Contributions by other people

Mary Stechschulte, USA

I swam competitively from childhood through college. Female swimmers often refrain from shaving until their final competition of a season. "Shaving down" is supposed to give you a boost psychologically and mentally. My legs were unshaven from September into March -- as a swimmer I always had a reason not to shave. Once my swimming career was over, however, I had to explain why I allowed my hair to grow. My family was concerned about the "statement" I was making. I was not trying to make any statement, I was just accustomed to and happy with hairy legs (September through March). Removing "unsightly" or socially unacceptable hair has always seemed like giving in, or conforming.