#blog

The Temptation To Embrace No Shave November Is Real

post image

Ditch the razor, as No Shave November is here, and yes, I am talking to you dear women. Why must men get away with not having to groom their facial hair just because it is “that time of the year?” Since we have more hair at various locations that need to be trimmed, plucked, waxed, threaded or shaved, as per personal convenience, the beginning of winters is just the occasion that you have been waiting for, to de-groom. One does wonder though if we and the world that we live in is ready to grant the same leeway for a month to women as it does to men?

TAKEAWAYS:

  • No shave November means beards and moustaches for men.
  • But why do women hesitate to embrace it?
  • Will the world fall apart if we don’t shave our legs or armpits, or pluck our eyebrows for a month?
  • While facial hair is seen as a style statement among men, it becomes a sign of lack of self-care among women.

In a world where hairstyle and grooming trends go viral and not popular, all men look identical with untrimmed beards handlebar moustaches and gelled to rigour mortis hair.

Since beard seems to be in vogue these days, no shave November is yet another excuse for men to experiment with ruggedness, salt and pepper, and the rustic manly charm that facial hair brings to their faces, or so they think. Honestly though, in a world where hairstyle and grooming trends go viral and not popular, all men look identical with untrimmed beards, handlebar moustaches and gelled to rigour mortis hair. Just a few days ago we were at an auto dealer’s store, where I spotted so many salesmen wearing a pompadour and long beard and moustache, I swear I thought it was a part of their uniform or something.

ALSO READ: How Haircuts Are Still Used To Stereotype Women

Alas, while facial hair is a sign of virility and style among men, the same in women is only seen as ugly and undesirable. Which means one needs to shed tears while getting their eyebrows shaped every fortnight, inspect the upper lip for a wild hair here or there on daily basis and cover the hairy legs, underarms and arms with pyjamas and sleeves to get away with complete “lack of self-care.” That’s right, most women equate grooming to self-care, which isn’t entirely wrong. However, a section of women has time and again argued about how we uphold the stereotypical and skin-deep standards of beauty with grooming. Bushy eyebrows are seen as ugly while un-waxed legs and arms as unkempt. If male body hair is acceptable then why shouldn’t female body hair be so as well?

Just think about the pain and shock that you feel when that first wax strip is pulled off the shin of your leg in winter and you’ll understand my newfound desire to embrace no shave or rather let your body hair grow out November.

Women themselves have internalised these standards to such an extent that we feel hideous if we simply let our eyebrow and upper lip hair grow out. While the ads for shaving paraphernalia doesn’t shy away from showing men grooming actual hair, I am yet to see an ad where women aren’t shown shaving hairless, smooth legs.

I guess the conditioning is too strong to go away in a month, or year or even a generation. However, taking a break from tearing (literally) your hair apart will be easier, if like me, you work from home and don’t have prying colleagues or bus conductors to answer to. Just think about the pain and shock that you feel when that first wax strip is pulled off the shin of your leg in winter, or when the shaved hair grow back into an irritating stubble in armpits and legs, grazing against your clothes and you’ll understand my newfound desire to embrace no shave or rather let your body hair grow out November.

Image Credit: Mel Poole on Unsplash

ALSO READ: Must We Burden Little Girls With Our Beauty Standards?

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.