Culture

HuffPo Writer Upset That She’d Have to ‘Feel Unsafe’ If She Didn’t Shave Because of Racism

And it's only gotten worse since 9/11.

In a piece for the Huffington Post, a woman of South Asian descent laments the fact that she can’t stop shaving her armpits because she’s “brown” and therefore not shaving would make her “feel unsafe.”

“I even began shaving my legs at the height of the post-puberty shame-fest that was 7th grade,” writes Nadya Agrawal in a heart-wrenching piece titled “I Don’t Shave Because I’m a Woman. I Shave Because I’m Brown.”

“Sitting in P.E., my scrawny legs sticking out of my over-large basketball shorts in all their awkward glory, I noticed once again that I didn’t look like other girls,” she continues. “Where they had gentle blond fuzz that floated imperceptibly over their pale skin, my new growth was dark and obvious.”

According to Agrawal, although “humans of the porcelain-skinned variety” like Madonna and Miley Cyrus have the option of not shaving their armpits, she cannot join their furry-feminist fuzz fest because of her race.

“So while they reject the status quo, they’re going somewhere I can’t follow,” she explains.

She “can’t follow,” she explains, because her “grooming habits are not a simple style choice or preference,” but rather dictated by the “out-and-out racism” of our society that has only gotten worse since 9/11:

#share#“My brown brothers have the same problem,” she writes. “In our post-9/11 America, racial profiling and hate crimes have driven many South Asian and Middle Eastern men to shave off their beards and cut their hair out of fear.”

She points out that this racism also means “Muslim and Sikh men” simply cannot risk participating in the “man buns and beards” trend — which she calls “the paradigm of modern male fashion for non-brown men” — “without endangering themselves.”

(The horror!)

#related#“If I have to sacrifice a lofty feminist ideal to feel more comfortable, I’m going to do it,” she writes. “It’s not a perfect solution, and I hope one day I won’t feel unsafe just because my body hair is visible. But until then, I’m going to keep tweezing, plucking, and waxing my way to acceptance.”

Now, when exactly armpit hair started being considered a “lofty feminist ideal,” I do not know. In any case, for what it’s worth, I shave all the time — and really do feel like it’s not all that bad. Certainly not as bad as oh, I don’t know, having to talk to a dude with a man bun.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.   

Most Popular

World

The ‘Rough Sex’ Problem

John Broadhurst, a 41-year-old multi-millionaire from the United Kingdom — convicted of “manslaughter by gross negligence” after he killed his 26-year-old girlfriend Natalie Connolly during so-called “rough sex” — will walk free after serving only half of his 44-month sentence. Like many countries, ... Read More
World

The ‘Rough Sex’ Problem

John Broadhurst, a 41-year-old multi-millionaire from the United Kingdom — convicted of “manslaughter by gross negligence” after he killed his 26-year-old girlfriend Natalie Connolly during so-called “rough sex” — will walk free after serving only half of his 44-month sentence. Like many countries, ... Read More
Elections

Joe Biden’s Authoritarian VP Finalist

Last year, Senator Kamala Harris may have become the first presidential candidate in history to laugh derisively at the idea that the Constitution limits what a president can do. When former Vice President Joe Biden said that her plan for gun control by executive fiat didn’t pass constitutional muster, she ... Read More
Elections

Joe Biden’s Authoritarian VP Finalist

Last year, Senator Kamala Harris may have become the first presidential candidate in history to laugh derisively at the idea that the Constitution limits what a president can do. When former Vice President Joe Biden said that her plan for gun control by executive fiat didn’t pass constitutional muster, she ... Read More
Law & the Courts

New York’s Lawless NRA Lawsuit

The latest bananas news from the banana republic that is the State of New York: The attorney general, a political enemy of the National Rifle Association, is seeking to have the advocacy organization legally dissolved. The pretext is financial corruption and self-dealing on the part of the NRA’s ... Read More
Law & the Courts

New York’s Lawless NRA Lawsuit

The latest bananas news from the banana republic that is the State of New York: The attorney general, a political enemy of the National Rifle Association, is seeking to have the advocacy organization legally dissolved. The pretext is financial corruption and self-dealing on the part of the NRA’s ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Misguided Attempt to Dissolve the NRA

Closing out the week with some variety: The evidence of mismanagement and wasteful spending at the NRA is real, but New York State attorney general Letitia James is on a vendetta against the organization in just about the worst possible way; an eye-opening question about Susan Rice perhaps having undisclosed ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Misguided Attempt to Dissolve the NRA

Closing out the week with some variety: The evidence of mismanagement and wasteful spending at the NRA is real, but New York State attorney general Letitia James is on a vendetta against the organization in just about the worst possible way; an eye-opening question about Susan Rice perhaps having undisclosed ... Read More