Jealous of Mama June

I tend to think about Mama June in the shower. I tend to think of Mama June while I’m in the shower.

Mama June is kind of my hero. She does what she wants, says what she thinks, makes no apologies, and is rolling in the money for it. She’s a beautiful person and I’m jealous of her. Sometimes, I think that we would all be a little happier with a little ‘WWMJD?’.

Today, I’m thinking about her because I hate to shave my legs. Every time I shave my legs, I think about how dumb I am for doing it. If Mama June were here, she would tell me that if I don’t want to do it, I sure as shit shouldn’t do it. And that I shouldn’t give a damn about what other people think. Yet, here I am sitting on the couch with tingly, relatively smooth legs.

Here are the many reasons why I should quit shaving:

  1. It’s expensive and I am broke.
  2. I get awful razor burn and itchy ingrown hairs.
  3. It’s nearly impossible for me to get a smooth shave (do, in part, to the razor burn propensity).
  4. Within twelve hours, another person can visibly see hair on my legs again.
  5. My legs don’t even look good because of the bumps.
  6. It takes quite a bit of time out of my otherwise wondrous and busy life.
  7. Hair is natural.
  8. I suspect that leg shaving started as just another for way ‘The Man’ to keep us chicks in line. (See this article for some historical context. Turn’s out it’s Harper’s Bazaar’s fault.)
  9. I don’t mind the way that my legs look or feel when they are hairy.

Here are the reasons why I do it anyway:images (5)

  1. Other people expect me to.
  2. I’m afraid of being judged.
  3. I am a sheep.
  4. Baaaa!

I’ve talked about this with plenty of other women, including my own partner. Of the ones who don’t generally buy in to all the ridiculous notions about how classy women wear make-up every day and other such nonsense, I keep hearing the same thing: they shave because they like the way their legs feel.

I can’t help but believe this is bullshit. I’m not trying to call my friends, fellow feminists, and the love of my life liars. Really. But…I just can’t believe that this is the truth.

New Picture (1)

The Daily Mail posted an article earlier this year about’s study of British women’s beauty habits. Though shaving was the most hated beauty ritual among those surveyed, women reported spending more time shaving than any other activity listed. Over the course of a lifetime, British women spend an average of 59 days shaving, or, 21 hours per year.

I don’t even get to read a book in peace for 21 hours per year!

So, why do we really do it? I can’t help but think that my friends are fibbing. I know plenty of women with soft, sparse, and/or skin-colored hair who do not shave. The women I know that do shave are, by and large, women who couldn’t easily hide the fact of not shaving.

I think they do it for the same reason that I do. Because everyone (in the US and UK at least) expects them to. We know what looks we would get if we didn’t and we care what other people think.

Bet Mama June doesn’t shave her damn legs.



2 responses to “Jealous of Mama June

  1. Hm. This issue is a slippery one, isn’t it? Or rather, an itchy, scratchy, burny, annoying one. I think you’ve got a real point with this, about how women know it’s cultural/patriarchal bullshit to shave your legs so they look appropriate. But that fear of being judged is powerful.

    Because I don’t know about you, but my leg hair doesn’t bother me–not when it’s fully grown-out, anyway. The stubble of I-haven’t-shaved-in-four-days is pretty annoying, though. So here’s wishing us both luck in this “to shave, or not to shave?” question.

    • Ditto- my hair is more annoying when stubbly then when it’s a quarter inch long. I think I’m going to completely ditch the razor this winter. We’ll see.

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