Over the past four years, the Hairy Legs Club Tumblr has been sharing stories and photos of women who have decided to ditch their razors and stop shaving.
The blog invites women to submit photos of their unshaven legs, and most women accompany their photos with a backstory. Here are some of their stories.
"I feel that it’s important for me to grow them out not only for myself on my journey to self-love and acceptance, but also for other people who might be ashamed of theirs as I once was (and still sometimes can be)."
"Strange at the beginning, but now beginning to love my hairy legs and feeling weird about thinking of having unnatural (un)free-hairs legs again. Hairs are a part of myself, why the fuck would I remove that for me?"
"I abhor shaving and I feel better about myself since I stopped shaving and I'm not going to let other people police my body."
"I’ve been a member of the club for four years, and my legs are so much happier for it! I’ve tried so many different ways of covering them up: maxi skirts, tights, footless tights, knee socks… but this summer I’m trying to be bold and show them off!"
"I hate shaving so much, so it has been very liberating to finally decide to stop shaving. Society needs to learn to accept that women grow hair, and it’s not gross, unattractive, manly, or unsanitary. Go women!"
"Brown, chubby, hairy, and proud."
"Have not shaved my legs in almost six months. No shame, just love."
"I don’t remember the last time I shaved my legs and I honestly don’t even care!"
"Every time I looked down it was a great reminder of how awesome, powerful, and human I am. :) So here’s wishing all women and men everywhere the courage to look the way they want to look, 'cause I for one think you all look darn fine."
"I don’t shave in the winter. Last winter I was like, 'Wow, I really don’t wanna shave this spring, it’s too much of a pain in the ass and I just don’t care any more.'"
"Feminine and hairy aren’t contradictions."
"I am a garden of beautiful body hair."
"The decision of not shaving shouldn’t be a big deal, but unfortunately, I’ve found that most people think it’s disgusting/unsightly. Only on women, of course."
"This was on my birthday. I love that my femininity is defined by myself alone."
"Proud to be a mammal and a woman."
"This is how my mother made me. Very hairy. In theory, I’m all for showing my natural, hairy beauty. But when it comes to stepping out on the street all au naturel, I second-guess my confidence. Hopefully I’ll soon get the balls to do it."
People have sent in personal messages saying they hate how society makes them feel like it's wrong.
"In recent years I've to come to realise why I hate it. I don't hate the hair, I hate the way that society makes me feel it's wrong. I hate the way people look at it as if it's disgusting. I hate the negative perception. I hate the media for making anything aside from smooth seem wrong. I realised I don't hate my hair. I don't hate the way I look. I stopped shaving my legs. Forgot about my armpits. No more plucking, pruning, ripping, and tearing.
"Because, well, fuck it. Who is society to tell how I should I look? I'm a girl with a moustache, deal with it."
One girl who moved from Asia to America said that she shaved her legs to fit a popular notion of beauty.
"I recently moved to the USA from Asia, and where I am from not too many women shave. Perhaps only the movie stars and people on TV, etc. It's just not part of the popular culture. So shaving is just something new to me. So when I did try, I did not like it at all. But I did it when wearing dresses because my friends around me kept telling me to... I guess I was just trying to fit in."
Others messaged the blog to say that even though they shave their legs, they love that women are doing what they want with their bodies.
"In a weird way this blog has made me feel good about shaving. Because I'm not doing it for anyone else, I'm doing it for me because it's what I like. That's exactly what all these girls are doing and more power to you all!"
Many shared the feeling that they were tired of "existing for the gaze of other people".
"'Hairy legs are sexy' – I think this statement is really problematic. One of the reasons I don't shave is because I am sick of existing for the gaze of other people. It is no more acceptable to objectify fuzzy women than it is to objectify hairless women. If you want to show solidarity with me, you only have to say as much – I don't want to hear how sexy you think I am."
The creator of the blog has received offensive and crude messages sent to the community over the years. She says: "I don’t understand why people are so passionately hateful of something that naturally occurs."
She concluded the post by saying: "I can't wait for the day that this blog is redundant and that being a woman and having hairy legs is as unremarkable as having a head, shoulders, knees, and toes!"