Recently I changed my position from part-time to full-time feminist. While I had always believed in the core tenets of feminism (like that women should be considered equal to men, which is also known as simply being a decent person who believes in basic human rights”), I usually never acted on them. College changed that. The sudden burst of freedom and the end of contact with people who only mildly affected my life was an act of liberation, and suddenly I cared less about impressing others and more about answering questions I came in direct contact with on a day-to-day basis.
Now I’ll be honest on some of this “feminism” is just a form of laziness on my part. Did I forget to wear a bra today? Well, yes, but who cares, because a body is a body and the faint illusion of my boobs is a part of life so get over it. Is my choice to generally forgo makeup a dauntless attack on the patriarchal belief that women must always be presentable and that their natural state is never good enough? No, it just takes too much time and I somehow always end up looking startled and sloppy. In fact, I respect the girls who use makeup as an art, able to coerce their natural beauty into supernatural good looks. Power to you.
My decision not to shave, both in the present and in past instances, has been rooted in thoughts from “this takes too much time” to “why should I?” On my first night back on campus when I walked into the shower and pawed through my shower caddy, my decision not to shave stemmed from the fact that I had forgotten my razor at home. Forget the fact that it only required five to 10 minutes to easily purchase one; for me, that was too much effort. I shrugged and continued on with business as usual.
I will never be the perfect woman; in fact, I’m not even sure the perfect woman exists. Whatever that ideal is, my legs will never be skinny enough and my figure will not be bolstered with the right amount of curves and I certainly never have been, and never will be, described as dainty in my entire life. And that’s fine. I’ve realized that I don’t need to get my eyebrows to be “on fleek” or to work out every day to become someone’s version of perfection. I don’t even need to shave my pits just to make somebody else happy either. I hope I never do. At the end of the day, the world is an egotistical place; the only person that truly matters is yourself.
I understand there will be reproach. Frankly, dealing with that is uncomfortable. How do you explain politely to someone that you are rejecting the societal expectations they are accustomed to? More than that, I understand that it will make some uncomfortable. There have been stares and there have been comments. For those people, understand this: I don’t care. (I retract that statement immediately. While I do care how my actions affect you, unfortunately, I do not care as much if you take offense to my body hair.) There are so many restrictions placed upon people in society, not just women, that conforming to all of them is exhausting.
So I’m continuing this trend for a while. I’ve got no one I need to impress. If you’re my friend, then you’ll be my friend regardless. If you’re a stranger, it’s not your place to judge, and if you do, your opinion is not of consequence to me. If you’re a potential love interest, I’ve got a certain special someone who does not care how often or how infrequently I shave (although there’s a chance that “person” is actually my dog). Regardless, my life is not defined by fulfilling expectations of any kind, except for my own.
Taylor Bond is a sophomore in the College. Taylor Tries Things appears every other Friday.