Brown University Co-Ed Caitlin Dorman pens a hairy tale of a failed experiment in feminism in the Daily Herald blog.

My name is Caitlin, my preferred gender pronouns are she, her, and hers, and I didn’t shave my legs last month.

I know that many women do not identify with the practice of hair removal, and this anecdote is in no way prescriptive of how anyone should behave. Put simply, the decision I made last month was special to me because I have been peer pressured into shaving my legs since I was fourteen. There have been times in the past during which I let myself go, but some hall-mate or family member would always shame me back into the cycle with “Ew Caitlin, please shave.” Not this time, amigos, not this time.

It came about by accident. Right now I am living in Denmark, and it’s really cold. Lacking even an imaginary study abroad boyfriend, and with no fashion incentive not to, I wear pants often. Constantly covered, it didn’t feel necessary to waste time on calf maintenance. Normally, I go between a week or two weeks without shaving, but this November, I said to myself, “f**k it, let’s see where this takes me.”

I write this now, to communicate some of the things I have learned in my fuzz-filled adventures…

  • I did not get nearly as hairy as I thought I would…
  • I actually like myself with a bit of hair. I started to understand this earlier in the semester, when I opted not to shave my armpits more than once a week. In my opinion, a little five-o-clock shadow in the arm crevice looks cuter on me than nudity in the pit space. A month with prickly legs cemented my opinion; smoother is not always better.
  • American society is obsessed with hair removal. Beyond peer pressure and distorted standards from the media, it’s not good for your skin to shave so frequently. If you indulge too often, you get razor burn, lots of tiny cuts, and ingrown hairs. You are probably thinking: “yeah, duh.” Here’s the secret; if you don’t shave, none of those unfortunate things will plague you!!

…Now, I am embarrassed to confess. . . I actually shaved on November 28th, because I’m a loser. See, I frequently pace around my bedroom in just my underwear, and my leg hair was causing some distracting static sensations when my calves rubbed together. That, and a feeling of self-consciousness surrounding romantic encounters. Okay, it was almost entirely to get rid of the static electricity between my legs. I want to burn some energy, not start a literal fire.