I’m going on a permanent shaving strike

I’ve decided to stop shaving my legs. Living in a cold climate where I wear tights or trousers for 8 months of the year has made me realise what a pointless waste of time shaving is. I started shaving as a teenager because this is what society told me I had to do. I never questioned it; that is, until now.

I survive all winter and even much of autumn and spring without shaving my legs and I rather like it. I like not having to spend time doing it and shaving dries my skin. My legs also feel softer. Shaving makes your legs feel prickly as the hairs grow back but once they’ve grown past the prickly stage they become soft. All these things made me question why I bother doing it at all and the sole reason is because I’m not sure that I’m strong enough to face the stares and sniggers from strangers. Well, not so any longer. The people I care most about – my family – are not bothered by my hairy legs so why should I care what strangers think?

Here are my hairy legs.


I’m posting about this because I’m sure I’m not alone. Indeed I know I’m not alone. There are many women who would rather not shave the hair from their bodies but only do it to conform to society. Hopefully sharing this will empower others to do the same.

On a similar vein to this we’ve decided to stop mowing the lawn. Lawns are monocultures with very little life. I’ve noticed that if you let the weeds grow for a bit the insects come back. I’m still going to mow pathways but around the pathways I’ll let nature take its course and maybe eventually we’ll have a meadow in our backyard, or even better, a wildflower garden.

My avoidance of all things made in China is still ongoing but I have failed a few times already. I had to buy some elastic for Elizabeth’s dance shoes and these were made in China. I couldn’t find any alternatives. I also bought some resin for Elizabeth’s violin and it said online that it was made in Austria but when it arrived it was a two-pack with one made in China and the other in Austria. I was very annoyed about that. My third fail was a bike lock. I couldn’t find one in the shop that wasn’t made in China.

People who don’t want to take action on climate change claim that there’s no point because China produces most of the world’s emissions. But then those same people buy stuff from China. It’s like buying goods made from elephant’s tusks and then claiming it’s not your fault all the wild elephants were butchered. We have to take responsibility as consumers. China may produce the most emissions but that’s because they’re making stuff for us. China is the world’s factory. Ultimately we need to consume much less. But we can also buy stuff from climate neutral organisations or organisations that have a policy of reducing their impact on the environment and there are more and more organisations like this, my own employer for one.





11 responses to “I’m going on a permanent shaving strike”

  1. All Exclusive Cruises Avatar

    I’m totally with you on this! from the not shaving to the not buying from China!

    1. Rachel M Avatar

      Good to hear!

  2. Chrissie Avatar

    My concern here is with the lawn and drawing more ticks. They like long grass, too. and paved paths don’t really ward that off.

    1. Rachel M Avatar

      Would there be ticks in the middle of a city though? I thought they hung around livestock and wild deer?

      1. Chrissie Avatar

        I really don’t know your area, but I know Long Island is covered with ticks and is a hotspot for Lyme, and it’s suburbs.

  3. Jonathan Avatar

    I’ve been drawn into SO many conversation with women I know about the double standard with shaving – and I almost always comment that most of the things women do are driven by women – not men – particularly so with teenagers, who look at impossible photos of celebrities as role models in glossy magazines written by women, for women…

    1. Rachel M Avatar

      It is largely driven by women. We have only ourselves to blame. I’ve never met a man who says I absolutely must shave my legs but women will surely comment negatively.

  4. Claudette Avatar

    I have a friend in Germany who does not shave at all. Never had. When she comes home to Canada it’s the women who are most vocal about it, although the men too seem to react somewhat (not in a positive way). There’s this whole stigma…

    Ultimately it’s up to you what you want to do with your body, no?

    I for one hate the feel and look of hair and always have, since teen-aged, so I had gotten rid of it, in all the usual, visible spots. Even in winter…for me it’s such a habit to do it in the shower I don’t even think about it. Now that I have a female child who is on the threshold of the teen years, but blond (so it shows much less on her than on me, I am quite dark), I’ve been asked to help her navigate. I should probably blog about it (and will if I have her permission)…but my answer was something along the lines of “if you want to do it, let me help you with the first time so you won’t cut yourself”. Because I was always discouraged and then went ahead and did it anyway and still have a huge dark scar on my one leg because of that fiasco. 🙂 So far, my daughter’s decided to delay it.

  5. Denise Avatar

    I am not sure I could do not shaving. Luckily I don’t have to make that choice because I don’t have hairs on my legs. I am a lot more confident than I used to be but I love that you are such a good example for being soooo confident.

  6. Chaitanya Avatar

    I think while making choices like where to buy from, we shouldn’t get stuck with all-or-none attitude and make better choices where possible.

    And I like the idea of not mowing the lawns too. I will give it a try sometime in the coming months and see how worse it could get.

    1. Rachel M Avatar

      Yes, I agree it’s a bit all or nothing to put a blanket ban on purchases from one country. I’m really just trying to make a point.

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