When I was young, I shaved my legs every day; EVERY day. Spring, Summer, Autumn, AND Winter; every day. The media told me that having smooth, moisturized, soft legs was an important part of being pretty – and as a teenager and young person I bought into it. I believed the myth of beauty society fed me.
As I came into adulthood, I still shaved – though not with the same frequency. I spent a great deal of my time as a young adult sick and in pain… pretty just wasn’t as important when you hurt so bad that you can’t get up and down stairs without dissolving into tears. But I still shaved and moisturized. It was part of being a girl. We couldn’t have people thinking I actually grew hair on my legs.
Then I became a Mom. And yes, even then I shaved my legs. By then it was just one of those chores you do. Going swimming? Better shave. Wearing shorts or a skirt? Better shave. Just part of the self-grooming routine. Something I didn’t think about. Something I did in a rather robotic fashion, another member of the trained masses.
I want my daughter to grow up knowing these things are choices – even if we don’t always feel they are. Not all Women shave. In some parts of the world it would seem odd to do so. My daughter believed this until she was three. Then one day she laughed, astonished, at the ridiculous notion that a Woman could choose not to shave. That was the day I stopped shaving my legs.
Lily-Ann has other Women in her life who are non-shavers, my sister for one. But clearly this was something she needed to see with more frequency. It may seem like a small thing, but I needed her to know that we have a choice. We don’t have to shave. We don’t have to buy into the view of beauty that the media is selling, we can choose something different.
I may be the odd Woman out here in North America, sporting hairy legs all year long – without shame and, quite frankly, with a little pride. And yes, it may seem like a strange thing to take a stand on… but I couldn’t let my daughter grow up thinking she has no choice, that she has to go along with whatever ideals society sets before her.
She has options and choices. We all do.
Sure, I could have kept on shaving – but she shocked me out of it. Sometimes, that’s what we need. Something to shock us out of that robotic state we get lulled into. Something to bring us back into personhood. A sudden splash of cold water, a bucketfull dumped on us while we lay half asleep, lounging in the sun. Something to remind us we’re alive, and we have the right to make these seemingly small, seemingly insignificant, choices for ourselves. And sometimes, those small choices end up being some of the biggest.
I volunteer in the girl’s classroom on Thursdays, and like any Thursday, I was there today. I love that the kids seem to enjoy my being there. They get extra attention, so it’s a good thing. I always get a ton of hugs, they draw me pictures, I read stories, and I just hang out and listen to anything they feel is important enough to share.
Today, Hailey came over to me, with her hands on her hips, looking very serious. She stood, looking at me for a second, one eye narrowed, before she finally spoke. Then in a slightly accusatory tone she asked “Why does Lily-Ann always look so pretty?” Pretty coming out with a little extra venom. I thought for a brief moment (stifling my laughter) and replied “Well, I guess that’s just how she feels inside.” Seemingly satisfied with my answer, she sauntered off.
I’m looking for a pretty bathroom. And no, it’s not some weird fetishistic behaviour. It’s for a photo shoot… one that’s very important to me. One that I desperately need your help to complete.
There is a particular shot I have in mind for my Power of SHe project… and a rather vital shot at that, quite important to my vision of the exhibition this project is to become. I require this pretty, serene space to capture that calm quiet feminine feeling. It is essential to the project.
So, if you live in Saskatoon and you have a pretty, delicate, lovely, feminine powder room, please consider allowing me use of the space for just a little while. I’ll do my best to be in and out as quickly as possible, and with as little disruption to your life as possible. I promise to be respectful, and will treat your space with the utmost care. Nothing will be damaged or ruined, and I’ll leave everything just as I found it. I will do my best to honor any requests by the home owner, and will be very thankful and appreciative.
The counter, in particular, is of special importance. White. It must be white. White with delicate pastel accents. Perhaps pink, lavender, blue, green, or yellow. Maybe an accent of lace here or there. Flowers. Delicate and lovely. The ultimate girlie powder room.
Here are a couple of reference photos I’ve found online (each photograph is set to link to the original location of the image). None of the following images are mine, all were found through a simple Bing image search, all are shared simply to help you (my reader) create a mental image of the type of space I am searching for for this project.
I am desperate to find this perfect, pretty space. And like I said, the counter space, around the sink is the most important element. And it’s the over-all feel of the space that really matters…. please, if you have a bathroom that might just work – even if you think there’s only a small possibility that it might be what I’m looking for – please drop me a line. It could be exactly the space I need.
photographer at tobi-dawne dot com
I feel especially pretty tonight. Pretty happy. Pretty lucky. Pretty special. Pretty wonderful. Not much else to say. 🙂 I have a hot hubby, an amazing daughter, and my life is full of music, laughter, and beauty. Sure, things aren’t perfect (wouldn’t be real or worthwhile if it was)… but I’m feeling especially pretty. Pretty sitting here in my fuzzy pink robe that my two favourite people bought me for Yule.
It’s a good night!