Anonymous asked: hey, i don't want to lie I just really dislike hair on women (i'm a female btw). just an esthetical thing, like someone not liking lipstick or something. i still respect your decision not to shave because really it's only your business and nobody else has a right to tell you otherwise. but my question is, are there people who try that? like people who tell you you're looking gross or something? how do you deal with that?
I have experienced a great deal of negative energy. I’ve been called names and I’ve been gagged at on multiple occasions. In middle school, I lost people I thought were my friends over it. Some people snicker and whisper, others will make fun of me loudly as if I’m not there, often in front if their children. Grown, adult women, in public settings have on several occasions, leaned down to their young daughters and verbally bashed me - calling me gross or disgusting and/or whispering something I couldn’t hear, they turn and look at me, then they laugh and shake their heads and snicker. I pretend not to notice and go about my business and make note so I can use the experience as material for my book (that one would fall under the “how parents often unknowingly contribute to the destruction of their children’s sense of self and plunge them into the debilitating depths of insecurity, self degradation, and ultimately, self loathing” section).
There was this one guy (a cashier at a deli and this happened WHILE he was ringing me out) who told me what I was doing was wrong because I was a woman and as such I was shaming my sex and that I shouldn’t do it in public. He kept saying, “you need to shave, you’re a WOMAN” and refused to look at my face - just kept staring disgustedly at my chest. I was in Key West and he was telling me to wear a turtle neck and long pants, and he sincerely believed that *I* was the one “shaming my sex.” *face palm* Honestly, I wish I had done more in that scenario. I wish I had asked to see his supervisor. I just told him - my husband adores it and I’ll do what I please, thank you very much, and I don’t want your approval so kindly mind your own business - or something to that effect. I’m truly not good with confrontation. And I’m not good with rude, negative, angry, confrontational, and/or aggressive people. I was raised to speak to people with respect and that if you can’t be nice/respectful go be by yourself until you can. Courteousness is very important to me. So confrontation usually makes me feel extremely anxious, awkward, and uncomfortable. (At the same time, I can get a little carried away responding to assholes online, but I try to watch myself even then. :P)
Honestly, comments like that used to upset me A LOT. They got deep under my skin when I was a kid, teenager, and even partway into early adulthood.
One of the major things that has helped me not be negatively affected by mean people is starting my Body Hair Aware project and writing my book. I’m using many of the negative experiences I have regarding my body hair and the reactions people have to it in my book. It has helped me to not be brought down by their remarks, inspired me to think of intelligent, informative responses, and in some cases, to even appreciate the insult (some insults I have received have been especially humorous and entertaining). Having compassion and trying to imagine “walking two moons in their moccasins” - as the saying goes - has helped me learn to be more gracious, patient, and understanding, in life, in general.
Another thing that helps tremendously is that the positive, uplifting, loving responses I get FAR, FAR, FAR outweigh the negative ones. I have had more young women than I can even count anymore tell me that just observing the way I live my life has completely changed theirs for the better and that I inspire them to love themselves more. Just by being my natural self! Having that kind of impact on even ONE woman’s life would make every insult I have ever received worth it. Within one hour of being insulted by that cashier in Key West a woman stopped me on the street and said, “You are beautiful.” She looked (again) at my chest. Looked into my eyes, “So beautiful. Thank you.” It seems very likely to me that the universe rewards me every time I treat someone who is being mean to me with kindness and respect. When I’m actively practicing courteousness, magic happens in my life. Things are constantly transforming and new opportunities are constantly opening up. It’s happened so many times that even in my darkest of depressions, I can no longer deny that I create my own reality. That we all do. And that we, absolutely, reap what we sow.
If you care to read more, here are some of the responses I’ve had to people who have said negative things to/about me online:
And here is a part of my personal story about my struggles growing up with a lot of body hair:
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- aucosm said: I can’t even express how amazingly awesome I think you are. :)
- cosmiccharli said: God I seriously love you. Your strength is ground-shakingly immeasurable. You make me cry tears of joy!!! and I am one of those women you have inspired to love herself more!!!!!!!!! <3
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