Have you ever noticed how, when fashion changes, the new “freedom” is pushed just as aggressively as the old?
For example, the idea of women not shaving.
Now, this is one of those things where I am sort of in the middle of the movement.
I’ve never shaved my legs. Partly because the hair really isn’t that visible for me to be bothered by it, and partly because I am just lazy.
My leg hair doesn’t bother me, and to be honest, I’ve not ever cared that much about impressing someone. Do I want to spend time on someone who cares about that? Nah, probably not.
However, I absolutely hate the feeling of armpit hair. Which means that I shave my armpits.
Had an ex-boyfriend who kept bugging me about why I did the armpits, but not my legs. Of course, he also said that he thought the unshaven legs were sexy until he started to get bored with the relationship. Then he thought it was gross. And I decided that I didn’t care what anyone thought about my hair and what I do with it.
Now, it is “strong” to not give a crap about what others think about the choices you make. But it’s also practically anti-feminist to shave your armpits or your legs or make other choices which go along with societal “norms”.
What if I like the norms though?
I mean, I like some of the norms.
I’ve always been a tomboy, and when I was younger, I knew a girl who read me the riot act one day for wearing nail polish. She said that I shouldn’t, as a tomboy, ever wear nail polish. It was a really long, harsh lecture. We were both probably around 12 or 13.
But, tomboy or not, I liked nail polish. Still do, in fact.
I like a lot of the feminine things that are supposed to be out.
I enjoy baking for guys, because they tend to be more appreciative (and less worried about weight) than girls.
I like wearing skirts, and funky jewelry, and looking nice.
Though, I do also wear grungy jeans and go barefoot and play with the horses til I smell like a horse. I’m not real picky.
How is it that people try to buck societal rules, only to wind up forming new rules which can be just as strict?
It would be great if people could just be themselves. You don’t have to label yourself.
Because the labels get confusing.
I’m a tomboy/artist/equestrienne/farm kid/homeschooler/writer/traveler/half a dozen other things I won’t bother to list here.
All of those things bring about a few assumptions on their own. Maybe I wear breeches and riding boots, maybe I always wear a denim skirt, maybe I always have my nose in a book, especially one about another country.
But I am a mish-mash of my labels, and more of one than another, depending on the day. Not every detail of the label applies to me at all.
I would rather say, instead of giving a label, that I am who I am. If you want to know who that is, take the time to know me.
Don’t make me tell you how I am labeled. If I say I grew up in 4-H, that will likely mean something different to you than it does to me. Right there, you’ve put me in a box I probably don’t fit in, made of your expectations.
Do what you want.
I genuinely mean that.
Well, as long as it doesn’t hurt other people.
If what you want to do involves going around hurting people, please get help.
But as far as what you wear, or what you do with your hair (any of it), or what body parts you pierce (noticing a trend here? Thing which affect you), you should have freedom.
And, if we’re honest, the only person really taking away that freedom is you. You decide if you care about what other people think. I went through a phase when my ex was telling me that unshaven legs were gross, where I almost gave in to the pressure. I’m glad I didn’t, especially for him. He wasn’t even worth the thought.
Do what you want.
And if that includes going along with societal rules, go for it.
And do it proudly.