On the removal of body hair

I first started shaving my body hair in school. If you took a Yeti, covered him in glue and then rolled him around on a barbershop floor, it would take a look at my legs and start worrying about looking hairless by comparison. It’s fair to say that it was negatively impacting my body  image and mental health in ways that I didn’t yet, that society yet, that no-one yet had the vocabulary for (this being 1987). So one day I took the plunge and shaved my legs. I figured, what the hell? Who was going to see my legs under my school trousers anyway?

The next day was school sports day, and I and my newly gleaming legs had to run the two longest distances on the card in front of the whole school.

14 replies on “On the removal of body hair”

Haha, I had to laugh at the irony of your story. Of course you happened to have the school sports day the day after, but power to trying what felt more comfortable to you.

I love how in this picture your butt and back are on display, but what really makes the picture for me are the stockings you’re wearing and how they essentially merge in with the black background and only show the lace bits because your skin makes them light enough to become visible.

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I was at school in 1987 and can imagine there would have been a reaction. I can remember talk of a boy at our school who shaved his legs and, apparently, he had said it was because he cycled and it was to do with aerodynamics. I am wondering now! It seems to be a catch 22 that young people have to do one thing for their mental health but it sets off a chain reaction to more factors impacting on their mental health. As a teacher I do think that lots has changed for the better since the 1980s but it is still hard to do something different than the crowd and the struggle with managing mental health is huge. This is a gorgeous image. missy x

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I used the aerodynamics excuse too! Because doing the 1500m, obviously drag is something you have to factor in when you’re doing cross country. Funny how I’m still obsessed with drag, just of a different kind.

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That is funny. I was speaking to HL about it this morning and he knew people who used the aerodynamic argument for swimming too.

Also WordPress seemed to keep eating my comments this morning so I think I have done some twice – sorry 😊


We had a guy in high school who shaved for drag also, said it was for swimming. I always wondered. We also had a guy wear makeup to school once. This was in the late 80s also, and in a very closed
-minded community, still is. I felt so bad for him. He wore blush and mascara to school one day, nothing heavy. I remember everyone yelling and laughing at him as he walked home from the bus, chasing after him for a block or so. I hope he found his happy drag! I believe he did. 🙂

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The 80s was such a weird time. We all bought Adam Ant records; we all watched him on Top of the Pops; but if someone had come to school with even the slightest bit of eyeliner, they would have got kicked all round the playground.

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Funny! When I was young (in middle school), also in the 80s, I got weird about about my arm hair, and shaved it. I had no idea that wasn’t common. I figured if people shaved legs, they probably shaved arms too. Lol!

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My arms were the last thing I shaved. I got a tattoo covering the whole of my left inner arm about three years ago (my first) and it never occurred to me that he’d have to shave my arm. So then my excuse was, “well I can’t have one shaved and one not…”

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