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To shave or not to shave? It's a constant question that women have to deal with because, thanks to one single money-making scheme a hundred years ago, we're not allowed to have body hair.
Do we go ahead and shave? Do we reject the stigma and wear our body hair proudly out in the open in spite of stares and nasty comments? Do we just do what we feel like, including shaving if we want to?
Personally, I shave my leg hair when I'm going to have my legs exposed in the world outside my apartment. And I'm not going to lie, I do so because I'm not brave enough to face the judgment; it's hard enough to be a fat woman in public. However, during the long Seattle winter, I don't bother shaving my legs, and my significant other is well-acquainted with my forested shins.
Maybe someday I'll go out in public to show off my unshaven legs. However, it's important to note that I'm a white cisgender woman — woman of color often face additional stigma and straight up racism when they have body hair. I don't have to deal with literal comparisons to animals. I also don't have to worry about transphobic violence.
No matter who you are, it's weird that we have to worry about hair that grows on our legs. We asked 16 women and non-binary people about their leg shaving habits and how they feel about it, and some of their answers may surprise you.
[Editor's note: Some submissions have been edited for clarity and were submitted anonymously through Tumblr.]
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