Best Movie of 2021: I Shaved My Legs Like I Found Love: Body Hair, Inauguration and a New Day Rising

I have to start this off by getting something out of my chest. Let me get the razor.

My mother gave birth to me in January 1979, the year of the Goat, in my case. She said I was the shaggyest thing she’d ever seen. A whopping 23 inches, 9 pounds, and enough to make her no longer wish for another fur ball to come out of her body.

Over the years, my thick hair has been met with tension and reservations. Its work seen as a burden: parting, sulfur-smelling grease applied to the scalp to loosen, heat pressing into a more manageable texture. I did a tomboy who prides itself on keeping up with the boys, no matter how raised my chin or bangs despite my mother’s hard work and ulterior hopes of daughter’s good behavior. When I was 17 years old, she had to threaten me to let me sit a makeup demo in a department store mall. The “how to shave” conversation was one we never had. I can’t sit still because of it.

RELATED: Women stop shaving because of “Januhairy” and the backlash is too predictable

It wasn’t until college that I began to feel obliged to pursue beauty. I had a crush on a guy from New Jersey, and he said to me mercilessly, “You’re cute, but you need to shave your legs.” I took it as a prescription. Next thing, I know I’m in the waxing aisle of the store, trying to decide if it’s best to shave, wax, or let my body hair melt. Thank God, a dear friend taught me how to avoid turning this new activity into a new full-time gig: I can slack off during the winter months, but only if I’m single. Body waxing is my gateway drug to other beauty treatments. But as time went on, it was no longer the standard I felt like holding. As life progresses, countless unfortunate events (mostly due to bad choices) tire me out of maintaining beauty standards only to be heartbroken by a monster.

Fast-forward to Inauguration Day, 2021. Kamala Harris descends the steps of the Capitol at 11:11 the angel of the East’s designated time. Before her, Michelle Obama blew us away, so infatuated with regal I almost forgot the man next to her was the former president. I felt wave of affection that many black women shared through text messages, phone conversations, social media posts, and private pleasure – we are amazed to see Black women on this stage, sharing this moment .

And after Kamala took the oath, I suddenly felt like shaving my legs.

RELATED: Kamala Harris: The most powerful vice president since Richard Nixon. Yes really

So I write this from my bath in shallow, somewhat solitary water, and care deeply about skin that looks like mine. It may trigger a wave of judgment from hairless feline readers or maybe even a few furry sisters who pride themselves on fur coats, pants, and chin straps, but this is my body, my choice. my pick and my five-blade shaver. Move over Beyoncé and Nicki, Kamala and Michelle help me to feel myself. Shaving my legs was my own accident course in the oral history of black woman and beauty that I had overlooked.

When the shaver hits my leg, I’m reintroduced to my old scars: mosquito bites from cooking, old marks from rushing over a table with a sharp blade, and shaving too fast in the winter. There are moles, my birthmarks are avocado shaped because my mother said she used to crave them when she was pregnant with me. There’s a bruised knee from a misstep, falling to the cement floor in tangled feet in front of my parents’ door onto the uncemented bricks of our front steps. My father intended to finish them after he got paid, but he died first. Now that’s a bruise that I hope never mix, because it reminds me of him.

If Kamala and Michelle could hear me, I’d tell them I feel seen, like my lookalike feet can now stand in the sunlight and shine without bidding , urging, gawking and fond of stroking curves, disparaging and abusive purposes.

Damn it, I shaved my legs today like it’s the first time in a long time. The softness of their feet reminded me of the rolling hills and mountains they had climbed. And so were the valleys–when they had to go too low for the carriages to reach, deep in the dark, they struggled to find a North Star to guide them out.

I wish they could see me wiping the fingerprints of the last man who touched and lay here. He was so wrong for me. One night, he held my legs in his arms and told me that I would never find a better man who could only bind me, his own feet never wanted to walk let alone stand. beside me.

I’m off topic.

Now I know better. It’s bare skin to me, and how does a new exposure make me stand out and make me wonder: What else did I overlook to get my attention? Sometimes you forget to be proud of something, others will find value for themselves. We must be careful to see who loves our beauty behind the silent stalking, who worships us. These feet are mine, the sheen can’t be achieved by tanning or tanning salons, and it doesn’t crack under pressure. It becomes more difficult.

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It doesn’t matter if you shave your legs or not. Make time for what makes you feel beautiful. For some of us, we forget ourselves. We have a habit of putting the needs of others before our own. Or we break down to the point of losing ourselves and suppressing whatever life exists within us. Black women are erased, ignored, and taken advantage of in more ways than I can mention for the sake of time and space. Breaking the internet is intended for women who equip themselves with our features while keeping the crumbs and bones they throw at us who made them.

Kamala Harris is the vice president of the United States. Black, American Indian, woman, HBCU graduate. I am a woman with freshly shaved legs. Now I get out of the bath, a strength, feel a new breeze. A new day. A new dawn, ready to redefine what I stand for.

Read more Salon’s best life stories of 2021. Best Movie of 2021: I Shaved My Legs Like I Found Love: Body Hair, Inauguration and a New Day Rising

Bobby Allyn

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