Thoughts on being a hairy bride

Guest post by danikapanika

hair on wedding day 1

We already broached the question of “should I shave my armpits of my wedding day,” but let's hear about it first hand from a bride who chose not to shave on her wedding day.

On my non-commitment ceremony days I don't shave, but for the most part I also don't cover up the fact that I don't shave. I will happily rock a cute little sun dress accessorized with leg and arm pit hair. Not thinking of leg hair and cute dresses as an either/or choice is one little twist on gender that makes me happy. What can I say, I enjoy contradictions (and I also really hate shaving).

Then people started to ask (and I was wondering this too), if I was going to shave for the big day. “No!” — “Yes!” would race through my mind in quick succession followed by “gharrrr I don't know!” Because hairy brides are so infrequent, my hair suddenly became a political statement. Should I shave so that I wouldn't offend anyone, or should I say “I do,” leg hair and all, because it was more authentically me?

I finally realized that my leg hair was getting caught in the same tug-o-war I think many of us wedding/commitment ceremony planners experience between our own desires and the social expectations of our community. What do we do when our authentic selves takes a sharp left turn from whatever the current “normal” is?

This question occupied the same part of my brain that was chewing on questions about why Adam and I weren't actually getting married. Was my insistence on a commitment ceremony (rather than a legal marriage) just an attention-seeking-political-stunt designed to make everyone uncomfortable (there were a few grumbles in this direction), or was I doing what I knew would make me happiest?

In the end I decided they both had the same answer:

I would do what I wanted, I just wouldn't make it a big deal. If I was calm, everyone else took the cue that just because something was a little different, it didn't mean it was up for discussion.

So when the photos began and we all jumped together, I raised my arms high and let my arm pit hair play in the breeze. It was a perfect day.

Comments on Thoughts on being a hairy bride

  1. Thanks for your perspective. “If I was calm, everyone else took the cue that just because something was a little different, it didn’t mean it was up for discussion.” What a great calm and rational way to handle this (and, I’m sure, many other hairy situations). I do want to know more about this mitten proposal, though!

    • The mittens were one of my better ideas. My partner is comes by romance more naturally than I do, so I always have to plan carefully. I wanted the proposal to be as romantic as possible. I actually measured his finger for his ring without him realizing by telling him I needed it to make a pair of mittens for him. I organized a weekend get away and suggested we go for a hike up one of the surrounding mountains. When we got to the top I told him I had an early Christmas present for him (it was October). He took unwrapped the mittens and when he put it on he realized there was a ring tied inside. With recognition dawning on his face he turned to me and I asked him if he would love me forever. And he said yes! Then we went back down the mountain, called our friends and family to tell them and got happily drunk. It was wonderful. Two months later he surprised me with a counter proposal. He gave me a jar of buttons, knowing I would want to pour them out to look at them. As I did I saw a red velvet box! So of course I said yes when he asked me if I would love him forever.
      At our commitment ceremony our favours were little red crochet hearts made out of the same yarn as the mittens, with one of the buttons sewn to the middle. It was perfect.

      • Aw! How lovely! I adore the idea of counter-proposals. Your’s is so perfect too because it is so personal. And what a clever way to get his ring size!

  2. I’m also a non-shaver and I wanted to thank you for this awesome post! I’m always torn about whether or not I should shave for more formal events and I try to eventually remind myself that it doesn’t actually matter!

    I can shave and be cool with my “conforming to hair-norms” or I can not shave and be cool with people maybe staring at my pits! And I’ll still be me and proud and happy.

    As they say in Pun-sylvania: Hair today, gone tomorrow.

  3. i love it!!! i plan on not shaving. but i am blonde… so i am not quite as brave. good for her!

  4. in the end…as long as you and your beloved are content in any decision, that’s really all that matters..

  5. Before my wedding (August 2010), I had shaved my legs exactly once in almost ten years- and that was for my sister’s wedding, and she begged me, so I compromised on that. But about a week before my wedding, my mom asked me if I was shaving for the big day. I responded that if I shaved my legs for the wedding, my SO wouldn’t know who he was marrying. She had to cede the point.

  6. Woohoo! I didn’t shave for a number of years. I’ve since started because my wife prefers it… but I still feel all warm and fuzzy inside when I see other women not shaving. Power to you!

  7. i’m totes not shaving for my hitchin, cuz – why would i? it’s been ten years, and plus – shaving makes me stabby. you look gorgeous, by the way.

    • I think the phrase “shaving makes me stabby” just works on so many levels. I love that. 🙂

    • Shaving makes my legs look nice for one day, then I break out in hives from ingrown hair, then re-shaving cuts up the little nubs … so I end up with pimply legs with bloody spots, I do not find that prettier than the alternative. (Epilating/Waxing makes the pimples REALLY bad, I mean EVERY hair grows inwards and needs to be scratched out…) At this point I do still use an electrical razor to trim them to about 1mm in length if I know my legs’ll be seen,but I’ve also gone out without doing so.

  8. i shaved on my i’m-the-chick-in-the-white-dress day coz that’s who i am and that’s what i do… so why should you shave if that’s not who you are and that’s not what you do?? i’ve noted that people who are true to themselves tend to be friggin awesome, and everybody wants to be awesome on their special day!

    • I also LOVE those shoes!! Where did you get them?! I’ve been searching for something like them.

      And thanks for sharing your awesome choice to stick to your guns. 🙂

        • I’ve been anxiously checking in on the comments in the hopes somebody could identify them. I’ve been kind of obsessing about those shoes…

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