I’ve been a bit caught up in medical stuff lately. When you’re mired down in doctor’s appointments, hospital appointments, blood tests, medication changes etc, it can be very difficult to remember that there are other things going on in the world.
I’ve been very interested by what’s been going on in Egypt in the last couple of weeks, a true representation of people power. The best thing about it was to see so many women amongst the crowds of protesters, making their voices heard too.
As I’m getting older, I’m becoming more and more of a feminist. This resurgence has been largely fuelled by having a small step-granddaughter. Seeing how quickly she has been sucked into the “pink is for girls” way of looking at life, having her turn up at our house wearing nail polish and talking about make-up, and about wanting to “look pretty” makes my heart sink. Nothing wrong with wanting to look pretty, of course, but the problem is when she thinks she needs to put on make-up and nail polish in order to do this. I don’t remember having anything to do with make-up until I was well into my teens, and even then it was frowned upon by my parents. I have never forgotten the excellent advice my mother gave me: you don’t need make-up unless you particularly want to enhance some feature, and even then you don’t need very much. She rightly told me that I had beautiful eyes and lovely colourful lips already, and my skin was flawless, so I didn’t need to wear make-up. She only ever wore it herself for special occasions (like if my Dad was taking her out) and she still doesn’t. I never do, except for my wedding day (just for fun) and occasionally when I’ve been forced to for work.
And I mean forced. It was part of my contract. And that should not be allowed.
Those of you who have read my previous blog site will know that I do not shave. At first, this was because I couldn’t be bothered, and for a while I did shave my legs. I have never shaved my armpits however, what a waste of time. However, about two years ago, I made the decision that I couldn’t complain about the unfair demands of the beauty industry on women if I continued to give in to the biggest con of them all – all women must remove the evil hair from their legs.
Sisters, that hair is natural, and it grows there for a reason.
Now, I’m not saying that I don’t worry about it. Every time I go for a doctor’s or physio appointment, I feel a little bit embarrassed about my hairy pins and pits. However, I try to recognise this as the product of conditioning. We are constantly bombarded with messages and images telling us that hair-free legs and armpits look “better”. They don’t look “better”, just different. I say Dare to Bare the Hair. Or not, whatever works for you. I’m not preaching, I hope, just explaining my stance.
So, what point am I trying to make in this meandering post? I’m not sure. Perhaps there isn’t one. You tell me.