When I was a 250lb fifteen year old freak, nobody cared whether I shaved my body hair or not, and I rarely bothered. I couldn't go bare legged cos my thighs rubbed together & I was ashamed of my upper arms, so I never wore tank tops. Nobody saw my body, and nobody particularly cared. I don't think I was seen as sexually attractive until several years of eating disorders spat me out the other side at 150lb with an actually-fairly-conventionally-attractive-shit!-really?-what-the-fuck-are-people-looking-at-me-like-that-for-now? figure. I was self conscious about pretty much everything and didn't like people noticing me. So suddenly when I started getting massive painful itchy rashes after shaving in my mid twenties (because OBVIOUSLY I didn't question whether I wanted to or not, right? That's just what girls DO!) I would just leave it, and wear tshirts instead of tanks, and opaque tights or leggings instead of bare legs.
A little while went past, and every now and again I would just WEAR THE DAMNED TANK TOP. Sometimes I got stared at, and people still ask me questions. They all start off with "but... WHY...." as though avoiding days of weeping, scabby armpits isn't a good enough reason. I think she gave me a bit more courage to just do it and not be ashamed. I feel like my body is much more socially acceptable these days, but it's like my pits are a FUCK YOU to the people who would laugh at, mock and abuse me at 250lb. Oh, so you think I look better these days? Well guess what - I don't want to join in with your little tick box list of attractiveness. I am fine like this, without itching and pain to win your approval. That's why I don't shave my own fucking body hair when I don't want to. I think there's a part of me tucked away in there that's gone, "if amanda can be amazing and brilliant and talented and beautiful and not give a shit about the teenagers giggling and staring on the tube, then fuck it, I don't have to either".