Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (who also happens to be Teen Vogue‘s August cover star!) has some words on body hair, so listen up. On August 4, the Never Have I Ever star took to Twitter to write: “say it with me everybody, hairlessness ≠ femininity. now your turn.”
In a world where universal beauty standards still put white, Eurocentric physical features in bold, underlined, and highlighted, challenging those very notions is still a mammoth effort. The white standard for femininity categorically limits who gets a seat at the table, and body hair still often translates to “failed girlhood.” By these standards, non-white women often have traits that don’t align with the very limited umbrella of what’s considered “feminine” – whether it is because of higher levels of testosterone, body hair, muscle mass, bone structure… the list goes on. Sometimes, even worse, it’s enforced in the name of “hygiene.”
Building upon her point, the Tamil-Canadian actor also tweeted a follow-up, frustrated at another possible outcome: that embracing her body hair means she can never change her mind about it and, from time to time, shave if she feels like it. “What makes me say that last tweet is also the fact that I just fucking know if I ever decide to shave my arms, by my own choice, people are really gonna say I’m a sell out/lost my roots or whatever bullsh*t,” she wrote. “Just let people live man ffs.” Preach, Maitreyi.
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