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should i shave my armpits for my cousin's wedding?  RSS feed

 
Cassie Langstraat
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Okay, I know this is kind of silly, but I'm curious what people think and I don't really wanna post this on facebook because my cousin is on facebook and I don't necessarily want her to see this conversation, but yeah, I'm just not sure what to do about this one.

I am in both her wedding and one of my best friends wedding this summer, and they are both very "conventional" as far as idk, body hair/make-up/ all that shit goes. They don't care that I don't shave, but like I am getting the feeling they are worried I am going to ruin their wedding photos with the forests that are currently under my arms. hahahaha.

So here's where I am confused. I don't want to shave because that just like gives into the fucking annoying cultural standard that body hair is gross and will "ruin" an otherwise nice picture.

But also it's like, it's just body hair, and does it really matter if I shave to make my friends happy? I think I am leaning towards this latter one, just because I feel like it involves less drama, (and weddings are so damn dramatic enough without my pit kittens floating about) BUT I just want to be sensitive to all the bullshit surrounding woman's bodies and want to stick up for that, and for myself too. But yeah, It's not about me.

Thoughts?
 
Todd Parr
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The wedding is about the person getting married.  If you know something as simple as shaving once (for each wedding) will make them happy, is it really more important to you to make some kind of a statement?  Hell, if men went to weddings in tank tops, I would shave my pits for their pictures if they wanted me too.  What your friends want on one of the most important days of their lives is way more important than pit hair.  In my mind, you aren't "giving in" to anything, you are doing something nice for people you care about that costs you nothing.
 
Anna Tennis
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I hear the dilemma, I really do! I've been both a shaver and a non-shaver (currently do shave). Solidarity. Also I don't think there's one right answer (i.e. not the end of the world either way).

I'm remembering just now being in a friend's wedding during a hairy phase, and my flowy silk dress had sleeves and I wore loose silk pants underneath. I looked a little bohemian/self-expressive *and* kept my body hair *and* didn't worry about sticking out too much. Of course, my friend was very loose in her bridesmaid dress code parameters ("wear a green dress").

Anyway, I think if *you're* going to spend a bunch of time during the wedding distracted by having hairy pits, wondering how it's affecting others, etc., instead of just enjoying the wedding, I might advise shaving. It'll probably be more fun to be focusing on other things.
 
Dale Hodgins
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If you do shave, at least show up with some sort of stuffed animal under each arm for when you meet them privately.

I have sometimes peed indoors, to satisfy the prudish people in my life.
 
John Weiland
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Cassie Langstraat wrote:...I am getting the feeling they are worried I am going to ruin their wedding photos with the forests that are currently under my arms. .... I don't want to shave because that just like gives into the fucking annoying cultural standard that body hair is gross and will "ruin" an otherwise nice picture.
Thoughts?


The cost of the average American wedding is ~$35,000.00, somewhat less than the median US household income at ~50K (but admittedly a 1000X less than the current Lockheed F16 fighter pegged at $34 million):
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/feb/4/cost-of-the-average-american-wedding-reaches-recor/

Let's assume that the one you will attend is more spartan at $20K.  Even at that price, a good wedding photographer with some modicum of skill with Photoshop will make that hair disappear faster than a bottle (or two) of Nair.  Gone are the tiresome, tedious days of airbrushing the photo.....as well as subjecting your body to the 'chemical miracle' that is hair remover.

You attend the wedding with wheat fields unharvested.  If you wish to up the ante, you can braid the bushes before the magical day.  Photos of all members....and in all memorable positions...are photographed.  You get to keep the ones expressing the natural you, your friends get to make their own choices, and mom and dad get the sanitized version that befits their vision of the Celestial Kingdom.

All happy, no one offended, photographer ecstatic at the extra income, and cake and toasting all 'round.



 
Nicole Alderman
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Personally, I'd shave my armpits, because I already shave them once a week or so because I don't like the feeling of long hair under there (I tried to grow it out in high school and hated the feeling). But, if someone told me to shave my legs--which I never have--I'd say, "No thanks." I'd ask for a long dress to cover them, instead, or let them pick someone else, or wear tights or something. But that's because I'm kind of proud of the fact that I've never in my 32 years of life, shaved my legs. Shaving them once would ruin that awesome record.

