I enjoy being lazy and hairy sometimes. I like staying in all weekend and observing the real shape of my eyes appearing as the layers of eyeliner and mascara slowly rub off. I like leaving my hair as it is and not giving a shit. I like that occasional grimy feeling that lets me know I am truly relaxing. I absolutely detest the idea of being completely hairless—I’d feel like a doll, not a human, and I don’t fancy going back to being pre-pubescent.

It’s easy to say this on the internet or in solitude. IRL I do shave my legs and armpits, and I’m not sure why. Is it for convention’s sake, for other people’s approval, or because I truly prefer it? Or because it is so much easier to be conventional? Or because when you’re dancing in a club and you want to put your arms above your head but it’s hot so you stripped down to your vest top and your armpits are a bit furry because you haven’t shaved in a while, you might keep those arms firmly at your sides for fear of being seen as disgusting or distasteful or dirty?

Without other people’s influence, I am completely confident in my convictions. The idea of doing things that don’t align with my feminist principles, like removing body hair when I am not sure I actually want to, gives me a rubbish-rotting-in-the-hot-sun kind of feeling, like sewage in my soul. I suppose it makes me feel awfully insecure. I don’t have a problem with other women deciding on their own preferences, as long as it makes them happy. Although I do find the infantile look of completely hairless women slightly discomforting.

I am becoming apathetic in this thing called “real life.” I haven’t been reading read any feminist articles I may flip by in the paper because they trigger feelings of guilt about all of this stuff. I feel like I am betraying myself and other women by adhering to societal expectations that used to be so easy for me to reject. Beliefs that used to make me feel liberated now make me feel disgusting and wrong. I keep my opinions to myself because I don’t have the energy to defend myself again and again.

People who seem great otherwise so often turn out to harbor negative, damaging ideas about women deep down inside—and they don’t even realise it. It is exhausting trying to show them what I see. Sometimes it feels like there’s no point. ♦