I collected a machete and box of Band-Aids and took them to the bathroom. I got out the razor and the shaving cream. I sighed. For 38 years, I have performed this unpleasant and, sometimes, dangerous task.
I shaved my legs and, while doing so, wondered who, exactly, introduced this practice. I also wondered why it went viral. And I wondered if it was ever ever ever going to be passé. [Note: I do know Ancient Romans were into de-haired legs.]
Immediately following the car wreck of 2007 and for months thereafter, I had heaps of medical appointments. Between the chiropractor, physical therapist, podiatrist and orthopedist, I was to-ing and fro-ing much too much. I think the record was 8 appointments in one week. Bear in mind, I owned a body that had been infiltrated and colonized by pain endorphins. Work and doctoring were all I could manage. Shaving my legs was not physically possible and even if I could have managed it, I probably wouldn’t have. There’re only so many hours in a day.
During these appointments where I sat naked wrapped in paper with my hairy legs chill-bumped, I would read whatever magazines were in the exam room. It seems that doctors’ patients are uncommonly fond of gosspip rags. Either that or the docs are. [Exception: my shrink’s office is filled with the New Yorker and Car & Driver. Go figure.]
Slowly, inevitably perhaps, I became well-versed about Lindsey Lohan, Brangelina, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus and all those paparazzi-chased folks.
Perversely, it started to interest me. I would tut tut when reading about LiLo’s latest boondoggle. Sneer at Paris Hilton’s cluelessness. Horrified that Jessica Simpson doesn’t brush her teeth daily. I also looked at the fashion faux pas and fab fashion pics – sometimes thinking the fab was more of a faux pas, but those folks are never going to hire me to be the fashion editor.
Eventually, the myriad of medical appointments came to an end along with my celebrity gossip. I started itching to know the recent state of Brad and Angie’s marriage and whether or not Lindsey had learned how to disguise her alcohol monitoring bracelet as a cool fashion accessory.
I started going online for my gossip. While not as satisfying as a magazine, it more than meets my needs.
[Of course, you understand how much it pains me to admit to all this, but it is germane to leg shaving and I will get to that.]
I started reading the Huffington Post regularly during the last presidential election. They have one of the greatest celebrity gossip pages around. When I click on a link, it will often take me to a gossip rag or blog I haven’t heard of. It’s like a treasure hunt. [Angelina Jolie may be pregnant again.]
Tonight after the unpleasant hacking at my legs and sick of the election (and sick about the election), I went gossiping for some fluffy, banal entertainment. One link led to another and then another and I found myself reading an article with the blaring headline – Natalia Vodianova Reveals Hairy Legs at Harper’s Bazaar Party. [Let’s not even get into how bizzare it is that a major magazine has nothing more important than this to publish.]
I hadn’t a clue who Natalia Vodianova was, but I was rather intrigued at a woman who would show up at a Harper’s Bazaar party with unshaven legs and, presumably, wearing something that revealed such.
Well the accompanying photographic proof got my attention – imagine being a super model and doing a fashion shoot in short shorts and NOT shaving your legs. Still and all, my primary thought was if the hair on my legs looked like that I would never shave.
But in the same article, there’s a reference (linked) to something called Team Mo-‘Nique. In the interest of research, I clicked. Mo’Nique is an actress or something. But she has some bodacious hairy legs (I can relate) and flaunts them regularly. Lately, it seems she presented her hairy gams at the Golden Globes.
She says, I must show America what a real leg looks like . . . because it’s too much in the morning, every morning, to shave, to cut, you got Band-Aids baby, she said. I really think hair on a woman’s legs is a black woman’s thing.
She and I have pelts of similar hairiness. If I go too long without shaving, it itches and ingrown hairs develop and it’s altogether unpleasant.- more unpleasant than contorting my body in the bathtub or shower on a regular basis.
Which means, of course, that if Natalia and Mo’Nique are trend setters that are going to start a viral change to female grooming, I’m still going to be pretzeled in the shaving-legs asana – perhaps not as often as I do now, but still… Being the trendy person I am, I would hate to commit such a fashion faux pas as displaying smooth, denuded legs.
Clearly, if Team Mo’Nique sweeps the Olympics of Personal Grooming Habits, I’m going to have to wear pants on the days intense itch provoked shaving instead of wearing pants on the days I don’t shave. Either way, I am not going to be able to wear dresses as much as I like lest I assault someone’s, perhaps my own, standards of female pulchritude.
[And don’t get me started on the price of razor blades.]