Welcome to summer! Now shave your fucking legs

Image by the brilliant Stuart F Taylor

Summer beauty tips direct from my horrible subconscious. 

Step right up, it’s summer! And my my, it’s a scorcher! You’ll be looking forward to going to the park with your friends, won’t you? Having a nice pint in a beer garden, or heading down to the beach? Before you do, though, there’s a bit of admin to get sorted. Firstly: shave your fucking legs.

Yep, shave your legs. Inflicting hair on everyone isn’t very kind, is it? Get a razor out. Do your armpits while you’re there.

Bikini line next – come on, I know it’s painful and delicate but needs must. Waxing is out – you’re not a total masochist. Pick up some Veet and sit spreadeagled on the bathroom floor while you get faux-high on the fumes, and wonder if you should do your arse hairs too.

While it’s working, occupy yourself with a pair of tweezers and a critical eye. There are stray hairs everywhere, you know.

Chop chop – summer’s waiting outside, and everyone’s enjoying themselves without you.

Sweat. Sweat more.

Apply deodorant six times between shower and bedroom, then when you’ve worked up a new sweat hunting for suitable clothes, apply it again to be safe.

Stare at clothes.

Weep. Sweat. Repeat.

You know, you could put on a floral dress right now, if you only had the decency to own one. You could stride gaily through the park, letting the breeze waft between your legs to soothe your festering, sweat-soaked knicker-region. A nice short dress would show off your thighs which you’ve just… OK, back in the shower – shave them properly this time.

This’ll do. Not floral but it is, at least, a dress. Get that nice cool air on the tattered remains of your Veet-ed upper thighs, remembering to pause every now and then to unstick them from each other. By the end of the day it’ll feel like your skin is scraping on sandpaper but at least you’ll look the part.

Join in, visit summer! We’ve got beer and ice-cream and picnics! The men you know are wearing shorts and goddamn it they look so sexy. Bring your shaving rash and itchy armpits and underboob sweat stains and join them at the fucking party!

But of course… it is a party. So… make-up required, perhaps? Just a bit of foundation and eyeliner and oh God what have you done? You’ve put suncream on, you fucking BELLEND. Now your face is shiny and you won’t get foundation to stick.

Welcome to summer! Bring your bikini. None of that long-shirt-to-cover-up bollocks like you did last year: you’re meant to be proud! Hating your body means letting yourself down. Have some fucking principles, for crying out loud.

Do your nails.

It’s a start, isn’t it? At least if your nails are nice no one will notice you’ve been crying for twenty minutes because you can’t walk right in sandals. Dry your eyes, wipe off the suncream, apply some make-up and FOR FUCK’S SAKE HAVE FUN.

All these problems have solutions: foundation with sun screen. 48-hour deodorant. Rash creams. Special tricks for waxing or shaving or plucking that somehow vanish those bumpy, oozing ingrown hairs. Wedge heels. Culottes. Fucking tit tape and strapless bras and just one more shopping trip should see you through till September.

But while you’re weeping in the changing room remember that none of this is compulsory. It’s fun! It’s nice! It’s self-care! Care for yourself by sorting out your horrible body.

Enjoy the myriad solutions to the problem that is you, and drink in the sensual scent of Veet.

It’s summer, bitch: enjoy it. Other people manage and they always do it right. They can shave their bikini lines without ingrowing hairs, stroll breezily through the park in a floral frock, and they never sweat clean through their knickers.

They’re here, these Other People. They’re outside now. They’ve got barbecues and frisbees and shampoo-advert hair. They’re grilling halloumi and making mojitos and waiting for you in the sunshine.

The very least you can do is make an effort.

I don’t know why I wrote this, other than that I was hot and pissed off. It should go without saying that my subconscious is wrong, and also a giant prick.

My rational brain would respond to my subconscious with something along these lines: ‘shut the fuck up. Literally no one will give a shit whether my legs are hairy or not, and fuck you I’m wearing this anyway. You’re just an internalisation of flawed messages that rely on outdated gender myths and a desire to sell depilatory cream. Everything you say is wrong.’

But if I just presented you with that positive, empowering message you’d be tricked into thinking that I’d found a magic secret that you hadn’t. That I’d conjured the ability not just to understand and reject the messages, but allow them never to affect me. An immunity serum that makes this shit not hurt.

That would be a lie. My subconscious is wrong, but it does still hurt. And I think it’s worth acknowledging that knowing this shit is wrong is only ever half the battle.

7 Comments

  • TheDarkLord says:

    Bravo!

    Plus in Scotland, where it usually clouds over in the afternoon, its takes so long to get ready that the bastard sun has fucked off for the day.

  • Lisa says:

    I’m waxed. eyebrows to half leg (not arm pits – shave them!)… I tan easily… But I hate my body. so will be covering up, again. After putting on 3 stone in a year (meds/alcohol), I am ashamed of myself… Sorry, I know that’s not what you want to hear, but… Sorry x

  • Kitty says:

    “Bring your shaving rash and itchy armpits and underboob sweat stains and join them at the fucking party!”

    That’s the crux isn’t it. We all think that our preferred-sex (perhaps would-be?) partners and our peers are all immaculately turned out whilst we’re grim sweaty bastards. And the truth is, we’re all grim sweaty bastards. You think George Clooney in summer doesn’t sweat like a small nun at a penguin shoot or that Megan Fox’s shit smells of elderberries, you’re sadly mistaken.

    People have hair and spots. They sweat and fart and generally emit the three states of matter, doubly so when sex is involved (though solids is probably an acquired taste). I really wish I’d known / understood this a lot earlier in my life, we’ve totally been lied to by the various media. (Just for a change.)

  • Just here to say I love you x

  • The Quiet One says:

    Summer is hard work.. roll on winter.. knee high boots.. warm jumpers.. layering..

  • LXC says:

    I like shaved legs as much as the next guy, but there’s something creepy about the whole thing.

    What do I mean? It’s simple: by removing the hair from their legs, armpits and even their pubes, aren’t women trying to create the illusion that they are about 12 years old? How did we get here?

  • Liam says:

    Hair is so not a problem. It’s fucking weird that women feel like they have to shave their legs It’s not weird on women though, it’s weird on us. I presume it came from cis-male preference? Maybe it didn’t. Anyhow,hairy legs are just fine with me, my GF knows that but she’ll still shave her legs before, for instance, taking our kids to the pool. I reckon if I were female I wouldn’t shave. Any men with me?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *