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I am pansexual.  My preferred gender pronouns are they, their, them, she, her.  I am polyamorous.  I have bipolar disorder, I am an artist…  I struggle with co-dependent tendencies and have taken a lot of time to be alone this past year and it has been great.  I have recently discovered that having body hair makes me feel incredibly sexy.  It has taken a long time for me to get to a point of self acceptance where I could feel comfortable enough to stop shaving.  

Growing up, I was hyper focused on the concept of perfection. As a kid I wanted to be the perfect daughter.  As a teen, I wanted to be the perfect girl.  Physical perfection was all that mattered to me and when I realized that it wasn’t possible for me to achieve perfection - I day dreamed about being girls in my class who looked perfect -  I literally wanted to be someone else.  In my twenties I wanted to be everything that my mother-in-law wanted me to be.  Now, in my thirties I struggle with feeling like I am not enough, or that I am too much, or that I am wrong for existing as I am.

At this point in my life, I am still really critical of myself most of the time and I often feel guilty or bad for not being a better version of myself.  My strive for perfection includes my struggle with my body hair.  Summer time used to be a really frustrating season for me because of the chore of shaving.  Shaving gives me terrible razor burn and in-grown hairs which I end up picking at; literally digging them out of my skin.  It is gross and makes me feel at odds with myself.  It can take weeks to heal. When I don’t shave, I don’t pick at my skin and in a way I am listening less to that critical voice in my head.  Having body hair feels incredibly sexy because I am allowing myself to be at home in my body and my mind.

I have had a difficult time with accepting myself but I am lucky to have had some role models over the years: women who didn’t give a fuck what haters thought and did their own thing.  Here are some key memories that have inspired me to stop shaving:

At 17 I was in math class and my friend Leah was wearing a belly shirt and you could see her happy trail and she was beautiful and seemed completely comfortable.

When I was 20 I went to a party held by grad students (I was a lowly undergrad) and there was a girl there in a yellow dress with completely unshaven, hairy as fuck legs, and I could not stop staring at her.  She was beautiful, and confident, and completely comfortable with herself.  Her confidence was inspiring.  Her hairy legs were hot.  

My friend from college posted a picture of herself on instagram and her legs were hairy and she looked powerful, and I thought to myself, I want that for me.  

My best friend stopped shaving last summer and showed me a picture of them-self in a bikini and it was glorious.  They were so confident, sexy, and hairy.

I went to an ecstatic dance event in Austin Texas and there was this young goddess dancing and eating zucchini bread, and her stomach had the most beautiful happy trail.  She was confident and relaxed and so so so so so hot.

I decided to do this photo shoot as a way to celebrate how far I have come.  Along with my new relationship to my body hair, I strive less for perfection and I take better care of myself.  Although I still struggle with self-acceptance, I continue to be kinder and softer to myself as I continue to work at being ok with me.

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