Conversely, I also never wear make-up, but I would for someone's wedding if they asked me (once, for a friends birthday, their present from me was for me to let them do my make-up, lol!). The make-up isn't permanent, so wearing it would be like a present to them. But, if they asked me to cut or dye my hair, I wouldn't do it. Such a change would be pretty permanent, and I view my long hair as kind of an extension of who I am.

Some questions perhaps to ask yourself are, "Is not-shaving my pits a value that I hold dearly &/or view as part of my identity?" and, "Is this value something that I could do away with for a day as a gift on their wedding and a way of being respectful to/tolerant of their own beliefs?" I think the answers to these questions will be different for everyone, and that's okay! You do what's best for you and your values!
 
Deb Rebel
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Trim pits with scissors. No stubbly and is a good compromise. I don't mow mine anymore but if they get too luxuriant I will give them a bit of landscaping.

Photoshop, I'm a pro. Anyone that is decent with photoshop can defur you in 30 seconds tops. Trust me, I almost rate that in with 'remove red eye' as simple.
 
Larry Bock
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ok. putting myself in the meat grinder and expecting some flack.. yes if your friend mentioned that perhaps you should  i dated a woman that did  not believe in shaving her armpits or woman scaping.. hell it will grow back
back... no?
 
William Bronson
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I vote for the scissors option. I use electric trimmers myself. NO STUBBLE.
It's hair it will grow back.
I have shaved beards and not shaved mohawks for social occasions. I have decided hair shouldn't be that important to me.
Except for the hair directly beneath my lower lip,without which I develop a giant baby head that makes my wife go"ugfa!"
Enjoy the wedding!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Cassie Langstraat wrote:It's not about me. 


My take is that it's only about you... Why do you care what other people think in the first place? Are you letting other people control how you live? It's your life, not theirs.  It's not my place to tell other people how to live. It's not a brides place, nor the place of the bride's mother.  One of the best things that ever happened to me was I stopped dressing how other people thought I should dress. I stopped grooming how other people wanted me to groom.  I stopped eating how other people think I should eat. I stopped wearing shoes because other people think I should. Life is much better these days. Much much better!!!

In my own case, if my friends or family are going to invite me to a ceremony, they know that I will show up as myself -- I won't look like a clone of a Mormon bishop.

I'd love for you to go to the wedding as your authentic self. I love and completely accept you whatever your decision.

 
David Livingston
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Be yourself
 
K Putnam
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It's really such a little thing to you....will take 30 seconds and cost you nothing really...but may be a big thing for the bride.  That's easy math.
 
Judith Browning
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I would go with whatever makes you comfortable...either way...you don't have to be 'stuck' there...it will grow back. 

Adapting for someone elses comfort level isn't always a bad thing...especially if it only takes a small 'sacrifice' to alleviate.

On a more practical note though, I shaved once over the last forty years for something and it was quite irritating to my skin so if you do decide to shave you might not want to at the last moment. 

 
Jd Gonzalez
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Corn rows? Braids?
I shave because my wife is not too keen on my neantherthal facial hair.  Part of permaculture is care for others. So I shave, and it grows back.
 
Elizabeth Rose
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Cassie Langstraat wrote:They don't care that I don't shave, but like I am getting the feeling they are worried ...

So here's where I am confused. I don't want to shave because that just like gives into the fucking annoying cultural standard...

But also it's like, it's just body hair, and does it really matter if I shave to make my friends happy? ... I just want to be sensitive to all the bullshit surrounding woman's bodies and want to stick up for that, and for myself too.


Think of it as an act of love. How will your cousin feel when she sees that you, whom she knows doesn't shave and who respects you enough to not ask you to compromise your beliefs, sees those tidy underarms. Will she feel relieved? Touched that you cared about her more than making a point?

A wedding is a great time to leave behind the annoyance and confusion and do what's joyful in celebration of two people doing something incredibly courageous and vulnerable. In fact, any time is a great time to leave behind annoyance and confusion and do what's joyful.

In short, it doesn't matter if you shave to make your friends happy, and it seems like you know that. Not a big deal, and if you do it'll put a smile on the bride's face.

Make one woman happy. Isn't that what we're sticking up for in the first place?
 
