The Politics of Not Shaving in This Patriarchal Dystopia
Sarah Kasbeer
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Not too long ago when I was an active magazine photographer and writer I convinced a young woman who wrote a health column to pose for me undraped and sporting a Brazilian. She consented. We both wrote of the experience. http://blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com/2013/01/i-wrote-she-wrote.html She told me that the purpose of the Brazilian (and men were at it also) was that “God made certain areas of our body very sensitive and that the removal of hair made it more so.” But I have another story about women with hairy legs. I lived in Mexico for 18 years (I was born in Buenos Aires). In Mexico in the 70s (I left for Vancouver in 1975) there was an expression (racist it was) of “mejorar la raza” or “to improve the race” by making it lighter. This would mean that dark women of Mexican aboriginal heritage would attempt to marry a “fine young and white” so that their offspring would be born with a lighter shade of skin. Mexican natives are lampiños (a Spanish word for those who are hairless and need not shave). In order to prove that you (a woman) had Spanish blood was to sport hairy legs! Perhaps we should look at Frida Kahlo’s moustache under a new light.

Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

Vancouver BC

Photograph — Alex Waterhouse-Hayward
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