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by Tiffani Michele

**This is not your normal holiday tradition post, either. Going into it, I already know what’s in store for you oh gentle reader. And it may be TMI, even for my blogging standards of overshare. If you know me, think you might meet me one day, or have just eaten a meal, it may be wise to skip out on this one. I’m not sure in what order I will craft my masterpiece of a post but I know it will include nipple hair, menstrual blood, and shaved heads. You have been warned.**

Last year, I started a new holiday tradition. I have a bunch of oldie but goodies that I like…advent calendar, fancy hot chocolate and scones, decorating the inside of my minivan, dipping everything I can think of in chocolate, mason jar dessert mixes for presents…but last year I came up with a little tradition I like to call, “Shaving My Fucking Head, Bitches!” Until recently I didn’t know it was a tradition, except as the anniversary approaches I realized that I missed my shaved head and really really want to do it again.

I’m not done with the experience. I’m not done with the delicious way it feels when I shower, or a wind blows, or someone rubs my head. I’m not done with how badass it feels to say “fuck you” to societal norms on women’s appearance. I’m not done with how completely vulnerable it is to shave away something so feminine and present myself to the world with only my face. I’m not done with spending no money and no time on my haircare routine. I’m not done with wearing cute knitted hats to keep me warm and then immediately regulating my temperature by taking the hat off when too hot.

Last year I did it on my own, and month by month a few more friends of mine shaved their heads (and loved it!) until now I figure at least 25 of my facebook connections have done it. This year, I’m giving you, oh awesome reader, a chance to join in if you’d like to. You have a month to think it over, and then on Jan. 1st…BAM, MOTHERFUCKERS! It’s time to take it all off. I’m not suggesting everyone should do it, but if you feel a tingle of anticipation and a rush of excitement just thinking about it then you totally should. Just do it.

photo (8)

Gearing up for this big shave, (and here’s where you should stop reading if you’re prone to queasy) I’m not only letting my hair grow on my head but I’m growing my hair *everywhere*. *All over.* *No razor allowed!* *Anywhere!* At the same time I’m exploring what it means to be feminine without hair, I’m exploring what it’s like to be feminine with hair.

This all came to me a couple weeks ago while washing menstrual blood from off my legs in a rushing river. I was driving up the Pacific Coast Highway to meet 7 friends in Santa Cruz, and I guess the anticipation of so much female power unlocked my inner goddess and she decided to respond by giving me the gushiest start to a period EVER. While I was camping by myself in a clearing, next to a river. I wasn’t due to start my period, but it didn’t stop it from happening when I woke in the morning and stood up to eat some trail mix. With blood running all down my leg I did the only thing I could do…stepped into the running water, crouched down, and rinsed myself. I felt like a freaking pioneer woman or something. Just taking care of shit in a river.

I hesitated a bit, though, even covered in blood with no other option. “Would I be polluting the water? Is it OK, to just rinse myself like that? Is it right? Is it proper? Is it gross?”

And then I thought, “There are countless corporations defiling billions of gallons of riverwater a second, which you’re actually not aware of but probably should be more vigilant about, and you’re wondering if your natural body fluids are shameful? What is wrong with you?!”

For the rest of the drive; after purchasing Motrin, a chocolate bar, and tampons from the nice gas station dude, I wondered about what other things made me feel shameful about my femininity.

Let me tell you, that opened a big can of whoop ass worms.

I realized that from the time I started shaving, around 12, until that moment, that I’d never stopped shaving. That, in fact, I added more and more things TO shave until a significant part of my shower routine was spent with razor in hand.

At 12, it started with my lower legs.
At 14, it was my lower legs, upper thighs, underarms, and general bikini area.
At 16, a friend pointed out that I should start shaving my nipple area because some chicks got hair there. I didn’t, but started just in case.
At 17, a boyfriend commented I had “monkey arms” and instead of breaking up with him I started shaving them.
At 18, it was my lower legs, upper thighs, underarms, half my arms, nipple area, more focused bikini area with landing strip pubes.
At 21 it was my lower legs, upper thighs, underarms, half my arms, nipple area, bikini area, and asshole area. To be a more proper lady, of course.
By 30 it was all that and also my upper arm area and also tweezing my eyebrows and waxing my upper lip/chin.

