Please… read this post in the context of it having been written by a bloke who has his legs waxed once a month and who exfoliates daily. Yes, I actually do.
It’s not vanity of course; there are very serious and important reasons why cyclists must have no hair on their legs…
- You go faster because you’re more aerodynamic. I’m serious, really.
- You fit into the group and feel accepted (except with hairy mountain bikers).
- You crash – well, I do – and it’s much easier for the nurses and doctors when they pull the dirt out and clean you up, and you don’t have to put up with the pain of the band-aids ripping your hair off.
- You look like a cyclist.
- You need smooth hairless skin for massages (if you’re a pro anyway… and you have your own soigneur)
So you can see; it’s not vanity. (For more information on such matters, search ‘shit cyclists say’… you’ll find all the answers.)
Anyway, back on topic… that took far too long just to put you in context.
I read this article in The Age today by Tracey Spicer who is ‘weaning herself off extreme grooming’. It is a bold and honest opinion peace about why this television presenter is cutting down on the ridiculous amount of time she spends getting ready for work in the morning. I was so impressed, I went and watched the TedX video that Tracey did back in January this year.
Worth a read and worth a watch, even if you only have moderate interest.
Of course the other context for me is the fact I have two thirteen year old daughters, one of whom last week went to youth group ‘all dolled up’ as her papa would say. She looked beautiful in her highish heels, a dress and a little make-up. So did her sister; she was dressed in jeans, a t-shirt, messy hair and nothing on her face apart from her smile. Identical yet different – and nothing to be concerned about.
But I had to question my own judgements as I felt a little queezy when Tracey started talking about letting the hair grow under her arms and all over her legs. That’s why I set that original context; to show that my judgement here is not a misogynistic thing. I think everyone should have smooth legs (not really!). But this thinking did cause me to check my own judgements. There’s absolutely no doubt I would rather see female newsreaders made-up, hair done, looking nice… I have to admit that. But I feel the same about male newsreaders; they’d look silly on telly without make-up or hair done and I wouldn’t want to see them in their PJs. Albeit, Karl did wear the same suit for a year without anyone noticing; and he was making a similar point to Tracey.
It’s just a hell of a lot EASIER for men.
So back to my beautiful girls. Thirteen, soon to be sixteen, eighteen, nineteen… God, I’m scared. I will urge them to read Tracey’s article and watch Tracey’s video (good luck with that I can hear my wife say!). And of all the words Tracey says, they should take heed of these:
“So how do we exude confidence without over-grooming? For me, it’s a three-step process: deconstruct, reconstruct, SHEconstruct. In other words, gradually cut back until you feel comfortable with the real you.”
Lucky for me, the real me has hairless… smooth… cycling legs. 😉