My body hair, on any average day, could compete with a Neanderthal. My brothers joke that from ages 0–5 I looked like a creature from Planet of the Apes. One day, in my freethinking adulthood, I guess I decided to reclaim the title. I made an effort to remove body hair on less than ten occasions in 2013. I wish I could say my aim was counterculture or feminist, but it’s not. I’m just lazy and razors are expensive.
Leg-shaving was slowly phased out of my beauty routine over the years, and now, it’s to the point where I don’t even think about the hair’s existence. I’m only reminded of it when someone, who’s not me or my boyfriend, sees my legs and reacts with humorous outrage at the beastly sight. Sometimes when it gets really long and starts curling at the end, I crack myself up by sending Snapchats of it to everyone I know.
Recently, I had a bad day. (Now there’s a unique segue, eh?) It must have been a Tuesday, which in my opinion is the worst day of the week -- it doesn’t have the fresh perspective of Monday and it’s nowhere near Friday. Anyway, I don’t even remember why this day sucked, but an unfortunate turn of events led me to blow off some steam via a cry/pee session in the bathroom. (Ever had one? They come highly recommended.)
I’m in a rut, I thought, pants around my ankles, head on my knees. Nothing could possibly fix this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day! Not even CANDY! (Note: you can’t judge maturity levels during a cry/pee.)
I opened my eyes and looked at the speckled tile of the bathroom floor. But…something was blocking the path to fully seeing it. I blinked, letting a few tears fall, so I could focus in on what it was obstructing my vision: the leg hairs. My legs looked so disgusting, the skin, hair, and fluorescent lighting all coming together to make them look like they belonged to a sickly 80-year-old man.
You. Must. Die. I thought. Suddenly, massacring my leg hair was the only thing that would make me feel better.
I was convinced that by shaving my legs, all life’s problems would resolve, in the same way every girl anticipates purple hair dye or drastic haircuts will. On some level, I knew it was irrational, but that didn’t stop me from spending my lunch hour at Duane Reade comparing prices of every razor and shaving cream brand available. I settled on a middle-range priced pack of disposables and a delicious looking, cruelty-paraben-free raspberry pomegranate gel.
I got home from work, turned on the shower extra steamy, and shaved my legs. And, much to my surprise, my plan worked. The experience was cathartic, like a manicure that doesn’t make you bleed, or discovering your purpose in life.
First of all, let’s discuss the shaving cream, EOS. It is fabulous. The second is was in the palm of my hand, the scent made me feel physically calmer. The lather was luxurious and hydrating, and didn’t irritate or dry out my schizophrenic skin. At the end, the bathroom was full of shower steam and the scent of raspberries, and my skin glowed, revealing a sight that I hadn’t yet seen in 2014. I felt like a new person.
I haven't shaved since, though. I don't want to totally allow shaving back into my beauty routine, yet. I want to be able to pull it out like a trick card when I have a bad day, keeping it a special occasion, instead of ruining the magic with a drab routine.
But you know what? When you apply lotion after shaving your legs, you are actually moisturizing your skin. And here, I thought I just grew supremely soft leg hair.