Thousands Of Women LOVE This Poem Calling Out What Men Don't Know About Body Hair
"So when a man calls me beautiful... I dare him to wait till my hair grows back."
This is 22-year-old Delhi-based writer Naina Kataria.
Earlier this week, Kataria uploaded this photo of her leg on Facebook, alongside a poem called "When A Man Tells Me I'm Beautiful," about the policing of women's body hair.
The poem has been shared by more than 6,000 people in 48 hours, and has resonated strongly with several women:
Kataria explained its conception to BuzzFeed:
I went out for a movie with a guy. We were watching this ad about razors for women when I remarked that celebrities shouldn't endorse such products because it sends out a message that one HAS to buy them to look beautiful.
He replied by saying, "OMG you're too much of a feminist."
That made me ponder over two things — one, about the unrealistic standards that we've set for beauty. They keep saying that it's optional, but I believe otherwise because these norms are something that are just ingrained into us.
The second thing that hit me was how much we hide all these things from men. Women go through excruciating amounts of pain to look merely presentable and men don't even have an idea of what it's like.
Read the poem in full here:
When a man tells me
I don't believe him.
Instead, I relive my days in high school
When no matter how good I was
I was always the girl with a moustache
He doesn't know what it's like
to grow up in your maternal family
Where your body is the only one that
Proudly boasts of your father's X
While your mother's X sits back and pities
He doesn't know the teenager
Who filled her corners with
Empty consolations of
Being loved for who she was- someday.
He doesn't know hypocrisy.
He doesn't know of the world that
tells you to 'be yourself'
and sells you a fair and lovely shade card
in the same fucking breath
He doesn't know of the hot wax and the laser
whose only purpose is to
replace your innocent skin
with its own brand of womanhood
He doesn't know of the veet and the bleach
That uproot your robust hair
in the name of hygiene
Hygiene, which when followed by men
makes them gay and unmanly
He doesn't know how unruly eyebrows are tamed
and how uni brows die a silent death
All to preserve beauty
And of the torturous miracles that happen
Inside the doors marked
So when a man calls me beautiful
I throw at him, a smile; a smile that remained
After everything the strip pulled away
And I dare him
Till my hair grows back.