Friday, March 30, 2007

F*ck Off, I'm Hairy Too

Did ya see it? Did ya see Shazia Mirza being all hairy and pro-active about the female body last night on BBC three? I did. I kind of liked the show, but I kind of didn't at the same time. I got excited when Mirza talked about the shame of her body hair, and looked into how much of it she had removed over the years since her teens. I was thrilled when she said that she was going to grow it all out. I was angry as buggery when an ELEVEN YEAR OLD GIRL had her legs waxed and the "beautician" did it, presumably took her money for it and when questioned said that girls are becoming more "aware" of their hair at a younger age, as if that was something to celebrate! Yes, hairy girl children are to be feared and reviled...

I got pissed off when Mirza discussed body hair with some journalist and she said that not shaving makes men think that women are either feminists or political activists, like either thing is distasteful! Eugh, feminism. Just nasty. I was astonished when Mirza went looking for naked women in art and found that women have always been depicted as hairless and smooth skinned. Why haven't I noticed this? Why have I assumed that this hairless, sanitised woman image is a recent, 20th century onwards cultural convention?

What became apparent was that Mirza really wanted to be hairy and feminine. What she really wanted to get at was why the two things are seemingly incompatible and that really spoiled it all for me. She met with a fashion designer who made "sexy" undies out of body hair. They arranged a fashion show with real (not models) hairy women wearing the undies. That just really bent my mind because I liked it. I liked these normal looking hairy women's bodies strutting up and down and enjoying themselves. And for fuck's sake I KNOW better than that! It's fake empowerment, it panders to the patriarchy. It's fucking frilly knickers for God's sake! But it worked. Just for that two minutes when all those women got up on stage in a great big hairy gang and looked up at the camera, raised a two finger salute and shouted "Fuck Off! I'm a Hairy Woman!" it really fucking worked. My spine tingled.

It was, on reflection, too much to expect that the show be about rejecting femininity and embracing feminism; this was BBC Three, not channel four. It was, in its own way, a programme about confounding the hairless expectations of femininity and defying cultural beauty norms. I suppose you could say it was a start...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Happy Monday!

I'm a bit late today, but here's some great stuff to have a look at and set you up for a positive week...

Love Your Body is a website brought to you from those amazing people at NOW. Love Your Body Day is October 17th this year, so you now have plenty of time to get your body-loving posts and events ready. Check out the sections for offensive and positive adverts. It makes interesting reading, but don't get me started on the positive ones that I don't think make the grade!

This video made me smile! I may spend an afternoon flashing the people of Salford in just this way. Enjoy!