Thanks to our society’s narrow standards of beauty, women are expected to have no body hair whatsoever (except, of course, on their head). But after being fed up with how much time it took to shave, one fitness blogger decided to throw away her razor and embrace her natural beauty instead.
“The purpose of this video is not to shame people who do shave,” Mikenas wrote in the video's info section. “I just want to speak on how it’s helped me become more comfortable within myself, and maybe inspire others to do something that makes them feel confident.”
In the 12-minute clip, Mikenas revealed that at around age 11 or 12, she was bullied for having hairy legs at gym class. She then went home crying and asked her mother to teach her how to shave.
“That’s when it all began,” she said.
Mikenas — who initially stopped shaving because “it just took so much time” — then went on to call out North American society’s ridiculous beauty standards.
After she started letting her body hair grow out last year, Mikenas recalled working in childcare where she took kids swimming once a week. Unfortunately, the children’s reactions to her body hair appalled her.
“I got these little kids who are in kindergarten and first grade harassing me and telling me, ‘Oh my god, you look like a man. You didn’t shave!’” she said. “This is the reaction I’m getting from little kids. What does that say if that is how these kids are being taught?”
“I just think it’s unfair to people who think they have to be in this norm,” she continued. “Just do whatever makes you feel good.”
Mikenas admitted she used to feel “dirty” and “ashamed” if she ever let her body hair grow out in the past because it made her feel less feminine. However, the experience of not shaving for an entire year has changed her perspective.
“I freaking love my hair. I love my body hair!” she exclaimed in the video. “I just love being my most natural and human self. I don’t do things that change my appearance because I feel that there’s more in this life than just this physical body. I just want to be comfortable and myself.”
On social media, many have praised Mikenas for showing off her natural beauty and for inspiring others to do the same.
“I agree with everything!” one fan wrote on YouTube. “I love being in my natural state. You seriously took the words from my mouth. I don't shave my legs, underarms, or pluck my eyebrows. I will never! There is something more to the outer body. We are spiritual beings too. The hair is supposed to be there for a reason!”
On Instagram, another added: “You are honestly such an inspiration. And brave to battle society's standards. So cool.”
While Mikenas has received some negative remarks, it just proves that our society has a long way to go to change the stigma around body hair.
"The hair is supposed to be there for a reason!"
“I’m not trying to make all of humanity just stop shaving their armpits or leg hair anymore,” she said in her video. “I just want to inspire others. [Do] what works for you, what makes you feel the most comfortable.”
Women’s body hair has recently become a hot topic. Just last week, Madonna’s daughter, Lourdes Leon, was bullied online for showing off her armpit hair at the beach. And last month, a 17-year-old took to social media to clap back at body hair shamers.