I am not sure what it is, if it's the recent blast of sunny weather or my growing interest in what being a woman means to me, but I have become properly obsessed with body hair and personal grooming. Yuk - personal grooming, how gross does that sound?!
So I was a teenager in the 00s, what a sad time that was for body hair. Pretty much as soon as you had any you began an epic battle to get rid of it. I have red hair, so my body hair is pretty light. This doesn't matter though if you are headed into a secondary school gym hall in a pair of shorts. I think the first time I shaved my legs I was in primary 7, it was pretty much a case of - well all the other girls are doing it, so I should too. This really sticks out for me because as a kid and teenager I was pretty happy doing my own thing, I think I just felt this would make me feel grown up. At the time I was using an electric razor that my mum had - hello hygiene, which on reflection didn't actually remove any hair. After that I graduated to a Wilkinson Sword razor, I can't remember what it was called, but I think it was lilac in colour - you know so you pay more for it. The first time I used it I was amazed by how silky smooth my legs felt, a feeling I still enjoy today, but it less frequent because I don't spend quite as much time and care shaving my legs as I used to. I remember shaving my legs in the mornings before PE, and my dad going mental cos I was in the shower so long I used up all the hot water.
That's the legs- I used to shave my legs at least once a week, more if it was summer or I was going on a night out where you need your legs looking your best i.e. hairless. I think I will come back to the full routine of my 20s in a bit because it gets me a bit exhausted thinking about it.
As a teenager I was obsessed with smooth armpits. The thought of wearing a vest top or one of those lovely strapless Tammy Girl crop tops with out shaving my pits, was pretty much unthinkable. It was gross, and quite frankly was not my idea of what a teenage girl should look like. I don't think the girls from Steps were running about in their stunning 00s outfits with armpit fuzz on display.
I started watching Sex And The City when I was about 15, I used it as my guide to womanhood. I was pretty certain I would grow up and write for Vogue, have a full designer wardrobe and sink cocktails every night with three fabulous but so different you were really confused as to how you all became friends friends. In the episode 'Sex And Another City', we see Carrie getting a brazilian, well not the full thing, just the facial expressions that go with someone ripping hair from your groin. The LA episodes are some of my favourite episodes, and as this type of television is so (watch out for the buzzword) aspirational, I could not wait to get one myself. It was such a sure sign of successful womanhood. Like I said I was 15, so there was no need at all for a brazilian. I think I am telling you this to give you an idea of how intense the media pressure was for girls of my generation was to remove any body hair you had.
This SATC episode really did start to form the basis of my personal grooming regime. For most of my 20s, oh when I think about this....., it feels like so much time and money was wasted on hair removal, time that could be spent on sitting down and money that could be spent on alcohol (sorry I mean university recommended reading). Once a week, usually coinciding with a big night out would be the day of hair removal, that's when I would go for the long shower. I'd start by Immac'ing the bikini area, have you ever used Immac/Veet - is it gross, burns if it is left on too long and stinks. Yes you are putting chemicals onto your skin that will burn your skin if they are left on too long. After like the most boring 10 mins of my life, time to pop in the shower, get rid of the smell best you can, wash your body, head hair - (don't bother with any other hair - it is coming off anyway), then a leave in conditioner. After the conditioner is applied, that's your time to shave the legs, pits and any parts the immac left. I need a nap just writing that down. The worst bit of shaving your legs living in a freezing student flat is that when you're getting changed into your clothes, you'll get a shiver and bam your legs are hairy again. I also forgot to mention all the body scrubbing as well, to get rid of all the ingrown hairs that I had created myself.
Now, I am pretty much of the opinion, if my no one is seeing my legs they are going to be hairy. I have even worn nude tights because I can't be bothered shaving my legs - so not fashion, but very much K Middy at a Royal Event. I know some of you will be thinking - oh but what if a guy is going to see my legs?! My answer is simple - black opaque hold ups. Super sexy, and the hairy legs stay hidden, or get your legs out - guys do not care. If they do that is another story all together.
I feel recently there has been a move away from all this hair removal, well maybe not all of it. Pubic hair seems to be getting a little less sphinx cat and more seventies porn. I for one am behind this. Maybe it's being lazy, but I am quite enjoying not smelling Veet on my skin. Gywinnie has spoken about her 70s vibe going on , and even after speculation that Cameron Diaz made her get rid of it, Cameron agrees it has a purpose. Armpit hair has also made a come back, most recently Miley Cyrus has dyed her's pink - and I love it. I am not sure if it is my commitment to the 90s grunge look, I have decided to grow out my own (my younger self who was horrified by Julia Roberts hairy pits will be shocked). So far I am about 5 days in - I'm aiming for about two weeks, just to see if I like it. Might even dye it pink as well.
All we need is for Kim K to rock it, and we will have a trend....sigh... Imagine if Kim K did for arm pit hair what she has done for contouring.