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Body hair

Thanks for Defining What it Means to Be a ‘Dude,’ Veet


By Christiana Paradis


Oh geez I didn’t shave AGAIN last night? Well actually, if we’re being honest, I haven’t shaved all winter! I call it winter insulation. It helped keep me cozy and warm during the Polar Vortex! But apparently I’ve misunderstood what I’ve been doing; I thought I was doing what I wanted to, as a woman, but Veet has shown me the light. My decision to not shave my legs has exposed me to a whole other category, a category they’ve so cleverly named “dude.” As they’ve expressed in their commercial series the very act of not shaving makes you at risk for ‘dudeness;’ it is an act of warfare against your femininity. Though this idea has been resonated over and over again and shaving conglomerates have always tried to make women feel like their bodies were wrong if they didn’t shave, this new ad campaign sinks to an all-time low.

It implies that even the smallest amount of stubble turns you from a beautiful woman into a hairy man and that should offend you! First of all, what’s wrong with a little stubble…or a forest!? Secondly, what makes me less female for having Yosemite National Park on my legs or under my arms for that matter? Thirdly, why did you think this was funny, Veet? Hold on, I’ll answer that for you… you thought this series was funny because any time we make men appear “less manly” and more feminine it’s automatically hilarious! A man getting a pedicure? Hahahahah. Laughing for days on end. A guy in a dress who can’t get a cab because of armpit hair? Fantastic! Pure comic genius! Not only do you insult one day stubble, but you insult anyone who exists outside of specific gender stereotypes. Gender is a spectrum not a dichotomy. Maybe after marketing execs realize this, we can stop telling people their bodies are wrong, because that is a cruel, tidal wave of a lie. 

*Due to a strong public reaction these advertisements have now been dropped – yay!

Why Madonna is my Shero


By Yas Necati


“Drinking beer and smoking weed in the parking lot of my high school was not my idea of being rebellious, because that’s what everybody did. And I never wanted to do what everybody did. I thought it was cooler to not shave my legs or under my arms. I mean, why did God give us hair there anyways? Why didn’t guys have to shave there? Why was it accepted in Europe but not in America? No one could answer my questions in a satisfactory manner, so I pushed the envelope even further… But it was hard and it was lonely, and I had to dare myself every day to keep going… And I wondered if it was all worth it, but then I would pull myself together and look at a postcard of Frida Kahlo taped to my wall, and the sight of her moustache consoled me.”

Dear Madonna,

A couple years ago, when I was in school, I posted a picture of my hairy armpit on Facebook to prove that people would react and that sexism still existed. I posted this picture after reading the exact words of yours quoted above. I believed it was the right thing to do, but just like you “I wondered if it was all worth it.” Just like you, I found it “hard” and “lonely.” But then I thought, heck, if Madonna can do it, then so can I! Why should I be scared when one of the bravest women in the entire world was behind me?

But the truth is, Madonna, it’s sad that you’re considered brave for doing this. It’s upsetting that something as simple as showing the natural female body is actually “brave” in our society today. And if it’s a bold move for one of the most famous and influential women in the world to make, then how terrifying must it be for other women? Everyday women? Women who know that they don’t have tens of thousands of people behind them who will respect and support them no matter what?

In high school you were on you own, but you had Frida Kahlo. I was on my own, but I had you. And hopefully, if young women of the future ever feel alone, they’ll have you, me, and a whole feminist movement behind them.

Thank you for standing up for what’s right as a woman who’s never been afraid to defy the crowd. It’s increasingly difficult in a society with a narrow-minded, arrogant and oppressive media. Thank you for implying that women should have a choice when that media tries to box us into ideals and force us into silence and submission. Thank you for speaking up and out. You give hope and power to a future generation. And hopefully, in the future, thanks to our collective “brave” actions, hair in natural places might not actually be considered brave at all.

In solidarity,

A fan and a sister x

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