If you’re a woman who finds the idea of shaving your legs a little too sexist, and your partner would prefer that you regularly whip out the razor, what do you do?
That was a point of contention for my partner Phillip and me many months ago, when I noticed my free-spirited friend left her legs unshaved and didn’t give a fuck. Feeling awakened, I realized I could do the same and not give a fuck. You’re welcome to disagree, but I arrived at the opinion that leg-shaving was an unfair beauty standard for women and put down the razor like a rapper drops a mic.
And given my tan skin tone, it was hard to tell at a glance that I had given up the practice of shearing myself. But for my touchy-feely partner, he liked it about as much as a dirty hippie likes playing by the rules.
“Uh, do you think you could start shaving your legs again?” He asked. “It’s starting to bother me.”
The way I reacted was something along the lines of a mad white woman ranting about societal expectations and the patriarchy. In other words, “Heeeellllll nah!”
We had a long debate about that and what we find attractive in the opposite sex. Since he’s a hairy man, he wanted the opposite in his women. Still feeling upset, I touched a nerve when I said I’d shave my legs again if he lost weight. But over time, I silently gave in, and here’s why.
I’m still soooo against shaving my legs, but I picked up the razor again, shaving somewhat regularly, because relationships take compromise. He grew a beard for me, despite having to deal with the related hygiene issues (e.g., food falling into it), because I find it attractive (not the food part). Therefore, I decided to do my part in the relationship to keep him happy.
Many men have grown up knowing the “hairless woman” and have a hard time imagining it any other way. It’s an unfortunate truth, if you ask me, but I had to weigh it against my relationship. Do I spend a little time in the shower every other week shaving, or do I pick a different man who better understands where I’m coming from but might lack other amazing qualities I love about Phillip?
Some men are able to change their mindset to accommodate hairy legs, weird moles, unibrows, hunchbacks, or extra limbs, but in the end, dating coach Evan Marc Katz said it well: It’s hard to force yourself to be attracted to something you’re not, and you can’t just surgically change your partner’s personality and preferences. You can give and take, or you pick a new partner.
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