Monday, December 9, 2013

One Feminist's Body

Tip to toe, the way I wear my body has a lot to do with my feminist politics:

a) Hair

I've grown my hair long ever since I was a teenager, something I was determined to change in Taipei this year (taking inspiration from an acquaintance who said that she got her hair cut in each new location she travelled to). Before anyone could talk me out of saying goodbye to years' worth of conditioning, I asked for a short 'do and was thrilled to have my hair be sculpted at a height that hadn't previously been touched. I was trading in the traditionally feminine long hair for something more bouncy, free-flowing, and, most of all, healthy. Growing my hair long meant that I had a lot of split ends. I find that my hair gets in the way less now - I'm not constantly brushing it out of my face anymore.

b) Eyebrows

I used to paint them on, but I've left them to grow out naturally and assume whatever shape they will. I feel more confident as a result, because you never know when something is going to rub across your face and wipe your eyebrows off when they're drawn on. I felt perpetually anxious wearing them that way.

c) Skin

I clean my skin with Dove's Beauty Bar when I shower, a more gentle alternative to soap. I exfoliate occasionally, but most of the time I can't be bothered. I don't wear any make-up. I used to be obsessed with the stuff back in high school, but reading Naomi Wolf's 'The Beauty Myth' on the cosmetics industry opened my eyes to how unnecessary it all was.

d) Clothing

I tend to wear T-shirts and other shirts which don't have a low neckline. It's a conscious decision not to make an effort to look sexy through my clothing, as unfortunately rape myths still exist. Once upon I owned a short skirt, but now I invariably wear long pants. Sometimes I don't wear a bra, but most of the time I feel pressured to wear one.

e) Body hair

I don't remove any of my body hair.

f) Jewellery

I rarely wear jewellery, although I have a fine collection. I find it gets caught in my clothes and causes me to feel uncomfortable. 

g) Shoes

I never, ever wear high heels. Not only do they limit your mobility, they're also bad for your entire body.

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