My boyfriend and I have been together for five years, and in that time he’s seen the best and worst of me—both in general (think: swine flu), and beauty-wise, as in behind-the-scenes personal upkeep. He’s seen me crane my neck into a mirror to pick at a breakout and he’s been there when I’ve applied self-tanner to cover my cellulite. Heck, he’s even seen me—multiple times—with a white depilatory mustache above my upper lip (like a milk mustache, but six times thicker). And neither of us has batted an eye. But there’s one thing I have never done in front of him, nor will I ever. Keep scrolling to find out what it is…
The one beauty and personal-grooming ritual I would never do in front of a guy is…shave my armpits. There I said it. Something about the act of holding up your arm and shaving the pit, has always felt so base and pedestrian to me—just downright gross. By absolutely no means do I try to cultivate some kind of unrealistic notion of myself as a hyper-feminine angel who sweats rainbows.
Nor am I the opposite sort of “type”—a beer-guzzling, burping gal who lets it all hang loose and doesn’t believe in maintaining a boundary of privacy and mystery when it comes to certain aspects of my womanhood.
That said, my boyfriend and I are pretty “progressive,” if you want to call it that, when it comes to traditional male/female roles and norms. He cooks and does laundry and I do our finances. We don’t abide by old-school categories of “what’s feminine” and “what’s masculine.” And yet, lifting up my arm to shave has been utterly off limits—as it makes me feel like I’m a 300-pound wrestler, or a trucker, who might as well be sucking on dip and hocking loogies while I’m at it.
Like most hang-ups, my armpit-shaving aversion is a personal thing. I don’t have some traumatic event in my past involving an armpit, nor have I ever been shamed, judged, or embarrassed for being a girl with an armpit, who occasionally has to shave the hair that grows there. Nor do I judge a woman who shaves her armpits in front of men, or have any opinion one way or another on whether women should or shouldn’t shave their pits in front of guys—or at all, for that matter. I recognize that shaving your armpits in the first place is a choice for women, and one that mostly pertains to western notions of beauty. Many women (including Miley Cyrus), are fans of going natural. But in my personal experienced, I think it comes down to the associations.
If I had to psychoanalyze the aversion, my thoughts are that armpits are sweaty, gross, and smelly. And the word “pit” has such a negative connotation. Something that sucks is called “the pits.” And a mosh pit is a chaotic, sweaty, gross mess of other people’s limbs. And the pit of fruit is the only thing that’s not sweet and juicy, and gets discarded. And a pit itself is just a dark, cavernous place. I just can’t feel comfortable lifting up my arm and shaving it. Also the act of tilting the face towards the pit, and the ensuing double chin isn’t the most attractive position to be in. I’ve never done it in front of a guy, and probably never will.
Keep scrolling for some shaving creams I love—for discreet shaving of course! Or non-discreet, too, if that’s your thing. And then leave a comment below!