UN-LADY-LIKE Edition 1: #NoShaveNovember (NSFW)
A Year Long Social Experiment
You’ve probably already summed up that this is going to be a nasty read from the title. And you’re probably right – if you’re grossed out about hair growth in “inappropriate” places. But before you get your undies in a knot, we’re not talking about pubic hair growth (though I am entertaining the thought for another social experiment – but that’s a different story for a different day!).
I’m sure you’ve missed me (No? Not really? It’s fine if you didn’t), so welcome back to another read with Kevanté under a new series I’ve decided to start within the E-Life collection.
The Unladylike chain will explore facets of Bahamian womanhood through my personal experiences existing as an “odd” entity when compared to what one may commonly describe as “Bahamianness.” In short, this is just an outlet for me to pen my thoughts about social experiments I’ve tried and will try for the next few months. Who knows – maybe this will take on a different form and create its own meaning by the time I’m through with it. But I am ready to be open and honest with you, our E-Life readers, about what it means to be a millennial woman, redefining stereotypes and dispelling myths.
So let’s get started.
About a year ago (and I promise this wasn’t my initial intention), I started a social experiment that allowed me to give new meaning to the phrase “No Shave November.” I was preparing for my Founders’ Day celebrations with my sorority sisters and the attire for the evening was semi-formal. The group chat was blazing with talk of fashion and bodily maintenance. I specifically remember one of my sorors saying, “I can’t wear this because if I do, that means I’ll have to shave my legs.” A few thoughts arose in me.
Shave legs? For what? Why do you feel you need to? Why is it a must? You’re in a room full of people that aren’t supposed to judge you for who you are and what you look like, so what’s the sense in shaving? And then another thought hit me – But you shave your legs too, Kevanté, so what’s the sense in making noise? Now ironically, I ran out of razors that weekend and didn’t have time to run to the store to make a purchase, so I couldn’t shave anyway. And thus, a personal protest was born.
In all honesty, I only set out to try this experiment for about a month or so, but laziness set in, allowing days to turn into weeks, weeks to turn into months and months to turn into a year, and look where it’s landed us – with a sweet-smelling garden spread across my lower torso.
SO…“How has it been within the love department,” you may ask (because I’m sure that’s what you really want to know).
Well for starters, I didn’t make any of my lovers from then to now aware that I was doing this experiment because 1) I wanted to get a genuine reaction during intimacy, and 2) their thoughts wouldn’t have mattered anyway because it’s my body and my choices. But just to share a bit more detail, the hair didn’t faze any of them, because the hair wasn’t the most important part of the overall experience, if you’re picking up what I’m putting down ;).
So what was the point of this experiment then?
I’m glad you asked. The crux of the matter is this – in a society that pushes ridiculous standards of shaved legs, vaginas, armpits and any other visible or invisible place that hair exists, we take back that power. You don’t get to tell us what makes us ladylike and accepted. You don’t get ownership over our bodies. You don’t get to take away our freedom to choose what should keep us happy and comfortable; and if you are our partners and have a problem with the way we keep ourselves, you are not for us. It’s that simple.
Your body, your choices.
Take care, loves.