My sister Claire will attest that shaving has never been something I was any good at doing frequently. But the stubble on my legs always resulted from passive laziness, rather than an active choice. The decision to stop shaving wasn't a sudden one, but rather a gradual progression over the last few months of my 23rd year, the year I have entitled My Year of Becoming. This is roughly how the progression has happened...
Maura in December:
"I sometimes forget to shave my legs, so there's often stubble. Sorry about that."
Maura in January:
"I don't really like to shave my legs, so I only do it occasionally. So, there's that."
Maura in February:
"I don't want to shave my legs, so I don't do it. So, deal with that."
There are a number of reasons that I think shaving sucks and have abandoned it:
- I often cut myself and bleed, thus attracting bears and vampires to eat me in my apartment.
- Good razors are expensive, thus leaving less money to spend on my vices, including, but not limited to yarn, cheese, red wine and costumes.
- Most importantly, shaving is something I've done continuously since I was 12 and I've never done it for myself, but because it's what I thought I should do.
I am not saying I'm somehow au natural in every aspect of my physical being. There are other modifications I make to my body to feel more beautiful. I construct elaborate hair-do's because they make me feel like a princess. I paint on blue eyeshadow because it makes my hazel eyes pop wide open (a trick taught to me by the strong and beautiful Gabra Zackman). I got a tattoo on my shoulder blade because I like the way it peeps out when I'm wearing a tank top (a look I stole from the lovely Anna Reichert). I get my eyebrows threaded because my unibrow starts to have a conversation with me otherwise. These endeavors to looks good outside make me feel great inside. That's the key.
I didn't throw out all my razors. I am an actress and will probably have to shave for a part. Maybe I'll want to be clean-shaven at a point down the road. And that's okay, because I'm not making a statement or a promise or an ultimatum. I'm just caring for and presenting my body exactly how I want to, right in this moment. My body looks different that it ever has before... and I really like it.
And as for the gentlemen, if they don't like it, that's too bad. I'm not worried. As I said to my brothers recently, much to their dismay, "I don't shave my legs, but when you've got a rack like these, it doesn't seem to be a problem." But seriously...
The whole point is, wait for it...
Ladies and gentlemen, LOVE YOUR BODY.
Dress it up or slum around. Be hairy or be smooth.
Wear perfume or don't shower.
But do whatever you do for yourself.
Your body is home to only your soul.
And it's effin beautiful.