That continued until recently. In fact, not only did I do that…I did it religiously every other day. I wouldn’t even have sex unless I’d shaved within the day or two. I never thought about it, it was just an effort to be “attractive”, “womanly”, “feminine”. It was driven by shame. Not that the act of shaving is shameful, but how I felt if I didn’t shave was. Why? I don’t know. It’s just hair! But I have no idea what I’m like au naturale. Do I have nipple hair? Don’t know! Do I agree that I have monkey arms? Don’t know! But probably not, since that dude was an asshole and why the fuck did I keep shaving my arms long after he was gone?

A few friends have pointed out that being a single woman is not the best time to experiment with a shaved head and hairy legs.

Fuck that, why not? Beyond the obvious, of course.

Who could ever fall in love with a bald, hairy woman? Who can even like a bald hairy woman who may or may not have nipple hair? Is that even dateable?

And that’s when it hit me. I’m done doing things from a place of shame because I think it will please other people and therefore make me more pleasing. I got shit to work out before I worry about who will or won’t love or even like me. Date me or don’t. Kiss me and my unwaxed upper lip or don’t. If hair or no hair is really a dealbreaker to someone, then it’s best I know that up front because that shit would never work out. None of that even matters until I can answer one simple question:

Can I ever fall in love with a bald, hairy woman?

Not that I’m a lesbian, I meant, you know, me.

Can I like myself even if I’m bald and hairy?

This is the month I’m starting to figure it out. I’ll have a merry christmas and then BAM! Time to shave.

You, of course, are welcome to join me for any or all of this experience.

Happy (Hairy!) Holidays!

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  1. December 6, 2012

    Hairy nipples go very well with a morning coffee. Toss the razor and fur up!

  2. Jo #
    December 6, 2012

    You amaze me… and I truly anticipate the day when you can say “HELL YES, I LOVE this bald hairy bitch” because GIRL – you are seriously BADASS… and tend to ROCK whatever you do – so I have no doubt that in doing this – you will free other women who are wanting to do / feel / say the same! I didn’t go bald -but I did go with dreads… for many of the same reasons! πŸ™‚ Merry ROCKIN’ Christmas, Tiff!!! πŸ™‚

    • December 6, 2012

      thanks Jo ❀ I LOVE dreads. Go on with your bad self

  3. December 6, 2012

    I’ll need some progress photos throughout the month! Close ups!

    • December 6, 2012

      you sick fucker, Carmen! #fetish

      πŸ˜‰

    • December 6, 2012

      Second that Tiff!

      • December 7, 2012

        That was seconding the progress pics…Carmen is right on the money…and now I can’t stop thinking about life without hair!

  4. December 6, 2012

    I love you, you hairy bald fierce warrior goddess ❀

  5. December 6, 2012

    LOVE THIS! Not grossed out at all! I regularly shave my head now and have for about a year. It grows so fast. And I get so much inspiration from you and Tara for doing it too. I haven’t shaved my legs in almost a year either. I’m just sick of doing it. Plus, I was pregnant over the summer and said fuck it, I can’t bend down to do it anyway. LOL! Underarms would be the hardest thing for me to stop shaving. Thanks for putting this out there. πŸ™‚

  6. Danielle D #
    December 6, 2012

    just make sure you post progress pics, I am dying to know if you end up with nipple hair or not! πŸ™‚

  7. December 6, 2012

    Love you as usual. I can’t do the shaving of the head. I thought about it for a long time but decided after my last pixie cut that I prefer my hair long. It’s me. But (and I blogged a bit about it here: http://lifeonacanadianisland.blogspot.ca/2012/11/celebrating-and-reflecting-on-one-year.html ) I have been embracing my grey since last November. Pretty much because I want to and people should love me for who I am.

    The not-shaving, that I can embrace. I hate shaving. I only shave my lower legs and armpits. Bikini area only when required in summer. I do get my eyebrows waxed about 4 times a year. That crap could all stop and I would be fine with it. Might just have to go for it.

    You’re such an influence Tiff. Love you β™₯

  8. Ashleigh #
    December 6, 2012

    So wish I could shave my head! Have wanted to since my baby daughter started pulling it out over the summer, but my hubby just can’t get on board with a bald wife, unfortunately. Which I’ve justified by saying there are things he could do (but doesn’t for my sake) that I would be turned off by, such as wearing old-man tennis shoes or jeans. Not shaving I’ve attempted many times, but always cave after about six weeks because, honestly, it starts to bother me to look at. It’s just frustrating that if I’d never shaved in the first place I wouldn’t know anything different, therefore the look of it wouldn’t bother me. Boo to societal “norms.” Hoping to set a better example for my daughter.

