“As a small brown girl growing up in a predominantly white community I always stood out among my peers. Even with my friends, my appearance would become a target for jokes and teasing. “Sticks and stones” was a saying that my dad drilled into me and I tried to believe until my teacher told me that I should never have to accept the bad things people would say about me. There were things I tried to change as a 8 year old girl, but in our society people will always find another thing that’s ‘wrong’ about you no matter how hard you try to change yourself.
Body hair is something I’ve always been forced to be aware of, from my side burns to my legs. It’s not a bit of skin coloured peach fuzz that my white friends will understand, and it isn’t thin fair growth on my limbs. This is hair. I’ve been forced to feel disgusting in my natural element, and I’m disgusted that I have let myself become moulded into this Western ideal.
This last three months is the longest I have gone without removing my arm hair, but I still try to hide it with long sleeves and jumpers. I wonder how I will be when the seasons change? Will I ever be comfortable looking how I’m supposed to? Even in a world where feminism is thriving and women are taking a stance on the expectations placed upon them, I still feel unrepresented and unable to relate because a white woman’s body hair next to my own is incomparable.
Being comfortable with a sleeveless top and embracing my natural appearance is a goal that I am working towards. Despite this, it will always disappoint me that I’ve let myself get this self conscious and obsessed, and I am scared that if I am ever lucky enough to have a little girl, that this is something that will fuck her up too.”