body hair) and women's history at that era in regards to other countries/cultures. If anyone has insight into that, that'd be really fascinating!
      • Re: unshaven legs

        Mon, May 3, 2010 - 10:49 AM
        I will never forget how nasty her legs looked to me.
        ~~~~~~~~~~
        of course you are allowed (encouraged, even) to have your own opinions, taste, style & in no way am I attempting to fault you for what you like and/or homogenize personal preference (the fact that we all like different things helps maintain healthy diversity) ~ but my question is 'how did you come to develop this opinion'?

        do you think that your high school culture had an effect on your thinking that your teachers legs were 'nasty' in their natural, yet non-standard appearance?
        was your teacher noticeably different from other adult women in other ways than just her unshaven legs?
        did you friends openly agree with your opinion?
        was this teacher routinely gossiped about?

        are you really sure that your opinion is your own & not the default one implanted & reinforced by the dominant culture?

        love all-ways (hairy legs, or not),
        mem
        • Re: unshaven legs

          Mon, May 3, 2010 - 2:09 PM
          mem

          I have always been against the grain. Majority opinions never appeal to me srictly for being "what everyone else thinks or agrees with". In fact, I always question commonly accepted 'truths' because while there is strength in numbers, there is also stupidity. :-)

          Yes, the teacher was different. Ever hear the phrase " You can take the girl off the streets but you can't take the streets out of the girl? ". Well, that pretty much says it. She was very stern, intollerant, very confrontational and LOUD. She came from a rough family background, paraded the streets and got into trouble. I respect her now for getting her own life straight, going to school and becoming a teacher. She wasn't a 'good teacher', per say but in her own way she did care. Her particular attitude towards shaving her legs seemed like a hygiene issue to me because she also didn't always brush her teeth or pay enough attention to her makeup, as her lipstick was often uneven and her mascara was often messily applied. Like I said, she lived a rough life and 'was' bettering herself which is always paramount to me. She was gossiped about. Someone always is. I have been gossiped about. Everyone is not always going to agree, that is certain.

          Women are beautiful and a smooth,shaven body is synonymous with beauty and elegance to 'me'. Thats just my personal opinion. Certainly not an 'implanted' or 'injected' opinion.

          I am not easily influenced, by any means.
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            Re: unshaven legs

            Mon, May 3, 2010 - 3:16 PM
            this teacher seemed as if she was overwhelmed or just couldn't be bothered with the upkeep society demands for a "LADY".

            I agree the brushing teeth thing is a hygeine thing... but the other stuff isn't... Make-up application ability & shaving has nothing to do with hygeine or the streets... maybe she valued her sleep more when her alarm went off in the wee hours versus how people would view her feminity? ... lol

            on-a- seperate-note
            I am not against the norm.... I am me... sometimes that is with mainstream & sometimes not... but I am not consious of this for the most part. Personally I prefer to shave, so I guess with this topic I am with society... but I don't care if others shave or not.
            • Re: unshaven legs

              Tue, May 4, 2010 - 2:28 AM
              > Make-up application ability & shaving has nothing to do with hygeine or the streets <

              obviously. The point I was making , other than hygeine issues,was that she was generally sloppy and negligent.
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                Re: unshaven legs

                Tue, May 4, 2010 - 6:20 AM
                <<Her particular attitude towards shaving her legs seemed like a hygiene issue to me because she also didn't always brush her teeth or pay enough attention to her makeup, as her lipstick was often uneven and her mascara was often messily applied>>

                Zayne sorry for the misunderstanding... it wasn't so obvoius when you read this statement.
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    Re: unshaven legs

    Tue, May 4, 2010 - 4:51 AM
    What an interesting yet grose topic.

    I shave my legs every day in the shower, I cannot stand not to. It's what I've been doing for years.
    I suggest for those who may not have the time to do it everyday, waxing goes a long way.
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    Re: unshaven legs

    Sun, June 6, 2010 - 12:25 PM
    I think shaven legs look good. However, if a girl Never shaves her legs from day one. just how long will they get? Not long would be by guess. I think girls who don't shave there armpits look nice, so what about hair. If a girl has some hair on them.. just that much more to love :D
    • Re: unshaven legs

      Sun, June 6, 2010 - 12:37 PM
      I usually don't bother, except in the heat of summer.
      It is a French thing not to care that much about body hair but above-all it is a living in frigid weather thing.

      Experimenting is another story however and I had a great pic for this thread - see if I can find it.
      • Re: unshaven legs

        Sun, June 13, 2010 - 11:46 AM
        When I lived in Italy no women shaved anything and they were very hairy. The hair under their arms was long enough to braid. If you've ever been to an Italian beach you know that you'll see everything there so I was very aware of exactly what they didn't shave. (I have no idea if this is still the case now.) I was very aware that while it was common in Europe at that time not to shave, it was very common in the States so most men from the States were grossed out by the whole thing. As for me, my soulmate said why bother to shave if they aren't, so I stopped. But my hair was not like an Italian's and after two years was barely over an inch long (what little hair I had anyway) and was totally white. LOL It was really for nothing. No one commented on my hair because they couldn't see it.

        When I got back to the States I shaved again. Personally I don't like hair much so it doesn't bother me. It's more of a personal choice to do so. I have hair on my arms and the tops of my legs but again no one notices because my hair is sparse and white and short so it doesn't show.

        On the other hand my best friend stopped shaving somewhere along the line because she thought it was stupid and it doesn't bother me at all (even when she is wearing something sleeveless). To me she's just going Italian. When I go Italian I peel off my clothes on the beach and get a massage. Everybody has their thing.

        But as for the shaving thing, that is a cultural thing (at least it used to be before so much Globalization and I'm not so sure about now). If the culture doesn't care then generally no one gets excited. If Mo'nique lived somewhere else they wouldn't even notice. That's why I don't put much stock in culturally developed rules that people want to think are universal and must be obeyed...for the most part they are just a popular whim of the moment. Here today, gone tomorrow.

        Here's an interesting fact about shaven legs and arms...Before it became mainstream here, only prostitutes and courtesans shaved. Shaving your legs and arm pits meant you sold yourself to men.

        And from a Lilith perspective, that is really tied in. Just think about how SHE would have reacted to THAT!
    • Re: unshaven legs

      Tue, June 29, 2010 - 8:04 AM
      unshaven armpits are totally hot, unless they are like forests, then it's more of a specialized kind of sexy.
      I think the reason for this is that it eludes coolness and a certain charm. on both men and women, actually.
      unfortunately I dont want to grow them like the french ladies as it gets totally sweaty. :/
  • Re: unshaven legs

    Wed, September 29, 2010 - 2:29 PM
    brilliant topic :)
    as a female who has ridiculously hairy legs...
    i hate it! altho, at the same time i dont care what others think.. even when my friends tease me..it is kinda funny..
    i personally prefer no hair, but that could stem from me hating the amount that i have - saying that, if i saw another woman all hairy like, id think kudos for having the metaphorical balls to do it!
    somebody said something about how long the leg hair would grow on a female- i can answer that since i ran that experiment! - not long about 1mm.. :D and its very very soft..
    i do shave... but i have to shave every 2-3 days since my hair grows so damn fast... it drives me nuts! so needless to say, i do take breaks.. :)
    i could wax, but there is no way on earth that ill put myself thru that pain.. maybe if i had less hair, that grew slower id think about it.. maybe..

    Apart from Lilith, the Queen of Sheba was supposed to have very hairy legs too -being part demon on her fathers side.. i dont know where i got this - but a woman with hairy legs is said to be under those two womens influence..



    I wonder if the general distaste stems from the subconscious association of hairiness to animals?

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