I stopped shaving my armpits a few months ago. At first it wasn’t to make a statement. I was just curious how it would feel to keep it.
It happened when I got really sick for about a month. I felt so horrible I could not care less about shaving any part of my body. When I got better, I looked under my arms ready to mow down the short black tuft that had grown and realized it had never been this long before. To shave or not to shave never felt like a choice that was given to me. It was presented to me, by a combination of social pressure from other women and Seventeen Magazine (a garbage publication btw), as if it were a plain fact of being a woman.
Since I realized I felt like I wasn’t supposed to have a choice in the matter, I stopped. I trim it once in a while but for now I’m not shaving it anymore. I get the occasional glance of curiosity or subtle surprised look from people when I lift my arm in front of them. I’ve actually grown to like the feeling of it. I feel more me.
So I decided to make a series of six drawings about body hair. Each of the ~unsightly haired areas~ are replaced with native California plants, which are all also classified as weeds (likely by anxiety-ridden suburbanites or OCD gardeners). Like body hair, weeds are purely a matter of taste. It’s all about what you think other people care about, what they assume about you, and all the random social stigmas that come from tedious norms.
You can see them as ugly and problematic, or you can see them as beautiful and interesting.