Emer O’Toole wrote a tongue in cheek Q&A about her I-am-not-shaving experiment.
I have conducted an 18-month experiment in body hair on your behalf and will now answer the questions people most commonly proffer when confronted with my prodigious manes of untamed womanhood.
Don’t men find you physically repulsive?
At first this was a problem. But then I starved myself to a skeletal size, had lumps of silicon surgically implanted into my chest and permanently tattooed black lines around my eyes.
Just joking. The man I was going out with when the experiment began was a little apprehensive when I unveiled my innovative grooming plans, but when I actually grew the hair out he was proud of me. One evening, friends of ours asked him a variation of the above question, and he said: “If I was a girl, I wouldn’t shave my legs.” Because he is awesome. Then, in a completely un-hair-related twist, we broke up. So I did what single girls in London do, and had ALL the boyfriends. None of them minded (some of them liked it). And then one of the boyfriends turned out to be completely amazing so I made him the only boyfriend. He is also proud of me.
Don’t you smell?
I smell exactly the same as I did before – a bit like soap after showering, and a bit like Christmas cake first thing in the morning.
Don’t people point and laugh at you in public?
Yes. Sometimes people do look at you as if it is the 19th century and they have paid a ha’penny to attend a freak-show, saying: “Ha ha ha. Look at the hairy lady – just like Julia Roberts that time shelost the plot.” Note to tube users: if you whisper and giggle behind your hand while staring straight at a fellow passenger, she will probably know that you are talking about her. For a hand is not a massive opaque screen. It is a hand.
Randomers point and laugh at my legs and armpits in public sometimes. But the problem isn’t my legs or armpits.
Don’t small children run when they see you, fearing you will lure them to your gingerbread house?
A scene from my life:
Small child: Why do you have hair under your arms?
Me: Because when girls and boys grow up into women and men they grow hair under their arms.
Small child: My mum doesn’t have hair under her arms.
Me: She shaves it off.
Small child: She doesn’t.
Me: She does. Ask her.
Small child: Mum, do you?
Mother of small child: Yes.
Small child: Why?
Exactly, small child. Exactly.
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