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Black Women, Body Hair And...Charles Darwin?!

I was ten years old the first time I thought about body hair. It was a hot Italian summer and I remember playing with my best friend in her garden. I noticed a small cut on her thigh that stood out on her tanned brown skin. She was proud to say it was from shaving. She had recently started after noticing her first leg hairs.

It made me look at my own legs which were not totally hairless, but not hairy either. Regardless, I believed it was time for me to start shaving. Not because I needed to but because in some ways, I saw that becoming a woman, which I was so eager to be, required me to do things I didn’t understand, like shaving my hairy-not-hairy legs – something I regret to this day.

My journey with shaving my legs didn’t last long as the blue razors I stole from my parent’s bathroom cupboard made my strawberry legs bleed. As the years went by, I discovered the magic of hair removal creams. Its coldness against my skin reminded me of relaxers and I loved watching the way it made my armpit and pubic hairs fall like dead autumn leaves.