To All My Hairy Babes

An artist's message about self love.

Story and illustration by Asia Gonzalez, Contributor

I was raised and socialized as a girl. Images of idealistic European femininity bombarded my everyday life and I developed a lot of self-hate in the way I looked.

One of my more prominent insecurities was the “excessive” body hair that appeared all over me.

At thirteen years old, I began to shave. I shaved my legs and armpits every other day. I shaved my back and stomach and chest once a week. I begged my mother to let me use the hair removal cream she used to remove my mustache. It was an obsession to be as hairless as I could possibly be to fit this idealistic mold which the media knew I could never achieve. My younger sister and I once agreed that we would feel more beautiful if we were born white women. Shadows of that sentiment remained in the back of my head up until my first year and college.

For the first time in my life, I was in the presence of out and proud queer and trans folks.

Being inherently a subculture, the LGBT+ community that I surrounded myself with had already broken from societal norms--including beauty norms. From these people, I learned it was okay to identify as male and wear makeup, identify as female and have short hair.  Most importantly to me, I learned that I can travel between both spectrums and be valid in whatever way I presented myself.

Like most femmes who found themselves in the Body-Posi movement, I allowed my armpit and leg hair to grow. I know many viewed it as a waste of time but for a hairy, brown femme like me, it meant so much.

I am proud to be hairy and Mexican. This goes out to all my hairy babes out there.

At first, I showcased my legs and armpit hair for myself, but now, it's for other hairy children who feel ugly in their own bodies. I want to be what my chosen queer family was to me for them.

Like the transformation of a werewolf under the full moon, it was a painful, tragic experience. Unlike the werewolf, my transformation took me out of my natural hairy state. My curse has been lifted and I embrace my natural body.

I would be lying if I said I stopped shaving, but I can go a month without shaving and wear shorts without so much as a second thought. I no longer desire to be a white woman. I am proud to be hairy and Mexican. This goes out to all my hairy babes out there.