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2009-10-07 - 11:58 a.m.

First some backstory: as with many aspects of my appearance as it relates to being girly-girl, I have been somewhat laissez faire when it comes to removal of leg hair. I dutifully shaved the darker stuff on the lower part of my legs in high school and part-way into university, but then, well, I just stopped. The hair on my lower legs is very fine and not particularly dark. It was, I suppose, noticeable if you bothered to look at my legs, but not so noticeable that it actually drew attention to them. During the summer my leg hair was blonder and my skin was darker, making it less obvious; during the winter, when my hair is darker and stands out more against my pale skin, I was in long pants anyway.

I was a bit of a feminist. I was comfortable with myself. I was, frankly, lazy, plus I took a small bit of pride in not only not caring, but visibly not caring. I thought of myself as a member of the Great Unshorn.

When I started going to the gym and regularly bared my fish-belly white, unshaven legs in the winter I didnít really change much right away. But gradually I found myself plucking with tweezers at the few darker patches that were a bit more obvious (just to the inside of my shins about Ĺ way up, in case you were curious). Iím not sure when, but sometime after becoming a fitness instructor 7 years ago I started waxing my legs (lower only; the hair above my knee is pretty much invisible/non-existent) using a home-waxing kit. (As an aside, I had no idea how many people would feel let down by me doing this; both my mother and a couple of friends remarked on how proud theyíd been of me for bucking the mandatory-shaving-thing in our society.) While not particularly painful, it was nevertheless a bit of an annoyance in terms of effort, and the hair had to be fairly long for it to work. So for a long time now, Iíve been waxing probably about once every couple of months, if that, and letting it grow in between.

No longer.

A couple of weeks ago I took the plunge and decided to try an ďepilatorĒ, which is a fancy name for ďdevice that rips your hair outĒ. There was a good sale on what looked like a halfway-decent model (a Braun Silk Epil for less than sixty bucks Canadian Ė no they did not pay me to write this, theyíve never heard of me and I assure you, if they had they probably wouldnít spend sixty bucks for me to tout their product to my vast single-digit readership Ė and if it lasts more than a couple of years it will be cheaper than buying the waxing kits and will result in less waste plastic to throw in recycling besides), so I took the plunge and bought it.

The verdict? I LOVE it!

Iím used to waxing and have fine, sparse hair, so this was a breeze for me. It actually hurt less than the waxing because, instead of ripping off something stuck to my skin as well as hair, it only pulled the hair itself. It was easy to operate and my lower legs were smooth and actually tingled pleasantly when I was done.

I know, I know, it sounds crazy. And when did I go from hairy-legged hippie to being someone who suffers for ďbeautyĒ by ripping the hair out of her legs? Particularly when I donít feel that beauty precludes leg hair? I canít fully explain it. All I know is that I get a bit self-conscious mid-winter when Iím on stage and my leg hair reaches about a centimetre long. And itís not such a Big Issue in my mind that I feel I need to take a stand on it; Iím more comfortable looking sleek and bare-legged when Iím teaching, so thatís what I do. Maybe itís partly because it feels like a more athletic look and I need everything I can get to bolster that self-image in my mind, being the klutzy, far-from-natural-athlete that I am, who knows? But my point is, if Iím going to get rid of the hair, Iíve found the way that I prefer to do it.

Who knows, maybe someday Iíll even stop dry-shaving my armpits with a blade over the sink before a shower (something else Iím sure would make a lot of people cringe) and try my epilator there too. Hm. Well. Donít hold your breath for this to happen. I bet that HURTS.


I can't believe I almost forgot... it's the anniversary of starting this journal today! Six years, baybeh!!!!

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