I have a daughter. She's two and a half and is extremely eloquent when it comes to asking questions. She also loves to mimic, 'cause that's her job. To record, mimic then repeat it all out loud, when you least expect it. It's wonderful and surprising and scary. She watches me intently while I apply my moisturizer, mascara and lipstick. She wants to do the same. I'm all about helping her establish a routine BUT not such a specific beauty routine. Not just yet. Like waaaaay not just yet.
Our babes are going to copy us. My pal has two daughters, four and two years old. She tells me that she caught the four year old pretending to shave her legs while in the bath. Ever since then, my pal decided to stop shaving all together.
" I stopped all hair removal because I didn't want my daughter to grow up think it was necessary or even normative for women to remove the hair that marks them out as adult. The rest of society will be modelling the alternative, so I feel I have to show her what the other option was!!"
Just this past weekend, while riding on the 7 train, I couldn't help but sigh and shake my head while reading the new THINX underwear advertisement. It reads:
"Period-proof underwear that means you have one less NYC smell to worry about (LOL is that too gross? We weren't sure)."
I've read though the THINX website, their mission and their blog . I really do appreciate their perspective on women and body image. However, I feel that this particular worded ad continues to feed the notion of women's bodies being "smelly" and their lady parts being "unclean".
How do we, as creatives, help change the idea that women's bodies are "smelly" "ugly" "disgusting" "dirty" if we chose to not shave, and whenever we're on our menses? I wonder what my conversation with my own daughter will be like when she brings up the subject in the near future. And what kind of image-information would I wish for her to have access to when she's old enough to start looking into this subject for herself? I grew up without the access of the internet and the how-to videos of You Tube. I depended on encyclopedic information and Jane and Sassy magazines. What are my imprinted beliefs regarding my own body and what are my everyday "beauty" regimen routines telling my little one?
The next few weeks will be full of research, investigations and conversation with friends on BODY HAIR. I've started a board of hairy body positive images on my Pinterest page.
I've posted the questions I've asked friends to answer.
1) How many of you were taught by your mom / dad /main caregiver(s) how to maintain your body hair: shave, wax, pluck? If you didn't learn from a caregiver from whom did you learn?
2) Were there any moments in your prepubescent /tween/teen years where you were totally comfortable with allll of your hair?
3) When was the first time someone told you that your "hair" was a problem/issue.
4) How much negative feedback came from magazines/ television?
If you feel up to it, I'd love to hear your responses. Please feel free to private message me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd prefer not to share on this board. Thanks so much for your time.