Wednesday, 21 September 2016

I Shave My Legs for My Boyfriend... Am I a Bad Feminist?

razor leg shaving feminist

 Yes. It's my body and my body only.

But am I wrong for being happy to share it with my boyfriend a little bit? Does that mean I'm setting the feminist agenda back 50 years?

I don't hate shaving my legs, but I'm not one of those girls that eagerly shaves her legs every day or whatever. I like the feeling of silky smooth legs but I can just never be arsed to do it. So I suppose you could say I'm somewhat indifferent to the whole leg shaving fandango.

My boyfriend, however, isn't indifferent. He likes them smooth.

Let's make this clear - he has NEVER told me to shave my legs, he has never made me feel bad when I've maybe gone 3 weeks without shaving, he never even politely asks. But he gets pretty happy when they're shaved and smooth. So I can kind of guess wherein his preferences lie.

I have COMPLETE control of my body. If I don't want him to touch me for whatever reason, he cannot. If I want to wear bright purple lipstick that he hates, I damn well will. If he told me I'm fat and need to lose weight (which he never has and I know he never would), I would tell him to get fucked and go eat another cupcake or two.

Part of that control means I can choose to make him happy with it. I absolutely love making Martin happy. That might mean I buy him a bag of mini eggs and keep them hidden until we settle down to watch Big Bang Theory in the evening, arrange for his best friends to come down from Scotland and stay for a weekend in Cardiff as a surprise, or pick him up from work so he hasn't got to get the bus. All of those are a bit or a lot of effort . Shaving my legs is no different.

If I truly, truly hated the look or feeling of shaved legs I probably wouldn't do it. And if you are one of those people (do they exist??) then PLEASE don't force yourself to shave your legs for anyone.

But I think it works both ways. I don't particularly like it when Martin shaves his face. He looks like a teenager and I just think a bit of stubble makes him look sexy. Martin was always clean shaven before we met and in the first few weeks, and since he discovered I liked him stubbly, he has shaved only a handful of times. In almost 3 years.

When you love someone, it's nice to make them happy. In all the little ways. And I don't think that negates my feminist beliefs in any way whatsoever.


I understand this is a bit divisive. People think your body should be for you, and anything you choose to do with it should be for you alone. You should never do anything with your body for anyone else. Surely that takes away MY choice of doing something for someone else, though? If it's my body, I have the freedom to shave my legs for someone else because I want to.

I don't know. Maybe I am just a shit feminist. I don't think so, though.
Where do you stand on this? I'm intrigued to know everyone's points of views.
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11 comments

  1. I'm so pleased that you posted this, because you articulate my thoughts on this kind of thing so much better than I'd have been able to. I do actually shave my legs daily as I prefer to, but there are certain things I decide to wear or do because I know that my OH appreciates them. That's totally different, IMO, to being told to or asked to do that by someone else and I think the important part is that it's your choice and you're in control of that, which is presumably the part which does not make you a shit feminist.

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  2. I agree with everything you say. I am in the same situation. Ryan has never told me what to do and how to do it, but smooth legs to make him happier ahah so why not give him a bit of joy

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  3. You are in no way a shit feminist! The whole idea of it I guess is that you choose what you want to do with your body, and in your case, it's sharing your life with someone you love and you're choosing to do nice things for them! There is no such good thing as a good or bad feminist I guess :) as for shaving the legs, I also get quite pretty lazy with doing it but if I decide to my boyfriend is very positive about it ahaha!

    Great post!

    www.trafficjamoflife.blogspot.com

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  5. First of all, I can relate. I'm single currently and I would only ever shave my legs or anything else if I was hooking up with someone or going somewhere where it was socially unacceptable to have hairy legs (which is totally to do with our pre-conditioned patriarchal society and standards of beauty)

    There's a really awesome podcast called the Guilty Feminist which discusses stuff like this, about being a bad feminist, it's hilarious as well.

    Anyway, I used to shave my legs when I was going to the gym in case someone caught a glimpse of my hairy legs, but now I don't. I still feel embarrassed if I'm exercising and a man comes near enough to see. Not if a woman approaches me, which brings me on to the problem....

    However, if I'm happy not shaving and going natural when I'm on my own or in the presence of women, why should it change when I'm with a man? I know it will make them happy, and men would rather see lovely smooth legs, but we shouldn't do things just to make men happy.

    Picking someone up so they don't have to get the bus is an act of kindness, making someone their favourite meal is a lovely gesture; changing the way your body looks by shaving is not. Unless you are shaving because you really want to.

    Basically it's a grey area! Please don't think I’m trolling you, cos I totally get what you mean and I think this is a great post! The issue is it’s a judgement about our bodies purely for superficial reasons. I don't shave because I need/want to, I'm doing it to appease beauty standards that hundreds of years have forced women to adhere to.

    Anyway great post, definitely sparked some debate in my mind xo

    www.hannahgetshench.com

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  6. My lady and I see who can go the longest before shaving them! I made it to a month but then got sick of the hair being so long so I gave in haha she's still going! This is a very important post, I really appreciate you taking the time to write this :)

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  7. I'm definitely a feminist but yes, I shave my legs (and other areas) mainly for my girlfriend. If my legs could magically shave themselves, I'd do that, because I do LOVE the feeling, but I am lazy. So the thing that pushes me over into shaving territory is my gf's preference. :)

    Aisling | anthologie.

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  8. This is such a good post! I completely agree with everything you say - surely I'm being a good feminist in the sense that I'm taking control of my own body and I'm being a good person by taking someone's else's happiness into consideration? I think as long as you're *sure* that what you're doing isn't solely for others, and it's purely for yourself - do whatever you wanna do ✌��️

    Thanks for sharing!

    Jess x
    hellojess.net

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  9. I shave my legs for my husband and for myself, we both like me smooth. He says I never have to do any hair removal for his sake and I should only do it if I want to, but it makes me feel good to see how it makes him feel when I'm all silky smooth :) we are not bad feminists, we're still making a choice to shave - so what if our men are part of the reason behind it? Still our bodies :) xxx

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  10. I agree with you entirely. Yes, it's your choice - but wanting to do something nice for your partner is brilliant and is a way of showing love and affection.

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  11. This sums up my opinion on the matter so perfectly. If being a 'feminist' means I can't make the choice to shave my legs for someone, then in essence I am just letting someone else tell me what I can and can't do with my body! It makes ME feel good to know I can do something for my husband, so I do. That's my choice...

    Britt | alternativelyspeaking.ca

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