Women Are Openly Shaving Their Faces for Smoother Skin, and I'm Just Trying to Avoid Growing a Beard

I am always on board with normalizing a thing that our culture doesn't seem to want to grasp: that all people, regardless of gender, are capable of being extremely hairy.
Publish date:
July 9, 2015
hair, shaving, beauty, facial hair

More and more women these days are starting to come out about the fact that they shave their faces -- not because they have an abundance of thick, coarse hair growing there, but because face shaving is apparently a growing trend among makeup artists or those looking to achieve a smoother, more perfected finish to their overall complexion.

I am always on board with normalizing a thing that our culture doesn't seem to want to grasp: that all people, regardless of gender, are capable of being extremely hairy. In fact, it's just another way in which we are all special and unique snowflakes. Where one rad femme chick could be harboring the capability to grow a full beard, the dudebro next to her might not be able to sprout more than a spindly mustache. What does that have to do with either person's self worth or gender-focused abilities? Nothing more than the amount of hair that grows behind my knees, of which there happens to be very little for some strange reason.

My point is: We should all be able to shave (or not shave) freely and effortlessly, and without shame.

I am quite on board with this new "trend" of face-shaving truthfulness and am proud to count myself among the shaving ladies, though I must admit I am doing it for a few different reasons.

A recent New York Times article states that Liz Taylor and Marilyn Monroe used to secretly be known for shaving the fine "baby hairs" on their faces so that make-up would be easier to apply. My facial hairs, however, are not just thin baby hairs, and I shave them because if I didn't then I would be allowing them to grow -- and while I'm all about embracing that shit, I don't think I am ready to be a bearded lady just yet. I've got patches of darker coarse pricklies that sprinkle out around and under my chin if I let them, but I usually don't. A few strays end up around my ‘stache line and creep into my jaw/sideburn area as well, which I choose to pluck.

If the hairs were not so coarse, obvious, and itchy, I probably would not be shaving them. As it is, it comforts me to lather up about every other day. I always take care to exfoliate before using a clean razor and shaving with the direction the hair grows. I also like to use a couple drops of rose hip oil to moisturize/calm my skin afterwards. (It's a myth that the hairs grow back in coarser and darker, BTW.) I have found that my make up goes on very nicely afterwards, though I don't know that I would go out of my way to shave just for the sake of photo-perfect foundation application. But I could see why one might.

For the rest of my body, as a woman with quite visible body hair, I have come to embrace its presence and also embrace the times when I happen to crave a clean shave. That means that sometimes I am fuzzy and sometimes I am not. This might be dictated by the weather, my state of mind, what I'm wearing, or where I'm going/who I'm going to be around. But in the words of RuPaul: "Ultimately, the decision is MINE to make."

For instance, because I work from home right now and most of the time I'm basically around my cat, my husband, or my friends who absolutely 100% give no fucks about body hair in the slightest, I feel comfortable with legs or pits on possible display in pretty much any state. If I'm about to be around family members or at a body-conscious event, I might shave -- or not, if I'm in a strong enough mood to deal with the possibility of pointed glances or comments. It all depends.

Lately it doesn't take much strength, because I genuinely like the way my fuzzy stems mesh with my purple toes and feminine prints. I enjoy how body hair can be part of a person's style.

I will admit that it does often feel backwards to have a razor in my shower that is more often used for my face than my legs, but that is how my story has developed as I reach my mid-20s, and I think that's fab. Maybe one day I will stop shaving altogether! Who knows. I have yet to pinpoint why it is I am such a hairy human, though I always have been, and I suspect it has to do with hormones. Body hair is a weird, but also perfectly normal, thing.

How is body hair weird for you? Do you shave your face or would you ever consider doing so just to perfect your foundation application? Or is it a "necessity" for you like it is for me?