Sunday, September 7, 2008

Forearms As Foreplay

Are hairy arms [on women] sexy? A turn-off? Something nobody cares about either way (unless you're Chewbacca-hairy, that is)? Moreover- what do women themselves think about their arm hair or lack thereof?

Last week I was drafted, along with my other suitemates, to help my very blonde, very "Hills"-esque neighbor (hereafter christened "Sally") to wax her arms. It's apparently something she often does, and giving her freaking out about the invisible hairs I couldn't see, I'm quite sure her fine, blonde arm hair was never that long or noticeable anyways, pre-waxing. But then again, my perspectives may be skewed: I like my long, gorgeous arm hair. Sure, sometimes I think about removing it, but that's mostly because I have a total fetish/fixation on shaving very hairy areas (I often eye boys' deliciously hairy legs, my fingers just itching for a razor to get to see the beautiful contrast of smooth and furry). But I would never get rid of it- it's a part of me. It's everything my leg hair (when I let it go) is not: softer, lighter, denser. It holds me out and apart from ultra-feminized and cosmetic slaves like Sally. It feels a little like gender-bending, since men are so often prized for their hairiness. Yeah, I love it my arm hair. It certainly is less work than the hair on the top of my head. Here's a bad picture of left arm:

And yet I remember being back in elementary school, and chatting with the gals about the new Asian girl in our class- how lucky they were, we noted enviously, to have so little body hair (as evidenced by her bare arms). I don't know if I consciously agreed with it at the time or just nodded in naive agreement (I wasn't the beauty-knowledgable pre-teen, so who was I to know hairlessness was in? I didn't shave my legs until mid-way through high school), but either way, it left an impression on me.

Years later, when my cousin revealed that she shaved her arms, I was shocked beyond belief, and yes, a testing touch revealed my worst nightmare: no visible stubble, but that horrible, sharp feeling of skin that has been shaved and is starting to grow in. I vowed then and there- never, ever, ever. No way. I'd let my arm hair get so long I could braid it before I ever shaved it off. But by then I'd already grown attached to my forearm fur.

Waxing with Sally proved more interest-picquing, but overall, I just would rather not mess with perfection. And to my surprise, the same week I watch hot wax get ripped off of Sally's arms, my Internet wanderings somehow miraculously mirroring my real life and I stumble along to this little ode to hairy (I suppose "hirsute" is the way to make it sound sexier) female arms on the great forums at Adult DVD Talk.

And no, I didn't wander randomly onto the website Girls With Hairy Arms (the source of the top picture)- that would be a little too precious!- but searching it out just goes to show that there is a porn existing for every fetish out there. Or maybe not porn, per se, but at least loving celebration. By the way, the website is too expensive and lacking on sex/nudity for me, but by golly, I do love their manifesto:

Welcome to Girls with Hairy Arms. Here, we speak out against the increasing social trends of arms waxing, shaving or 'lasering' as a part of a very narrow-minded definition of beauty that has been surging through Western culture.

Natural is beautiful. Self-confidence is powerful. It is the mission of this website and its supporters to show all women that by being yourself and natural doesn't stop you from being beautiful.

Just reading through the girls' own biographies/statements and their tales of being made to feel shame about their hairiness is incredibly interesting. I'm curious as to my readers/blog visitors. How do you feel about arm hair? Any tales to tell?

1 comment:

Merry said...

My brother came home one day to say, "Arm hair on women is gross, you better shave that shit." It was gone within the hour and has never been back, and never missed. The presence or absence of hair on my arms is something I never think about. One minute it was there and the next it was gone, and since I have the endorsement of at least on male (being heterosexual I tend to pay attention to the opinion of the mens) I've never thought of letting it grow. And I probably won't because it just doesn't seem natural anymore.

We're predisposed to think of women with very little hair as feminine since it is a second sex characteristic that distinguishes men from women. If you want to be more feminine, get rid of any extra hair. Maybe that's why I love men's hairy legs. Hairy = masculine.

Anyone that feels shame for something she feels is good about her body needs to stop letting other people control her life and self-image.