Double standard

I wish I had the courage

To go without shaving


With body hair

I feel unattractive

And vulnerable

And unlikeable


I feel ugly when it’s there

And defeated when it’s not


But I’m not brave enough to let it

Grow the way it wants to

Even though I’m sick of spending money on it

And sick of all the lumps and cuts and ingrown hairs


I am tired of being complicit

Of being told what sexy looks like and how it feels

Women are given thousands of options for hair removal

But nowhere have I read that you’re allowed, entitled,

To leave your body hair untouched


Watching advertisements

The double standard is as clear as day

Men are depicted shaving faces, chins or chests

To prove a product’s effectiveness


While women shave hairless legs

And armpits

And slivers of bikini lines

As if body hair is too ugly to be seen


But even after all that

I do not have the energy

Nor the spirit

To stop shaving altogether



She always tells me

to think about the future


but I’m not sure she remembers

how daunting it is


as though I might be

swallowed whole


and I think it will only get harder from here