Halloween may be over, but I’m not done terrifying you.
So let’s start with this:
Does the mere image of this make anyone else deeply uncomfortable?
When I saw it posted on Facebook, it got a good cringe-giggle out of me. The kind you do when something is too ridiculous a concept to have to worry about in real life. Then, I scrolled down the comments and learned from the thread there was no threading, shaving, or waxing going on for some of these chicks. Including the poster. None of these things were happening in her life right now. Part of me wanted to jump in and say, “while this photo induces resonant waves of nausea throughout my body, I support your fur in full,” but I just couldn’t lie (Part of me was admittedly afraid I’d be punished for it via some Tim Allen Santa Clause version of Pinocchio. Except lower.)
So I left it alone. But her “going on strike”, as she put it (incidentally since summer), left me wondering so many questions. Doesn’t it itch? Or feel dirty? Or get sweat in it? How many other women feel compelled to skip on the Schick? And why – when it’s natural (if you think about it, it’s just a thing our bodies do on their own and blah bla blah) does it bother me so much?
I think (for me) it’s just upbringing.
Like, if I was raised by Tarzan and his monkey, I’d probably see body brillo as really convenient (albeit inconveniently painful to collect) flesh-embedded dental floss. (Because jungle people totes worry about teeth debris.) But I wasn’t. Rather, when I was little, I remember my sister teasing me when I started to get hairs dotting my gangly little legs. (Retrospectively, it’s pretty hilarious: I’d just gotten a perm and she goes, “Pretty soon you can perm your leg hair too.”) I didn’t even realize it was a “thing” back then (too young) to shave or that among my imminent charges as a woman would be to transmogrify into a contiguous dermal sea of silk. Mind you, the hair I did have was hardly visible as she laughed at me; but since she was the Master Shake to my Meatwad, she wasn’t about to pass up the chance to leave me with the kind of lasting scars that make you want to use that razor for various other unhealthy purposes during your upcoming teen years and not be entirely sure why.
Luckily, tandem to her taunting came a tutorial on fighting the follicular fight.
And – after that – the rest was history. I recognize that my disgust with looking like you’ve just sheathed yourself in Elmer’s glue and logrolled across the floor of Paul Mitchel is pure cultural programming. But I can’t help it. I’ve done it for so long now that it’s both part of my shower routine itself and that “clean” feeling I get when I emerge. The prospect of any-level stubbly stems makes me feel like I’ve not showered in weeks. Even hidden under long jeans, I assume it’d feel like this horrible lie living in the form of a jungle under my duds. Fully carpeted calves? I couldn’t leave the house. No, literally. I couldn’t walk with all that matted mass except like a dog in pants. Or a Japanese commercial.
And (though it’s a week past scare-fest), I’ll leave you with this terrifying “Today” article stat:
(The middle two are scary enough. But the last one is ten percent too much.)
So, men, as you stroke your mug shrubbery this month:
Remember, remember the chicks of Movember.
And know they walk among us. On their egregious gorilla-esque gams