In this day and age, it's pretty much expected for all women to painstakingly and meticulously shave their bodies. And, even though we know it costs a lot of money, uses up a lot of time, and - ultimately - proves to be fruitless seeing as all the hair grows back within a matter of days, most of us go along with the norm.
Some women, however, have decided that they don't want to go along with the standard rigmarole of shaving anymore. So they don't.
Sonia Cytrowska, a 28-year-old woman, from Gdynia, Poland, decided a year ago that she didn't want to shave anymore. At first, she found it slightly difficult to adjust to (as did her husband) but, over time, she's grown to accept and love her body in its natural form.
"Some time ago I gave myself a word that I won't remove my bodyhair unless I will know that shaving them is entirely my decision," Cytrowska writes on Instagram. "I wanted to stop ads brainwashing my mind & give up thinking 'I should shave because everyone is doing this'."
But simply letting the hair grow out was only part of her mission to learn to love herself, so she made a "task list" to help her achieve her goal. It includes body-positive and affirming points, such as: "stop being ashamed in front of the others, even if they whisper and stare at me", "reach the acceptance to all my body hair while looking in the mirror", and "be free from belief that I have to fulfill someone's expectation about my appearance".
And she shares her pictures to inspire others to do the same.
"I dream about a world where no one has to be ashamed of their natural body. I dream about a conscious society where people with different tastes always remember that it is their opinion and no one have to fit to their vision of 'the best' (for them!) human body.
"And you know? I truly believe that is possible. I know that requires a lot of humility and acceptance. But I still believe it is possible. That's why I post my bodypics."
At times, however, she still has doubts. A while ago, she posted a picture of her natural-looking legs with a confession that - sometimes - she feels uncomfortable.
"I ask you today: 'if you can change something about your body, would you?'
"To be honest I answered "YES"... I still have a problem with accepting my hairy legs. They are so hairy that sometimes I feel like a guy."
However, she quickly turned the post around, and pointed out that she's just living life in the body she was given.
"But wait a minute! I am 100% woman and it's not my fault that Mother Nature made me like this. Why I am ashamed of myself?! My hormones are perfectly fine, so is there any reason that I should feel less feminine?! I am still on my way to unconditional love for myself.
"It's a long long jurney [sic] I know I have to be patient, but sometimes it is so hard to remember that I am normal."
As for her husband, he's changed his stance on the matter. He accepts that his wife's body is hers to do what she wants with, and nobody can tell her whether to shave or not.
"At first my husband was shocked because he's known me for eight years and I was always shaving all my body," says Cytrowska. "And actually, he prefers a shaved appearance but we talked a lot, I explained to him that it is so important for me, to live with my natural body hair and he decided to accept me and support me."
More importantly, though, Cytrowska feels better this way. "By the way, you know... it seems to be good in my skin, with all my hair, which made me so sensitive, soft, natural, 100% me in myself."
Obviously, it's not a choice that everyone will make - but it's one that nobody should be afraid of making, either. We've been told for so long that women ought to look a certain way, but if you feel more comfortable with natural hair: go for it.