When I was in the third grade, I asked this kid Tim to the school dance. Well, I asked my friend to ask him for me, which was the elementary school equivalent of messaging him on OKCupid (i.e. definitely silly but it protects your feelings somewhat, right?). He said no. Nay, he said “hell no.” Why, you ask? Why would somebody not have totally fallen head over heels in love with this face? No, it wasn’t because I already wore weird high-waisted shorts with patterned tights; it was because I had fuzzy arms and legs.
So I fixed it! Because for some reason, it had somehow already been engrained in my system that if somebody didn’t like something about me, change was the only option.
Keep in mind, I was in the third grade. At age 9, children often aren’t really allowed to have scissors on their own, let alone use razors to reduce the extremely little hair they have already to nil. But shave, I did. My arms and my legs, every day until I was 13, at which point I added my underarms. Sure, it was annoying to always take so much time in the shower, but that’s “what women do,” so it made sense to me. It was written in the books I read about puberty and everyone I knew did it, which were good enough reasons for me.
At 14, I self-Brazilian’d – using tweezers. I was too afraid to shave that area, so I literally plucked every single hair until I was as hairless as I had been five years before (and it hurt — I would seriously rather get scarification once more that ever fucking pluck that area again). I did it because several of my friends told me that that’s what you’re “supposed” to do as you get older. Otherwise, it was commonly known that boys would never want to hook up with you and girls would make fun of you.
It’s strange — not to mention confusing — how, as you’re a little girl trying so hard to become a woman, it’s expected that you’ll make yourself look like a child again in order to do “adult” things.