October has officially come to a close, so one might think hairy werewolves are going back in the Halloween bin, but people are about to become a lot hairier this November.
No, the extra hair isn’t a magical spell gone wrong or a horrible debilitating dog bite. It’s No-Shave November, a movement that encourages people to grow out their hair to spread awareness for men’s cancer.
While women have also joined in the movement, overly fragile men can’t seem to agree with their contributions and instead seek to reinforce archaic societal values by unjustly ridiculing women for growing out their body hair.
In general, men don’t usually like it when women refrain from shaving, whether for charity or personal preference.
In an interview with 10 men by Get the Gloss, an online beauty publication, only one said he wouldn’t mind a little extra hair if he liked the girl. One interviewee even went so far as to say, “Ideally, (I like) no hair below the eyebrows.”
Men have also been known to be a little less civilized when referring to women with hairy legs or armpits by calling them “unattractive” and “unhygienic,” and saying, “Women with hairy legs make me feel ill,” according to comments on a Telegraph article about women growing out their body hair.
In the past, men have tried to negate women’s participation in the movement, some going so far as to say, “Women participating in ‘No Shave November,’ go spend your eternity in the depths of hell,” according to The Daily Dot.
However, it isn’t up to them to decide. Women can choose to challenge these views whenever they want, and it’s a terrible reflection of society that their statements are questioned by men.
Since the moment girls are born and put into their little pink blankets, they are bombarded with beauty standards that tell them how to look in order to be accepted. What may seem like a suggestion is actually a societal law that requires women to adhere to conventional beauty standards.
Even if the concept of what is pretty is truly subjective, magazines and external expectations set by society make women and men think that beauty can be obtained through methods that force women to think shaving or putting on makeup are necessary parts of life.
Contrary to popular belief, shaving isn’t actually necessary for proper hygiene. A hairy girl does not mean a dirty girl. Women with body hair still shower and use deodorant, and anyone who judges and thinks otherwise is grossly mistaken.
Beyond the belief that women have autonomy over their own bodies and can choose whether or not to grow out their hair, there are other reasons to stop shaving.
For one, shaving can be way too expensive. The average woman spends over $10,000 in their lifetime purchasing shaving products, according to American Laser Centers.
Furthermore, shaving is annoyingly time consuming. It takes a lot of time to make sure every last hair is gone and that no cuts are made in the process, and it’s not like women only have to take the time to do it once a week. Staying smooth is often a daily chore because, believe it or not, hair grows back pretty quickly.
If women choose to not shave or go a month without shaving, it shouldn’t concern men at all. It’s one less expense women have to check off in their endless list of beauty products that they need to purchase.
The ability to not shave also has health benefits. Women who refrain from shaving don’t experience uncomfortable ingrown hairs or the irritation that can occur afterward. Having pubic hair also provides protection against bacteria, according to an interview with OB-GYN Jacqueline M. Walter in Glamour magazine.
There are valid reasons for choosing to go natural and avoid razors, and the no-shave movement is yet another addition to the long list that justifies women’s actions, which many men might not consider.
Women aren’t looking to undermine No-Shave November in any way. They simply want to be a part of it. Instead of trying to exclude women from participating or judge them harshly for their actions, men should be thankful for how successful No-Shave November has become.
For those who want to grow out their body hair, women can experiment through this movement while also supporting a good cause.
In the end, hair is just hair, and if for 30 days men can get past their own biases and let women join in on No-Shave November, the cause will fulfill its purpose and bring the awareness men’s cancer deserves.