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21 September 2009

Female Body Hair: Don't Ask, Don't Tell

One of my good friends is a doctor, specifically he is the kind of doctor that rarely sees patients (he looks at slides for other doctors to help diagnose disease). This friend also happens to be gay and so, despite the fact that he is a doctor, he actually has very little practical experience with breasts. So, I guess it is not all that surprising that he had questions about female nipple hair; specifically, how common is nipple hair and in what quantity does it occur. The answer: nipple hair is actually very common and can vary widely in quantity, especially in brunette and raven-haired women. Several websites advocate waxing or plucking this hair, to which I say: "WTF. Seriously, would you ask a man to pluck his balls?" It sounds like torture. If you feel compelled to remove nipple hair, shaving should work just fine.

This conversation made me start thinking, I wonder how many women out there think they are abnormal because they have chin hair, nipple hair or a bit of a mustache? Our examples of female beauty: models, actresses...and barbies are all hairless wonders. These ladies are usually waxed, plucked and lasered within an inch of their lives. Not only do they lack these taboo hair patches, they usually have totally hairless crotches as well. Well, I'm here to tell you: hairless is not the natural state of the female body. There is nothing wrong with removing all of your body hair, but you shouldn't feel ashamed of your body becuase you have to pluck chin hair and wax a happy trail. There is nothing wrong with you!

Well, I would be irresponsible if I didn't add that in some rare cases there might actually be something wrong with you...if you have lots of body hair, abnormal periods, acne and weight gain you should check with your doctor to see if you have polycystic ovary syndrome.

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Anonymous said...

Great post.. way to not be afraid of a sensitive subject!

Julie said...

Thanks for the PCOS mention. I have it and the amount of hair I have makes me nuts but it is all part of dealing with PCOS.

Anonymous said...

Cute pic too! Shaving, as always, has it's opponents particularly because giving yourself a nicked nipple just sounds horrendous. Not only is that area not nearly as smooth as your calf, but you'd be hard pressed to get a band-aid to stick.

There are some people who just like to rock their hairless wonders...and some dudes who indeed shear & wax The Boys. But I totally agree that in the face of commercialism and freaky models (and those ridiculous see-through American Apparel leotard things, btw), the hairless end of the spectrum is the unnatural end!!!

SoHo Accessories said...

Brave and interesting post. I for one would certainly not pluck nipple hair or even shave it. There are hair remover creams that would be less torturous to you!

Unknown said...

Excellent post!!!! I myself have been tested for PCOS time and time again mostly due to my excessive hair. It is a nightmare. When I read posts like these, I feel a little better about myself - like I am not totally alone. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for opening this sensitive, oft neglected topic - and for reassuring women that, despite the sometimes oppressively conformist 'ideal' of feminine beauty in our culture, there is nothing wrong (barring actual medical conditions) with the way their bodies are, naturally. It is a message that every woman should hear, and believe. I have only one thing to add - I submit that not only should we not feel ashamed of our body if we have to pluck chin hair or wax a happy trail, but that there is nothing to be ashamed of even if we choose to leave our body hair growing right where it is.