It's fair to say that when it comes to personal grooming, there are a lot of double standards between genders, particularly when it comes to the issue of body hair. Yes, even in 2018, men are allowed to be as hairy as Chewbacca with beards thicker than a privet hedge. But if a woman has even so much as a single hair on her top lip, you can expect her to be ostracised and criticised by society at large for something completely large. And that's not even getting into the thorny issue of female leg hair. Yes, sadly women are still expected to shave, wax, or zap with lasers, every tiny follicle that isn't an eyelash or on their head, and frankly, it's just unfair.
However, recently a fitness blogger named Morgan Mikena has decided to take a stand against this double standard, and had made the decision to stop shaving her body hair. She has now gone a full three years without shaving, and now she says that she fully intends to never do the same again. She's even trying to convince her followers online to try out ditching the razors and embracing hairy arms, lips and pits.
In a lengthy post on Instagram, Morgan wrote: "If culture shifted to a place where the youth could freely be themselves without fear of being ostracized, think of what that would mean for the way we view our own body image and self-worth. Remember back to the time in our lives when we were sexually maturing, and imagine what it would’ve meant for us if we didn’t feel ashamed of the changes our body/self was going through, and we could be confident in the person we are becoming, without the fear of not being good enough in society’s eyes. [sic]"
"By having a young person modify themselves to fit into a cultural standard at such a confusing time in their life, puts people into a position to be less accepting of themselves. I hope to create a movement towards a new trend for the next generations, so that we won’t have any reason to feel ashamed of who we are as we mature through life. I beat myself up for not feeling good enough as a young girl(for things that shouldn’t of mattered), and I hope by spreading awareness of my own experience, I can help others prevent feeling like they have to hold themselves back from who they want to be/ who they are. [sic]"
Although many of Morgan's 7000 followers have been supportive, not everyone she encounters in her life is quite so open-minded. Morgan states that she used to be bullied for her body hair at school, and although she doesn't mind if other women still shave, she earnestly believes that everyone should feel comfortable in their own skin, which is something that all of us could bear in mind.