Judith Browning
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This has reminded me of my room mate's wedding back in 1970, where I was a bridesmaid.  I didn't wear a bra and her husband was upset about it.  Looking back, I suppose I could have scrounged one up and it wouldn't have been too big a deal...it was their day after all, and now I'm left with this memory of him being pissed off....I still hate to wear a bra, but now I do when we're going to town or visiting folks who care about such things.  I don't feel like it's lowering my standards, just having a little empathy for my fellow man and woman....when they are awkward, I can feel it and would just as soon focus on other things......getting old, I guess
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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If the design of the dress is where the "kitten fur" would be noticable, then dye it to match the dress. Bridesmaids dresses are always some garish color. If it's any shade of green, as they often are, lots of plant material could be used to blend it in.

That was a joke (sort of). Seriously, she's family and feels close enough to you to ask you to play a role in an extremely special event in her life. I think to ask her what her expectations of you are would save a lot of guessing and wondering on both of your parts. As you're going "should I/shouldn't I", she probably going "will she/won't she". You'll probably both be relieved, just ask.
 
Andrea Mondine
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Hi Cassie!

Why not just ask her?
You say that your friends 'don't care' that you don't shave...but are you sure about that? They may absolutely love you, and absolutely hate your body hair...but they 'tolerate' it because you are such an awesome person.

I can share a 'family story' that was passed on for decades about hairy female pits that may show the level of discomfort for some (given that this was in the 50's)...
My uncle was set to marry a younger gal...white conventional dress and all. In this case, somehow, family and friends weren't aware of the armpit kittens until the actual wedding day, when my mother is said to have been following my aunt-to-be with a pair of kitchen shears asking if 'she could just trim them up a little bit'. The story goes that it was not a pretty picture...and at that time, I'm not sure if she was making a statement, was not raised to mow, or just didn't care! Be it known that there is a chance you may be 'discussed' for several years if the bride (or any family member or friend) doesn't approve.

On the other hand, good for you for even considering the appropriate course of action. We shouldn't have to change who we are to please anyone else. It's great that you are comfortable in your natural state and have shunned the nonsensical societal requirement to be bald from the eyelashes down. It would be a loving gesture, on your part, to have a lighthearted chat with the gals getting married, and ask them to honestly decide for you. It is hair, it does grow back, but it is still a part of you and I don't think willy-nilly trimming without good reason is in order either.

If it's really only the photo remembrance that is the issue: depending on the style of the dress, perhaps you could have a little capelet or short lacy overjacket that yo could wear for photos? (Or go the photoshop option already mentioned in other posts)

Everyone should have the freedom to shave or not to shave any part of themselves....but I understand it's not as accepted in mainstream as we would all like. For such a small patch of growth, it sure does generate some debate. For the sake of both you and your family/friends...a tender compromise may need to occur.

I think you should let us know what you decide. I'm sure you will be beautiful either way.

~Andrea
 
Julia Winter
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Andrea Mondine wrote: 
I think you should let us know what you decide. I'm sure you will be beautiful either way.


Seconded!

Just don't touch your map of Tasmania, K?

 
Jerry Sledge
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Maybe you can be glad it is not like the last wedding I attended. At a nudist resort. At least I didn't have to worry about what to wear. One button suits were the norm.
 
Laura Emil
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Hey Cassie, ONLY because you asked us:

Who are YOU?  At your core? 

The only caution I offer is don't let defiance have power.  If it's ONLY because you don't want to give in, then you've let the standard be the deciding factor, by reacting instead of choosing. 

Find your center, and make your decision from that space.

and either way, enjoy the weddings.
 
Paul Busey
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"And above all, to thine own self be true".

The advice of some to bite the bullet and do something nice for a friend is decent and kind. The idea to trim the tree and not clear cut the forrest also seems like a good compromise. I personally hate shaving, but I like my barber clippers and a #1 or #2 attachment to trim my facial and pit hair short (keeps my beeswax base deodorant from ripping out patches of pit hair).

I see three choices for you Cassie.
#1 Go as your natural Wookie self (I meant that in good nerd humour and not as an insult)
Or
#2 Go with well trimmed pits.
Or
#3 Go with shaved pits

If you shave your pits, the regrowth could be pretty uncomfortable... razor burn, ingrown hairs, rash, itching, pain, etc.

