Redditor "saramagsy" is a 23-year-old woman of European descent who has leg hair that "grows back very quickly."
Not one for prioritizing shaving her legs—save for the occasional work or social obligation—the Original Poster (OP) faced ridicule in public.
But her 31-year-old boyfriend of a few years seemed to be having more of a problem with it. He finally admitted to feeling uncomfortable in public when people visibly objected to her grooming standards.
Still, the OP is reluctant to constantly shave her leg hair and asked AITA (Am I the A**hole) for "repeatedly humiliating" her boyfriend in public.
"[M]y boyfriend and I have been together for a few years. In that time I have shaved my legs only a handful times (for wearing a dress at our xmas work parties and when I went on vacation with him)."
"Besides a recent brief stint where I was in between jobs and worked at Hooters for two months where shaving was mandatory, it's not like I was a regular shaver when we met and then suddenly stopped."
"I'm German/Italian with brown hair and light/olive skin tone. My leg hair is thick and dark, and grows back very quickly."
The OP recalled an incident when an elderly bank patron dramatically reacted to her hirsute legs.
"When I wear shorts in the summer, people tend to stare and many even approach me to make nasty comments about my legs directly to me."
"I've been in line at the bank and caused an older lady to gasp loudly while clutching her chest and pointing her finger at me. Usually when I catch people staring I just smile at them, but my boyfriend has told me that people's reactions make him extremely uncomfortable."
As a side note, the OP mentioned being fired as a server for wearing 3/4 length carpris without shaving during a patio shift on a particularly hot working day.
"The girls I worked with typically wore makeup, spaghetti straps, and booty shorts. My boss was a 60+ year old Greek man and when I refused to shave (after working there for nearly a year, always wearing full length pants until an incredibly hot day came about) he never scheduled me for another shift."Her boyfriend was forthright with his feelings, but the OP expressed having less of an issue about the public reaction.
"In further conversations, he has admitted that he is embarrassed of me because of my legs."
"I feel bad for making him feel embarrassed to be around me, but at the same time I don't feel like I'm willing to compromise on this for a multitude of reasons."
"He's not a bad guy at all, but this choice of mine clearly bothers him a lot which causes the topic of my legs to come up repeatedly. Am I being an unreasonable a**hole over leg hair?"
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked their opinion by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
Redditors recommended she find someone who would appreciate every fiber of her being, including the hairs on her legs.
"Girl find you someone that'll worship your lucious leg locks." – ThrowRA5467
"Gotta find you a partner that doesn't care if he keeps throwing a fit."
"I know my boyfriend likes when I shave my legs but he never forced me and doesn't get embarrassed by my leg hair. He likes the smoothness but it grows back so fast it has to be an immediate enjoyment thing."
"Super pale, dark hair, PCOS making my hair grow super dark...I gave up on shaving on the regular pretty f'king fast lol."
"I'll shave for him sometimes, when I have the time cause it takes a whiiiile, but mostly I just walk around like a swamp witch and he still cops a feel when I walk by no matter what. And in public he just doesn't give a sh*t what peeps say."
"There's no point in daily shaving when you waste time doing it and it just pickles up in a hour. Can't even enjoy a smooth leg for the day lol"
shaving GIF Giphy
This Redditor asked if the boyfriend's embarrassment was indicative of something else.
"NTA. But I'd question whether your boyfriend is only embarrassed by it in public, or if he's using it as an excuse because he hates it himself."
"If he really didn't mind your leg hair, then he should be defending you in public. He's embarrassing himself." – nicall
The OP did confirm her boyfriend definitely did not like it.
Unfortunately, Redditors can't stop people from judging others based on appearance.
"You'd think people would have better things to do then freak out over people's leg hair but I had a stranger make a rude comment over some stubble ( not even full hair but like 3 day stubble on my armpits when I was wearing a tank top to the gym so I just expect people have no shame when commenting others these days." – rubiesandroses
A woman with a similar issue said that people are socialized to reject hairy women.
And while she doesn't mind growing out the hair on her legs, she shaves it on her terms.
"NTA. I (20f) and my bf (21m) have been together for 3 years. At first I was a razor maniac, I would shave and touch up nearly everyday because I was embarrassed by my dark, thick body hair."
"Then one day I was complaining about how tired I was of shaving all the time and he said to me 'I don't really care if you do or don't, you know that right?'"
Husbandmaterial GIF by YoungerTV Giphy
"I still shave my pits obviously but anything else, I don't really care about."
"I shave my legs for me because sometimes I like the way that feels. But most of the time I don't shave. It's too much hassle and if hair grows there hair is supposed to be there."
"Last time I wore a dress with some chewbacca legs I got awkward stares but neither me or my bf cared in the least bit. When people take offense to stupid little things it's their problem, not yours."
"Society has done a great job of teaching us women that if we don't shave, we lose part of our feminity. It's not true, a woman with hairy legs and a hairy putang is still a woman."
"I say go on, Tarzan, and show them all what you're made of." ~ bluedreamerss
In an update, the OP added she has a better job where her value as an employee wasn't determined by the amount of hair on her legs.
No word on what she decided to do about her boyfriend's embarrassment however.
*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the AITA link below.*
The book Beauty Sick: How the Cultural Obsession with Appearance Hurts Girls and Women is available here.