Zack asks: I’m too hairy-legged to wear shorts, and in our country it’s really really hot this summer. I’m a swimmer, and so I want to shave my legs or wax, but my parents won’t let me. I’m too shy to wear shorts, because when do everyone is looking at me. What should I do? Just wear jeans on hot days?
Hi Zack –
Hey, I don’t care how hairy you think your legs are, mine are hairier! Unless you’re that Jacob guy in the movies, no human has anywhere near the thickness of growth on their body that I do!
But of course, the difference is that I think my fur is beautiful, and almost everyone else does too!
So here’s my question to you, Zack: Who says your legs are too hairy?
Are they hairier than anyone else’s at your school? Well, if so, someone has to be the hairiest, right? Are they too hairy for you to be a professional or Olympic swimmer? Probably so, but for now, I’m guessing it’s not that necessary to shave or wax (I’m sure you’ll be allowed on teams, for example).
I’m guessing, just guessing, but I think the real problem is that you’re feeling really self-conscious about your hairy legs. And I also imagine that, if you did shave or wax them, you’d feel self-conscious about that. Or about something in your face, or your voice, or your feet, or…
My friend, you’re at a time in your life when it’s almost impossible to not be self-conscious. And to feel that everyone’s looking at whatever it is you’re embarrassed about. And that problem is more about you, about how you feel about yourself, than about the thing you’re focused on.
Think about your class at school. Who’s the tallest? The shortest? Who has the biggest nose? The widest ears? The lightest skin? The darkest skin?
Every one of those people is self-conscious about that fact about them. Your hairy legs just allow you to fit in, as one of the “most” people! (And meanwhile, there’s almost certainly someone else who feels self-conscious about not being “the most” anything!)
So here’s my advice: Wear shorts. Wear shorts and walk with pride about your hairy legs! Tell yourself, and anyone who’ll listen, that those hairy legs show how strong and tough you are. And when you swim, be proud of getting out of the water with those powerful King Kong legs, and freaking everyone out with the knowledge that, if you shaved your legs, you’d actually be that little bit faster swimmer!
And then… one of two things will almost certainly happen. First, most likely, you’ll realize that no one is really bothered by your legs, and that it’s totally fine, even really cool, to have them. If so, then there’s nothing you need to do.
But if I’m wrong, and people really give you trouble, then ask your parents if you can do something else – and give your legs a trim. You won’t get the baby-smooth legs you would with a wax, but just clip the hairs back a bit, so they’re, oh, say one or two centimeters long, instead of four.
And THEN wear shorts! Because you’ve earned the right!