I prefer option 2, to trim short and neat and I don't think anyone would notice unless you raise your arms (most likely when dancing at the reception). If you are really worried or stressed, then I recommend talking to the Bride about it. A good friend usually doesn't want you to stress over it and most likely appreciates you for who you are. And a relative can also be a good friend.

I wish you happiness.

-Paul-
 
Galen Young
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I have friends who are in each of these 'camps'; some females do, and some females do not.

To walk blameless and avoid the wrath of anyone I suggest that you do shave for these events.
 
Jeremy Franklin
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Wow.  I can't say I remember the last time I saw so many opinions on someone's personal grooming.  I won't speak to that directly, but more to your personal dilemma of doing what your friend wants or promoting an ethic that is important to you.  That's really what's going on, if I'm understanding you correctly.  You have two wants, both of which I imagine are the real you.  You want to be considerate and even accommodating to your friends, but you also want to change the world and push the preconceptions of society closer to where this wouldn't be an issue.  It's really a matter of which you want more, and you're going to sacrifice the other one on this occasion.  My guess is that the indecision on your part is mostly due to the fact that you're not 100% sure how important it is to your friend, and your goals are so close to being 50-50, that your choice of which one is more important could be swayed by how strong her feelings are.

In which case, as others have suggested, probably the quickest resolution is to bring it up with her.  If she's like most of my friends/family, she'll probably say it doesn't bother her, but the WAY she says it will give you a lot if insight as to whether she really doesn't care, or if she's just being polite.  Once you have more information in that regard, I would expect the decision would become easier.
 
Thyri Gullinvargr
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Firstly, I second this:

Karen Donnachaidh wrote:I think to ask her what her expectations of you are would save a lot of guessing and wondering on both of your parts. As you're going "should I/shouldn't I", she probably going "will she/won't she". You'll probably both be relieved, just ask.


Second, if you decide to remove hair and you know someone with an electric clippers I'd opt for that if you're not used to shaving. I shave my pits, but typically not my legs. As a personal preference I trim my leg hair in the summer. That way I don't get razor burn or have itchy stubble like I would from shaving. It shouldn't be noticeable in pictures unless you have really dark hair and she's planning to have you put your arms up. On a similar note, is your underarm hair actually noticeable if your arms are down? If so, just trimming the front might be an option if the concern is mainly the formal pictures.
 
Judith Browning
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Wow.  I can't say I remember the last time I saw so many opinions on someone's personal grooming.


haha...well, it's only because she asked.  That's pretty much what happens here if anyone asks for advice... it's a great way to gather diverse opinions on most any subject.
 
Colin Nelson
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The people who are most critical of body hair on women are women, from my experience. So, yes, I'd imagine that someone has thought or said something about your hair and the wedding if they ever make passing comments about it with you around.

I'd talk to my friend about it, if it was an issue in my life.

Recently I met someone with whom I've been spending a lot of time, and she doesn't shave her legs. It doesn't bother me at all. I'd never be embarrassed about it or ask her to shave for me, because I don't want her to for me...there are things I want someone to do for me, but not that. She told me last week that she was probably going to shave soon, to which I replied "OK" and said maybe we'd trim on the same day (me trimming my beard).

The last girlfriend I had stopped talking to me for a week when I shaved, this girl says she doesn't care...and I believe her!

I get the concern, but maybe your friend wont care. You wont know if you don't say something, even if it's "I'm not shaving, just want you to prepare for that."

You could always compromise and just trim the jungle back a little bit.  

I trim certain parts of me, hey...I know what's up and I'm a hairy man!
 
chad Christopher
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No. Unless she asks. Some will say "it's her day", "not yours". Well, not really, if she knows you well enough, and let you enough, to be part of her big day, then they shouldn't ask you to change. I guess the best answer would be...just ask her.
 
Larry Bock
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What blows my mind on this post was the responses.   I still stand by my post.  Hell in an heteral sexual guy. And I manscspe, look a good looking woman in a bridal procession with hairy arm pits ? It's your arm pits , I'm cool with that.  But.  It is your friends wedding.  If you lived in France....  Your choice.  I don't make the rules.  As mentioned above.  Ditch the bra.  Just my probably unwelcome opinion.  But. It's your
Friend. It will grow back.   Do you know how many times I cut my hair because of a social engagement?  Upside , unless you are looking for a date.  The arm pits are the only thing you will have to be concerned with b. Just my opinion   Just remember, your tho OP and asked me
 
m shroyer
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please take all this with a grain of salt,  especially as i myself am a sceptic of my own opinions, ideas, etc.
...anyway, Perhaps i am a forthright asshole, well actually i know i am a forthright asshole, but did your cousin and your friend invite YOU to support them in their binding to another, or did they ask for whatever they currently want to believe as convention to support them?

