As some of you may know, British schools and colleges started up again a couple of weeks ago. And I really dislike school. I am already struggling work wise but I am also finding the social aspects difficult the constant need to be seen as “popular”, but in a way that doesn’t make you look like a social climber. I am already so done with it. One of the reasons I hate school so much is because of situations like one that happened a few days into school:

I was sitting down with my friends for lunch. I was in a long-sleeved top due to the fact that I hadn’t shaved my arms in 6 months and literally couldn’t be bothered to do them the night before- even though I had nothing else to do. (Yes, I admit that I’m lazy). Anyway, someone asked me why I wasn’t wearing a t-shirt so I said ‘I haven’t shaved my arms’.

Apparently I must have said something completely weird, because immediately I had half the year coming over like “um that’s is so strange” “why do you do that?” “literally no-one shaves their arms”. Um hello. In case you didn’t realise, I am brown. And that means that I have dark hair, and not just on my head. Everywhere. I was always that kid in junior school photos with the very visible monobrow.

What these girls clearly didn’t understand was that if I don’t shave my leg/arm hair off then I will get funny looks from girls in school (who judge me for being hairy) which just makes me insecure. And clearly if I do shave off my arm hair I will still get funny looks- because it’s obviously not a normal thing to do. I can’t win.

What really annoyed me was one girl who went “I have soooo much arm hair and I don’t shave it off!”. Some context: her arm hair is BLONDE. You can’t see it!!!! It just irritated me that she acted like we were both in the same situation.

It made me realise that because of pressures put on us in society, the majority of women/girls have gotten into a pattern of feeling like they have to shave/wax etc. in order to feel “normal” and “pretty”. Not shaving just leads to feelings of insecurity because you feel “hairy and ugly”. At least that’s what I felt. So when my younger sister got to an age where she started to notice the difference (hair wise) between her and her friends, I advised her to not remove her arm and leg hair. I said “Once you start, you can’t stop”. And for me, that was true. (She didn’t listen to me, but it was worth a try)

What I wanted my sister to understand was that there shouldn’t be any pressure to remove hair. You should remove it as a personal choice, not because you are worried about what people would say. Men don’t. If a man in shorts was walking down the street baring hairy legs, no-one would ever say anything.

Just like your fingers and your toes, your hair is essentially a part of you. Don’t treat it as a problem or an ugly feature. You don’t have to love it, but try to accept it.

And over time, maybe you will embrace it. (I am still working on that)