Not Shaving for 9, Going on 12 months


Abi Nash

No shave November? More like no shave 2017! From December of 2016 to today, to December of 2017, I will have not shaved a portion of my ankle. “WHY would you do such a putrid-disgusting-disgrace of a thing, Abi?”, you may wonder.  Well, to be honest, I am not sure there is one reason. These are a few of my influences to make this decision: a social experiment, to see if anyone would notice, another, to prove a point that I’m just gonna do whatever I want, another, as an attempt to accept myself for every aspect of myself, which may be gross to some, hilarious to others, and just fine to me. If I was put on this earth with hair on my body, am I hurting myself by slicing away the very features God decided to give me? Furthermore, I will explain what it’s like to defy the odds and grow hair on a part of my body for coming up on a year.

Growing up in middle school and later in high school, we have been taught that we must confine to society’s thin line of what we call ‘beauty’, which included what clothes we wear, how we do our makeup, and inevitably, if and where we have hair on our bodies. Being of white ethnicity, I was gifted with blonde hair that makes my skin glisten; however, for others they were taught that dark hair on their body is gross. I’ve heard things middle school, and some high school students say to each other regarding aspects of our selves we are not able to control, that influence the way we identify ourselves and we are taught that we should be ashamed of those things, and it makes me livid. To personally protest the way society perceives hair growth, I have decided to do what I want, and what makes me feel human and that it is OKAY to be outside of society’s standards and still love myself. I have been judged for a long time for being different, and being okay with being different, which has benefited me in so many ways. Boosting my confidence while learning that different is beautiful has inspired me to go with my gut feeling about a lot of things and being comfortable with the uncomfortable. I love my hair, because it is natural and I don’t need to go out of my way so I can fit into someone else’s definition of beautiful.

“Your hair looks like a guy” I have heard SO many times, it’s funny. It doesn’t offend me anymore, which is a bit strange because usually when you get compared to the opposite sex in a negative way, you are not expected to be ecstatic. With doing something out of the norm, I realized that I will hear things that will be not so nice, and I learned to be okay with that. With sexism being a more spoken about topic, I think we should be motivated to exploit the issues we face today with this topic. “Boys cant do what girls can do and girls can’t do what boys can do. It’s that simple.” Yes, since some aspects of this may be true. Men cannot hold a child inside of them for 9  months, and most women probably can’t pee standing up, but hey that’s just how we were made. I’m talking about dressing, acting, and doing the things that we are told is “Just not right.” Coming from a family of acceptance but somewhat strict rules of what it means to be a girl, and being strongly influenced not to push those boundaries, consequently I grew up a risky child. Trying to stretch those limits taught me independence, a strong opinion, some stubbornness, but mostly an open mind and willingness to accept whoever I turnout to be.

So yes, you may think it’s gross, stupid and has no purpose, whatever negative thing there is to say, I’ve probably heard it. I’d like to say thank you, to everyone who has pushed me to expand my acceptance and inspire self-love and to trump hate. You, have helped me find beauty in the unacceptable, and light in the darkness. Something I would have never learned without the instances of negativity, but deciding to search for the good in the bad is one thing that has attributed to my being today.