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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

To Shave or Not to Shave?

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So the question is, if you shave, when do you stop? The first frost? After all the leaves have fallen from the tree branches? Once you hear the raven caw twice at midnight?

To shave or not to shave, that is the question.

As a person who shaves their legs during the summer, the time of year that I like best is nigh. The colder weather brings with it the opportunities for tights, leggings, yoga pants, and other forms of leg-encasing layers that allow one to conceal the state of hair that grows beneath.

Now, if you don’t shave your legs, you may scoff at my dilemma. Your answer to “When should I stop shaving?” is probably “Now. Never shave, ever again. It’s a sexist construct and/ or harmful to the environment and/or pointless” And I’ll admit, you have a very valid point. Especially when I have to consider how to actually shave my legs in a dorm bathroom. Where, how, and when can one even do such an activity? I have to buy one of those infuriatingly gender-marketed “Venus and Olay 2-in- 1” razors with those little bars of soap encasing the razor that never actually last more than two days if I want to shave in a dorm shower. Where are we meant to put our feet? Cramp them in a bent line against the corner of the shower? Thank you, no.

But I shave my legs because I like the way it feels for me. While others may prefer to feel the wind breeze through their leg hair like a beautiful field of summer grass, I like to keep my legs bare and lotioned, at least during the summer months. Maybe you didn’t need to know that, but that’s too bad, because we have to seriously consider the question of when to stop shaving as it is a pertinent topic for many leg-shavers on campus.

So the question is, if you shave, when do you stop? The first frost? After all the leaves have fallen from the tree branches? Once you hear the raven caw twice at midnight? There may be no natural or mystical sign to guide you in deciding when you put the razor down, so you will just have to feel it out for yourself. Usually, when I notice I have been wearing pants, leggings or tights for a solid week, I don’t even bother to look down at my legs anymore. I accept that colder weather is here, grab some apple cider and pack my shorts up and away in my closet.

And if you think about it, it just makes sense to stop shaving in the winter. As a resident of Minnesota, you will experience some bone-chilling temperatures. It will get below zero with wind chill, and you will need all the warmth in layers you can get. I’m not actually sure how much warmth leg hair will actually provide you, but hey, it can’t hurt.

But let’s take a moment to consider a pet peeve of many women who take a hiatus from shaving in the colder weather. For those women who let their razors hibernate for the frozen months like a slowly rusting animal, what does one do when they need to attend some indoor athletic event that requires shorts or a skirt? Do you just ignore the hair, or do you have a shaving relapse and give in to the desire for smooth legs once again? I always fell prey to the latter habit; I would break out my razor and shave for one event, but complain about it and later regret it because it didn’t really matter that I had shaved my leg for my rec basketball game- it only restarted the growing-out process that just has such a long, uncomfortable prickly stage.

Bearing this in mind, do what suits you. Shave year-round if you’re super dedicated and have time for that, or take a well- deserved break from those nicks that bleed so profusely for their small size and the bristly stubble that reminds you it’s been awhile since your last date with your razor. Embrace the soon to come 30-degree weather, and when you’ve reached 24/7 pant-wearing mode, know that it’s just fine to let go of the obsession with smooth legs.

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