The first time I held a depilatory cream in my hand, I remember it well. I was 12 years old: my mother was with me who, acting as a priestess during a purification rite, handed me the tube telling me conspiratorially: “You can’t keep those hairs on anymore. That’s no good“.
According to her, my pre-adolescent body already formed e menstruating-gifted it screeched against that blanket of dark hair on his legs, which suddenly came out in all their power. “You are a young lady, you must be tidy”Was Mom’s favorite phrase at the time. And yes, when he said that, he was referring to the fact that I should dress decently, keep my hair in place possibly with a bob and legs tight while I was wearing the skirt. But he also and above all meant that he wanted to see me withour hair: on the legs, under the armpits and in the groin area in particular. It wasn’t good to keep them there. With her daughter’s body in front of her in an evident state of evolution and growth, it was time for her eliminate them all without mercy.
So he gave me the depilatory cream, one from Strep that he had taken directly from his bathroom drawer, that of the “treasures”, as I called it at the time. “Always use cream, the razor makes them come out harder and strongerShe often told me, as if she were talking about horrible monsters ready to come out of my skin and she was passing on an incredible secret that would save me from attack.
Then he showed me how to spread it out and how to use the spatula to remove the fruits of mine hair bulbs reinvigorated from adolescence.
Mom’s satisfied face as she observed how smooth, clean and tidy my legs were after that hair removal session is one of the things I remember with great clarity from my first face-to-face experience with hair.
About hair removal, partly out of habit, partly because television or film models told us like this, for many years after that first time I was left with the feeling that it was something necessary. That having as little hair as possible was synonymous with elegance, order, little sloppiness, even cleanliness. Before every swim in the sea, before putting on a skirt or tank top, before every appointment with men or friends, I picked up the wax, the strips or the depilatory cream to remove what shouldn’t have been there.
I admit it: it took me a while to realize that it’s not always all black or white and that even when it comes to hair and hair removal it takes half measures. Over the years I have come to understand that those models of perfection were only part of the story. And that the anxiety of not being in order before a visit to the gynecologist or a romantic encounter I carried it on me more out of habit than out of real need.
It helped me to look at the way many celebs today fearlessly expose their hair under their armpits and not because it’s sloppy or uncluttered or even unclean, but simply because they want to. And they don’t care about what other people say.
The girls of today are also very strong, I look at them with great admiration, even if I have not been one of them for some time (not too many years, eh!). On social media they have no fear of telling their generation for what it is: a universe of freedom and self-affirmation that (also) passes through the non-hair removal. Or in any case for free choice. If they feel like it dye your armpit hair with the colors of the rainbow or to expose those on the legs under the shorts, they do it with a naturalness that I wish I had had at their age.
How many times could I have cared about regrowth before a date with someone! And how many others could I have experienced the moment of hair removal as a moment of well-being and pampering, just because I wanted to have it very smooth legs and armpits before putting on the costume?
But I am learning. Really! For some time now the idea that shaving is a duty (to whom, then?) has abandoned me. In addition to the example of the proud and confident adolescents of their appearance, it helped the forced closure in lockdown which greatly reduced my social life, as it did with everyone’s. I was alone with my pc, my cat and my hair for several weeks before putting my nose out of the house. And when I picked up my now trusted one Strep hair removal cream I did it because I liked it, because I wanted to feel different and to give my appearance a shock after weeks of zero stimulation.
Even though the packaging has changed a bit over the years from what my mom pulled out of her treasure locker that first time (and it’s all new today!), I haven’t forgotten her first tips on hair and manners. to manage them. I have personalized only those messages, adapting them to the rhythms of my life and to the infinite possibilities that today offers home hair removal: not only classic creams but also those to be used on the fly in the shower, or brown sugar waxes (perhaps my favorites!), strips for every part of the body and kits to make hair removal a natural and flexible experience. Just as it should be. Depending on the weather, whether or not you want to tear or feel nothing at all.
In the difficult period of the lockdown I gave hair removal a whole new value: the depilatory cream or the strips for the mustache in the cabinet of my bathroom they are not there because “this is done” or out of a sense of duty towards apre-packaged beauty ideal. During and after the lockdown I shaved because I wanted to. Even just for myself.
I like to think back today to that first experience as an “adult” with mom as one of those pillars of growth that you only know how to value after some time. My body at 12 it also evolved thanks to hair sticking out all over the place (do we want to forget the 90s eyebrows?). I also changed thanks to that mother-daughter experience whose mission was to eradicate them all. Over the years I have kept the best of that memory – and some good advice on the products to use – adapting it to my woman’s body. And I emphasize MY! And to the possibility of choice that we always and in every case. Even when it comes to hair.