  9. kate #
    December 6, 2012

    Shaved head feels amazing. The first time I did it, I worked with a guy who said “it’s addictive, you won’t want to stop”, and he was right. I kept it shaved to the scalp for 4 years. I’ve been having to look socially acceptable for a few years now (adopted a babe, waiting to adopt another…people tend not to pick the bald lesbian for their child’s parent – don’t get me started on how ridiculous that is – if hair helped us parent, we’d all have those creepy ass braids down to our knees). Oh, and yup, the hairy chick with a bald head – totally hot and date-able (and I am a lesbian).

  10. katie #
    December 6, 2012

    Who the heck has time to shave?? That’s what I want to know. πŸ˜€ Not me! And I don’t care. Woo! Time to go hoop in my glass back porch, which probably looks like some crazy stage to the people driving by.

  11. NikiLucy #
    December 7, 2012

    This was a wonderful post to stumble upon! For years I have had people comment on my hairy legs or arm pits. Shaving SUCKS! I always cut myself and then I itch. I think I have had moments of “wanting to feel sexier means shaving”, only twice in the past 15 years. Not shaving…it’s a time saver. :o) Grow on Girl!

  12. me #
    December 7, 2012

    i smiled through most of your article… and am already joined with you in the no shaving part. only my armpits. I wax my legs and bikini line monthly…i like being “groomed” in that regard…but i too feel the need to rebel a little and test my own self-love. And i had a hard time at my Qi Gong (chinese gym) class *not* focusing on that when excercises required me to raise my arms over my head. I seriously want to give you a big hug though because it seems to me like you have been traumatized beyond *average* in your life, concerning body hair. When i was 12 i thought i had to shave my legs every day for fear a boy might brush up against me and feel a prickle. Now i am glad i live an europe (where yes, women DO shave) but they are much less “traumatized” by body hair. And i married a man who isn’t at all bothered by it (at least in private…i have no idea if he would care if i went all hairy at the beach!) but seriously …we need to get over this I have always been glad i was pretty blond. And i do like that with waxing you have to wait for a little regrowth. It means i have to be okay with a little bit of “in between” period and remember that yes, i do indeed, have body hair and there is no use being obsessed with it every day. I really hope you enjoy this shaving sabatical ( i think it deserves that name since you engaged in it so religiously/dilligently!) I will not be shaving my head, i have no urge to (though i admire your bravery, because it does require being brave) but i am working on dreads…one by one, i’m adding them so that somedays i can still “hide” them and some days i let them show and i kinda do it as i feel like it.

  13. December 8, 2012

    I live in Chicago. It is fucking cold here 9 months of the year. I do pits because I hate the feeling otherwise, but legs? Pfft…it’s insulation. I’ll shave in the summer, but only if I feel like it. I really don’t give a damn, neither does my husband. Furry = friction. πŸ˜‰

  14. Valerie Thorp #
    December 11, 2012

    Yes! I’ve wanted to shave my head since I was a teen and haven’t yet. I did get a pixie cut once and didn’t really like it on me. I still want to go all the way and shave it though. I’ve also wanted a long mohawk, a la Anya from Project Runway a year or so ago. I might do that first, then the full shave. I stopped shaving my legs when I was 16 or 17. I was already over it and didn’t see the point. Over the past few years I’ve stopped shaving the pits in the winter. I feel too sweaty there in the summer to keep it long (or the deodorant gets yuck in the hair). Any advice on that? πŸ™‚

  15. December 13, 2012

    First of all, I love this post. Second, I’ve nominated you for a blog award. πŸ™‚ http://momwomanhuman.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/blog-award-nominees/

  16. December 30, 2012

    Tiff, I totally shaved my head with you and Tara last year. OMG, I loved it!!!!! Kept it most of the year, and would love to do it again someday – I am going with a Betty Boop type style right now and loving it πŸ™‚ Speaking of LOVE, I just loved the way you described the shaved head experience – totally my experience, too :)) And for the not shaving everything else, I started my protest to rubber skin about 7 years ago. I didn’t touch a razor for about 5 years. In the past couple years, I shave whenever I want to, but not for the reasons I did before. I feel very hair-free :)) Swinging the opposite side of the pendulum really helped me find my balance — rock that pendulum, woman!

    And, OMG, yes, shaving your head is totally addictive!!!

  17. piscesgrrl #
    January 9, 2013

    So I didn’t shave my legs for many years while in HIGH SCHOOL and college. A “fuck it” attitude of rebellion of a sort. And now i shave. Please analyze what’s up with that and get back to me? Kthanks.

  18. May 16, 2013

    i love the strong woman energy in this blog! ❀

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