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I want to be the kind of girl who doesn't shave her legs.

This summer, though, I had a sort of reverse-feminist epiphany: I really, really like how it feels when my gams are freshly shaven and silky-smooth. From a social standpoint, I stand with my friends who rage against the injustice of it all: the "pink tax" angst, the umpteen hours of our lives we've spent removing the down that nature intends for us to bear. I have definitely pushed back at my husband when he's complained about the length of my showers — does he have any idea how long it takes to wash below shoulder-length hair and shave entire legs? No.

All that said, though, shaving isn't something I want to give up. That time has become a ritual for me, and the sensorial experience of gliding my hands down my smooth legs is one I relish. I'm so devoted to the practice that even mid-winter, when no one will see my bare limbs for months, I'll spend the time to shave simply so that I can delight in the feel of lush french terry sweatpants or soft sheets against my smooth skin when I pile into bed at the end of a long, cold day. 

I have to admit that this preference has given me pause several times in the last few years. While unshaven legs are harder to spot on red carpets (though I'm sure they exist), I delighted in the moment when Lola Kirke, whom I absolutely adore in Mozart In The Jungle, walked the red carpet at the 2017 Golden Globes in a strapless floral frock and raised her arm to reveal naturally furry armpits. Here was someone confident enough in her femininity to buck the social norm, which thrilled me. (Also notable in the armpit-hair timeline: Paula Cole, whose "I Don't Want To Wait" Dawson's Creek theme was everywhere in 1998.)

While moments like these would inspire introspection, every time I tried to go au naturel, I found it just felt ... weird. I've been shaving my legs and underarms since I was about 13 — it started out of reflexive habit (in 1993, there were few girls woke enough to rebel against social beauty norms, at least in my squad of friends). Everyone had a pink Gilette razor and erased any trace of body hair, probably without giving any thought as to why they were doing it. Then, Sex and The City brought the wonder of the Brazilian bikini wax to the world, and that became the de rigeur method of pubic pruning (I tried it, and definitely did not like it). Body hair was just not meant to stay where it was, and our culture and media just weren't budging from this standard. It's kind of weird if you think about it for too long, isn't it?

I have quite a few friends who have simply stopped shaving their legs and underarms and have decided to let their pubic hair do its thing. Seeing these waves of change has been inspiring, and urged me to take a hard look at my own stance: did I dislike my body hair? Not really, to be honest. It probably bugged me a bit as a kid, when some blonde kids teased the seven-year-old, Italian me about the dark strands of hair that fringed my legs, but I never really had an issue with the aesthetics.

My daughter, who has her father's fair complexion and blonde hair, has a light coating of fuzz on her legs that is practically invisible. How will I handle the inevitable moment when she brings up shaving them? Honestly — no idea. She's certainly felt my legs on a stubbly day and commented on how scratchy they feel. I worry I'm a bad femme-forward mom by continuing to participate in this kind of anti-natural practice when really everything else I preach at home is counter to this ideal. All I can really do is own up and chalk it up to personal preference: in the same way that I like my hot dogs plain and my eyebrows super thick, I prefer my legs to feel smooth — because it makes me happy. Will that fly? I'll let you know in a few years.