Many years ago, my Uncle Jerry was in the hospital for surgery. He was hanging out in a waiting room, clad in a hospital gown, sitting in a wheelchair with his bare legs on display. Jerry was fairly hirsute, so “bare” might not be the best adjective for his legs.
A young boy saw Jerry and walked up, timidly.
“Are… you a werewolf?” asked the boy, wide-eyed.
Not missing a beat, Jerry replied, “Yup, and I eat kids like you for dinner.”
I’m pretty sure I inherited my hirsutism from that side of the family. I also have very dark hair, so when the hair comes in, it’s rather insistent on making its presence known. And, since I live in America and have two X chromosomes, I’ve spent a large portion of my life removing hair from a large portion of my body. Legs, armpits, chin, upper lip, even my stomach.
Mostly, I don’t mind. I have problems with itchy skin, and leg hair makes me itch, so I’m happy to be rid of it.
But the underarm hair was a different story.
Shaving my ‘pits meant unhappy skin. Red spots, gooseflesh, cuts, chafing. I hated how they would get slimy when I sweated. In my world, nothing good comes of naked armpits, except perhaps societal acceptance.
A few weeks ago, I simply said, “Fuck it.”
I’m letting my armpits grow free. And I’m really ridiculously happy about it.
I’m not making any statement about feminism here. I’m just saying that I now have fuzzy armpits, and my armpits have never been happier. I think I even like the aesthetics of the fuzz, though that might just be the novelty of it all.
So far, nobody has commented about the hair. It may be because I just haven’t been wearing many t-shirts lately. It may be because I’m nearly 40, and I’m not a famous sex symbol. It may be because in the grand scheme of things, nobody really cares about a woman’s hairy armpits. Or it may be because commenters are terrified that I’ll be one of those scary, hairy feminist werewolves. I don’t know.
Whatever the reason, I’ll just be over here, rockin’ my werewolf hair.
I’ve taken to trimming with a beard/pet trimmer instead of shaving. Keeps the itchy down, while still allowing for closer hygiene.