You mention that this thing you are worried about changing is something they are aware of. It is their responsibility to say something if they wanted action or had an issue with it, though yes it is nice to be courteous, but is it actually always truly courteous to be nice? Especially if they said nothing, though they are surly busy and preoccupied.

Would it not be more genuine for you as you are to show up as YOU to represent and support them as they asked? ...unless of course you do not support her decision, or you feel she really just wants another faceless body to support her. In that case if you show up as a facade of the  "you" she invited to support her you would be selling yourself short, and in the case of the former, in your possible opinion her as well.

...or are you just trying to vindicate your own decisions to yourself to see if you really and truly do not care about convention etc over what your body naturally is and that you want it to be natural?
...and If you think it, or know it is going to be a big deal, please ask them, a lot of the times folks will "ok" things meaning to talk particulars over, then get lost in the whole thing, and it is easy to get lost in a wedding.

Yes it is just body hair on a human female that just happens to naturally grow there, and that is not a big deal aside from the fact that it is unreasonable and irresponsibly made into a big deal by unreasonable culture. If your friend wants you to sell yourself short in support of her she cannot in all seriousness be in true support of her self and her decision, or at least is not 100 percent sure...  ...that is not to say it is not a good decision... all things relative.   who knows, you may just take one for the team and become the inevitable wedding scapegoat, just don't be a martyr about it


...i am not sure this actually answers the question, but hopefully it will "help" you answer it.

 
Paul Busey
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Colin Nelson wrote:The people who are most critical of body hair on women are women, from my experience.


Wow! Sorry Colin, but I really have to disagree. Not with your perspective, which is unique and true to your own person. But as somone who is very well traveled in the world, I see just the opposite being true. Also, women's fashion and grooming trends are currently set by men (pretty much globally). I have never met a woman that would shave legs, pits, privates/bikini if it were not for social pressure and male expectations(just ask a few). Just a quick glance at porn through its brief history proves my point for grooming trends.

I also think we are at a unique time in history where more and more people are breaking free of mass trends and opting to individualise fashion and grooming. Many women are saying to heck with trying to please men by emulating the unnatural plastic women of porn. Also, enough retro fashions have come and gone that trendy has become a land of confusion and rendered itself more irrelevant than at any time in history.

I love seeing women who give trendy social expectations the finger and opt to rock the hairy legs/pits... Especially if they make it look good and they are happy. So cudos to you Cassie, and again, sorry Colin, not trying to pick on you, I just really felt the need to try and add balance to what you wrote.
 
Deb Rebel
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In this life, in early 2000 where I lived had an Indian Summer day in late January, 85F. Of COURSE I went out and got sunburned. So my legs didn't like me. A few days later, an awards banquet my spouse had to attend, the last project he'd worked on before he had to retire. Okay, I go to mow the legs and of course they sting like crazy. I didn't know he used my razor to shave out his brillo pad stubble throat to neaten his face-fur. So I did one, it stung, I did the second one, it stung, and I felt something on the first one's ankle. Blood. I had massively chewed up my legs. I had gauze from ankles to knees and had to wear a long dress to hide it all. The legs were pretty badly scarred and I gave up mowing. I went 'european' or 'au naturale'. Over time the scars faded off but if I pink slightly (in the spring) you can still see them. I am a woolbearing mammal and proud of it. I consider it 'early warning landing radar' for incoming mosquitos. So they only can nail me in the back of the knees where there's no guard fur. Now elsewhere, it is a matter of hygiene so I will use a scissors, as the arm kitten's fur will absorb odors. Else I wouldn't care there either.

However, it's the friend's day, if you're not sure ask. Or wear longer sleeves OR dye it to match your outfit or braid it or something... Me, I'm mostly a natural lady and prefer it. My husband doesn't mind... and I rather like how fuzzy he is too. Heh.
 
