Liberating Ourselves from the Chains of Conditioned Beauty
Today on my first day here in the wilderness of Norway, my soul sister Ingrid and I went for a walk deep into the forest where we sat by a waterfall and flowing river. As we sat there we talked about what it means for us to be natural and the longing for wild beauty, in a world that is filled with heavily ingrained conditionings around the female body and the constructs of beauty. There is so much plastic in the world, and there is a deep hunger in my soul for the real. Both of us, haven’t shaved our legs and underarms the past few years and it’s been an important process for us to come back to what is natural and beautiful.
Burning through societal conditionings that instruct us women that only by shaving can we be deemed ‘beautiful’, ‘feminine’ and ‘desirable’. For some reason, on this Earth at this time, in our Western culture it’s considered taboo for women to have hair on their legs and under their arms. It’s often considered ‘manly’, ‘ugly’, ‘dirty’ and ‘repulsive’ — so many negative connotations intertwined with female body hair in our 21st century society.
And I never could understand why?
I’ve always loved my body and my hair.
The Liberating Light of Self Truth vs. External Acceptance, Approval and Conformity
Yes, I did grow up and shave my legs and underarms — because I saw all other girls and women doing this. It seemed that once we became teenagers, that this is something we all did as we became ‘women’ and was just considered normal. You buy a razor and shave the hair off your body. Then there came a point in my early 20s, that I started to truly align with my soul and Being, coming into full authenticity and self integrity. I started to inquire and question why I was shaving my hair off my body? Was I doing it because I enjoyed doing it? Did I shave because I truly wanted to? I probed myself to go deeper into the reason I was shaving and what I discovered was that I was shaving because I was afraid of what other people would think if I didn’t. I had become a slave to external approval and validation. It seemed almost unacceptable to not shave, as almost 99% of women I met did shave.
How obedient are you to the societal norms of feminine beauty?
I felt this strong matrix of a societal program and deeply rooted conditioning within my psyche that automatically assumes that in order to be ‘feminine’ we as women must shave and be hairless to be beautiful, sexy, and clean.
I, myself, didn’t have a problem with my body hair. I love and accept all parts of my body. Once I went deeper into my Being, I recognized that it wasn’t in my full truth and authenticity to shave my hair anymore. It just didn’t feel natural, it felt very contrived. And shaving just for the sake of conformity and fitting in, was definitely not a good enough reason to continue this aesthetic ritual. Once we connect to our truth, it becomes very difficult to do things that go against one’s inherent truth. And the most painful thing we can do is self betrayal.
So in order to embody my truth, I stopped shaving and under went a process of radical “decondioning” the past 5 years, and burning through this ingrained psychological program and matrix within myself. I couldn’t believe how strong and deeply rooted it was in the recesses of my psyche, with being incarnate in a woman’s body at this time on this Earth.
As I underwent this radical deconditioning process, I came up against strong emotions such as fear and shame. The fear of what other people would think about me when they saw my leg hair, or feeling others judgements on my hair just by their glances and looks (it also doesn't help when you are extremely sensitive, psychic and telepathic). The fear of being judged was so strong, and this deeply ingrained ‘shame conditioning for having body hair’ was being burned through facing all emotions that would arise, and tenderly and courageously being willing to feel it all. I would allow my self to feel the shame fully, and to burn through it. Over and over again. Burning in the alchemical fires of transformation, until the liberated woman within me could emerge fully. I burned through the discomfort that came with consistently feeling the fear, as the force of truth within me propelled me to be true to myself fiercely.
I even experienced the desire to hide my legs when out in public, and a fear to be visible in light of a society that labels female body hair as ugly and dirty. I realized that the only time in my entire life that I have ever felt shame, was in conjunction with allowing my body hair to remain on my body. There's been no other time in my life that I have experienced shame. This shame was rooted in this patriarchal conditioning rooted so deeply that women are not allowed to be beautiful naturally, and can only be deemed feminine when hairless. When in truth, femininity and real feminine essence has absolutely nothing to do with one's physical external appearance. It's such a deep lie, and it's such a strong controlling mechanism that locks women into smallness, insecurity and subservience. It's a form of encagement (one, among many).
I would not allow myself to be encaged in anyway, by being a slave to society's program around feminine beauty. I was taking back my sovereignty and power, by aligning with the truth radiating within my soul—that my body hair is beautiful, sacred and pure just as it is.
It’s truly amazing how taboo it is to be a woman and have leg and underarm hair! You wouldn’t imagine how many people have looked at our legs feeling uncomfortable, or looked with disdain as if its inappropriate to allow our body to be just as it is. It amazes me how deeply we as humans can be so judgmental and critical of something so natural. Imagine if everyone shaved their head in society, and those who chose to grow their hair were looked at with judgement because they didn’t choose to follow the norm and conform. For me, hair on my legs is no different then hair on my head. It’s just a matter of personal preference, and I feel its so important to honor each of our own unique individual preferences instead of passively and unconsciously confirming to societal norms and conventions.
