Such a personal place. And when it comes to our hairstyle preferences, especially down there, SOCIAL TABOO gets stamped all over it. But I’m going to bust that wide open for a few minutes. Because when our hair down there gets between us and love and self-acceptance, we need to talk about it.
So a few weeks ago, a friend and I were sitting on my couch, giggling and chatting as good girlfriends tend to do. Somehow we ended up on the subject of the twisted public image of women’s bodies. And as things go, we brushed up against the subject of sexual expectations.
She then told me a story about her, her hair, a play and an ex-boyfriend.
She’d been dating this guy for a few months, she said, when she came across some really cheap tickets for The Vagina Monologues at a local venue.
“I didn’t really have any close girlfriends at the time, so I asked my boyfriend if he wanted to go,” she said. “I was young and thought that was the litmus test for finding a prize of a guy. Because he said yes. I mean, how many guys do you know that are willing to sit through a show like that?”
The show was, as she anticipated, an incredible experience. She laughed and cried with each set. She felt suddenly closer than she ever had to the members of her sex.
But one monologue in particular hit closer to home than she had expected.
In a monologue called HAIR, it talked about – well, you guessed it. The female narrator told of an ongoing struggle she had with her husband about her natural state of hair that she refused to shave. When talking with their marriage counselor, the husband pinioned the blame of his many affairs on that one fact. Although the female narrator thought it was “weird” and painful to shave her vagina, their counselor convinced her that marriage was a “compromise.” And perhaps as a way to sweeten the pot for both parties, the counselor suggested she allow her husband to do the deed. Hating every minute of it, she allowed her excited husband to shave her that night and make love to her.
The narrator said that to love a woman and her vagina was to love hair, something her husband didn’t understand.
“You can’t pick the parts you want,” the narrator summarized, ending with, “And besides, my husband never stopped screwing around.”
At the end of the monologue, my friend’s boyfriend leaned over and whispered, “I would never do that.”
My friend sat uncomfortably in her seat. Her boyfriend wasn’t saying he would never make her shave, mind you. Because something nearly similar had occurred between her and her new boyfriend a month or so before.
“He asked me to shave multiple times. And yes, he had even offered to do the shaving himself,” my friend said with rolling eyes.
What her boyfriend was whispering in her ear was a promise that even though he still didn’t like her body as it came, he wouldn’t use it as an excuse to cheat.
But as time when by, she discovered that was only the first indicator of a long line of esteem-killing techniques her now ex-boyfriend used to indicate his growing dissatisfaction with her. They grew over time, making her despise herself and her body more and more.
“I came to a time when I realized that if I didn’t get out of that relationship soon – ” she teared up a little. She didn’t have to say anything more.
So many women don’t recognize the symptoms of an abusive relationship unless it’s physically abusive. Sometimes a request from a lover for you to alter little things about you can seem small and insignificant at the time. Like requesting you go blonde instead of staying brunette, asks you to stop drinking coffee because he doesn’t, or wishes that you wear skimpier clothes even if you are uncomfortable, or … shaving your vagina.
When these requests pile up, it begins to heavily imply that you are not attractive unless you start meeting those demands. And to love a woman is to love her wholly and fully.
So I implore you, ladies, to take heed. Is your lover asking you to constantly alter your habits, how you dress, act, speak, or … wear your hair? You might consider how it’s affecting your judgment of yourself.
Because remember: You can’t pick and choose what you like and don’t like about your lover, or swap out parts to satisfy you. At least, it’s certainly not motivated by love if your lover tries.
Have you had a lover consistently ask you to change things about yourself?
How did you react?
What would you tell a woman who experiences the same thing in her relationship?
I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!
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