Daniel Schneider
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Hej!
I agree with the folks who suggested tat you talk to your friend about it. It will save you all of the second-guessing yourself that you're worried about, and however your friend feels about the issue, I suspect it'll give her a warm fuzzy feeling that you cared enough to ask her preference. That being said,  I also agree with the person who said that your friend knew who you are when they invited you, and if your armpits were an issue, they should have brought it up themselves, so if you decide not to aske her her opinion, I'd say go as you are .
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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I have loved reading the responses here. Wow!!! I'm sure getting an education... Thanks everyone that has contributed!
 
Deb Rebel
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Well, we know you're fuzzy as you've shared your image, Joseph. You can rock a kilt too. Two accomplishments and furry knees usually go with wearing kilts. Heh. I'm sure Cassie has a lot to mull over now about what to do. Cassie, please let us know what the results are?
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Deb: Since I was old enough to support one, I have worn a beard almost always. I have lived in a society, the vast majority of my life,  in which beards are of the devil. I know that I am not evil. Therefore, I have very little empathy towards people who try to coerce/convince others to shave. If I only shaved for special family occasions, I would have to spend my whole life shaving. The Corporation would love all the shaving supplies that I'd have to buy.

My current thinking on the matter, is that people know who I am, and that when they invite me to a party, they are also inviting the hair. There are few things more disrespectful in my mind than expecting an invited guest to shave... 

But I'm an old curmudgeon. Perhaps when I was younger I may have given into the coercion to shave, Memory from so long ago is fickle. These days, the thought of shaving would never cross my mind. Even if someone were crass enough to tell me I had to. I wouldn't give it any thought at all. It's not part of my personality, so I don't do it. I don't think about shaving or not shaving. It's just something that is not part of my lifestyle. It's like eating rat poison.... I don't have to stew about whether or not I'm going to eat rat poison. It's just something that I don't do, cause it's not who I am.

On a more pragmatic level, I have stopped hanging out with people that try to cause me to alter my lifestyle. If someone doesn't like my hair, or my kilt, or my leggings, or my tunic, or my bare feet, there are plenty of other people to hang out with.






 
Daniel Morse
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Location: SW Michigan
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I dont like men that manscape, yuk. That is my personal taste and frankly, I am too lazy to trim my beard let alone the softer areas. As for the ladies. It is all about how YOU want to interact with the other women. Women dress for other women. Not guys. Guys dont care for the most part. Why? We are pigs. Now us gay guys dress women because we do value you for all those things the other guys generally put on the lower part of the list. My point. You will have to interact with other women and we all know that is a disaster at all times in the making. Will you become a target? Is this the venue to make a stand? Will it bother the bride and her followers?

Frankly, I just talked to some of my gal pals. They said if you go hairy the guys will go ga ga over you. See above about pigs.

It is all about the girls ma'am and how do you want to deal with them. Established fashion or personal fashion. It can be anything you want. What do you want is the question to ask?

Now culturally I know many women who do NOT shave, at all and do just fine. My doctor is from the old country and she wears stockings over hairy legs. She does do her lip. Here in Michigan, I know many Arab men/women who scape all summer just for what they think is hygienic reasons. Many other men and women in other culture sets do the same. Some even have religious overtones. Then there is the kink side...but that is not what this is about. Or is it? Just askin?

As it is her special day ask the bride. It is her day. Have that honest woman to woman moment. A conversation that may be amazing and result in a better climate so to say. Have fun. I love weddings.
 
chip sanft
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My thinking would be: Your friend invited you. If she's the sort of person who would notice and mind unshaved armpits, and not everybody is, presumably she has already noticed and minded yours. So when she was inviting you, that invitation went to hairy you, not a theoretical bare armpit you. And that person -- hairy armpit you -- is thus the person who should attend. QED.

On the other hand, this is on your mind. If something is on a person's mind, I think the best thing to do is have a frank and caring discussion with the other party. I have a hard time imagining why anyone would mind, to tell you the truth. But I definitely don't think it'd be reasonable to have some unexpressed expectation you'd change your body for the day. Not that everyone is always reasonable, but still.
 
It would give a normal human mental abilities to rival mine. To think it is just a tiny ad:
Video of all the permaculture design course and appropriate technology course (about 177 hours)
https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
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