Anytime I do meet a sister that chooses to allow her hair to grow on her body, I always honor and respect her Being so deeply, knowing just how much courage, authenticity, and strength it takes to go against the conventional norm — having gone through this radical deconditioning process myself, and faced many judgments, critiques and disapproving looks. It takes true solid strength to be rooted in your truth and for all your actions to align with the congruency within.
And for those women and my sisters who do enjoy shaving and love doing it, I honor this as well. There is no right or wrong, just what feels good and alive for each of us!
We must not be afraid to question and inquire into all are actions, no matter how minute they may be, to see why it is we do what we do. To bring light and consciousness to all parts of our Being, and to truly see where are actions stem from.
And for myself, I feel more like a woman (rather then a girl) when I do have hair on my body. I feel a sense of strength, rootedness and Earthiness. I feel wild, natural, untamed and undomesticated. I feel free. I feel wildly beautiful in the perfection of my intrinsic Being. I don’t feel the need to alter my physical body in anyway. I truly love, cherish and treasure my body just as it is, as Life made me.
Roger Friedland writes in his brilliant article "Looking Through the Bushes: The Disappearance of Pubic Hair":
“Its disappearance tells us something about womanhood, the state of love, the human and the relation of body and soul. Pubic practices are rites by which we construct who we know ourselves to be. What are they telling us?
A hairless vagina is symbolically unhinged not only from reproductive possibility, but from spiritual union, from knowing. The vagina is our template for the ultimate sacred space, a holy of holies where no one else can enter: unseeable, unsayable, the template of pleasure by which the pains of this worldly existence are to be measured. In Hebrew, to engage in sexual intercourse literally means ‘to know.’ This is not just a euphemism. The connection between erotic desire and knowledge is lodged both in our origin story in the Garden of Eden, and written into the word philosophy—philo, loving, sophia, knowledge or wisdom—a loving of knowledge. That loving is grounded in erotics. A woman’s pubic hair veils the passage, marking the sacrality of that space of knowing. Shaving it away stamps it as a mere organ, a passage where anyone can linger pleasantly, where something is done, not somebody known. Pubelessness is an affirmation of the pure body and a negation of corporeal soul, separating the center of one’s flesh from birth and from knowing.
For me, a pubic hairless vagina, looks more like a little girl than a woman. The implications are far-reaching and frankly, to me, a little scary. Apparently bush removal has now become a “rites of passage” ritual that young adolescent girls embrace and there are many young men today, who have never seen pubic hair on woman."
I encourage us to all feel into the deepest resonance within, and to appreciate and love our physical forms— totally, completely and unapologetically no matter what shape it takes.
Love the wild nature within. Love the wild woman.
Love the true essence of raw beauty.
To be natural is to be holy, and the hair that grows on your beautiful legs, under your arms, and in between your legs is just as sacred, clean, and beautiful as the hair that grows on your head.
If we lived in a world where there was no stigmatization of female body hair, a question to ask oneself would be: would I still choose to shave my hair off my body as often as I do If external approval and acceptance was obsolete?
I appreciate women in my life that also trail blaze and live their authentic truth, going against the conventional standards of female beauty and are lights in the world reminding us of the power of freeing ourselves from the ‘should’s’ into full freedom, truth and embodied love and acceptance for who we are, just as we are. It takes strength, courage and tenacity to be natural in today’s overly polished world. I now know from my own experience, that a woman who chooses not to shave in this modern society is truly a woman that has deep strength and courage to be true to herself, and live whats natural to her own Being and heart. True confidence, resilience and sovereignty. Whether we choose to shave our bodies or not, may we all be true to ourselves and love ourselves exactly as we are in whatever form and shape that may take — shaving or not shaving. Only doing what feels true for us, and having the courage and conviction to stand in our truth and own it.
This is the radical invitation of Authentic em-Bodied Womanhood.
I write this article for the sake of bringing light and consciousness to this topic, to spark a deeper inquiry for reflection:
-Does it feel natural to shave my legs and armpits?
-Do I really enjoy shaving?
-How does my body feel about having my hair shaved?
-What is my core rooted belief as to why I should shave?
-Am I doing this to fit in and meet societal standards of beauty, or am I doing it truly because it feels natural to me?
-If we lived in a world where there was no stigmatization of female body hair, would I still keep shaving?
-Who am I shaving for?
-What is my heart and soul truth?
-How do I feel when I see a woman who doesn’t shave? What thoughts, beliefs and assumptions arise within me?
May we all engage in the deep inquiry of our inherent motivations of why we do what we do, even when its considered normal. And let’s not forget, that just because something is deemed normal, doesn’t make it always right. There is no right or wrong, only what feels natural for you. Live free. Be free. Love yourself, and honor your true authenticity. ♡
Below is a photo I took in Hawaii of my legs 2 years ago, on a day I decided to shave. Both legs are beautiful, with and without hair 😉
With deep love and radical truth,