It’s funny but I made the decision to stop shaving my arm pits when Sno was about 8 months old, she’s almost 9 now. I was in the throes of the hellish dark that is post-natal depression after a traumatic induced birth at hospital where I felt totally out of control and stripped raw, naked, like a piece of meat. So as a small way to regain control of my life in my forced attempt to bond and love a baby I birthed, I stopped shaving my pits.
Big deal, right? Wrong. Through this small act I consciously collected my strengths and owned my body during a time where I felt completely robbed of any body autonomy, and totally lost in a murky sea of guilt. Here was this baby thrust into my arms who I was apparently supposed to love automatically when all I could think was “how long do I have to have her near me?”. I wouldn’t hear her cries, like I actually could not hear them. I had no interest in having her close to me. I didn’t feel those loving feelings all new mums are supposed to have, I waited for them but they never came and yet the tears never stopped flowing. Surely this wasn’t the way it was meant to be?
So in desperation, I sought help. It took medication and weekly therapy with a psychiatrist who suggested something as simple as a bath with my then-six month old baby for me to have the curtains slowly raised on my dark room that was heavy with baggage and numbness for me to begin to love my child. As I grew stronger, I began to question more and more the supposed “care-givers” around me who did no such care towards me. I began to question the status quo. I slowly healed and found my power.. one pit hair at a time.
When I stopped shaving my underarms and didn’t automatically do it “just because everyone does it”. I took control of my body. And would you know it.. but having underarm hair actually makes me feel womanly, fierce, feminine, sexy, strong. My body is mine.
And if what I do makes you uncomfortable, then that is about YOU.. NOT ME.