Jane’s Stardusters dance lessons started this week. She danced with a boy named James. The next day, a boy named Brad told her that James had told him that Jane had really hairy arms.

Jane looked dismissively at Brad and plucked at the hairs on her arms. “James is ridiculous. It’s just hair. Everyone has hair on their arms.”

“Why don’t you shave them?” asked Chris, the other boy she hangs out with in her home room.

“Nobody shaves their arms!”

“I thought girls were supposed to,” he said, starting to get a bit apprehensive.

“No! Girls aren’t supposed to shave anything. We just choose to.”

This reminded me of my best friend in middle school who hadn’t started shaving yet. One day, a boy approached her on the playground and asked why she didn’t shave her legs.

Without a bit of hesitation, she shot back, “Why don’t you?!”

The boy was taken aback and hurried away. I was always in awe of her for that. I would have melted in embarrassment and probably cried about it once I got home. I would have done the same thing in Jane’s scenario. But neither Jane nor my friend were the least bit embarrassed.

I thought about telling James’s mom about his comment. Not all girls are as resilient when it comes to these kinds of comments going through the ranks of boys. But, no. I’m fairly certain that that would embarrass Jane.

3 thoughts on “Hair

  1. This cracked me up because I actually do shave my arms and have been asked why by many people–male and female–over the years. I do it because I am very, very fair skinned but inherited my father’s very dark, French-Canadian hairiness and always disliked how it looked. I can’t tolerate dipilitories or waxing so I shave my legs, arms, and, once a week, my lower face, too! But I don’t do it for anyone but myself. I feel better about my appearance this way, which is all that matters. So glad to hear Jane and your friend from middle school had the wherewithall to stand up for themselves. We don’t have to participate in any grooming ritual unless we WANT to. Jane is spot on with her word choice. If we do it, it is because we CHOOSE to do it. Give her a big hug for me :).

    • I told Jane about your response and she got a shocked look on her face and then died laughing. Since no one in our family shaves their arms, she truly believed that no one did. We were talking about it again today and when she repeated that “no one” does it, I reminded her that it was more that “not that many” do it, but some do. “Did you consider that maybe Chris’s mom does and that’s why he asked the question?” That made her pause. A learning experience all around. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Hair Revisited | mybrightspots

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