This post references the usual accidental self-harm that can happen when shaving legs.
After 21 years of never bringing anything sharper than a pair of jeans to my legs I’ve finally joined the ranks of the Leg Shavers. Who can ever really say why I decided to give shaving a go (Hint: It’s because I wanted to) but reason aside here I am with legs smooth and bloody.
One of the issues with picking up this hobby later in life (besides the initial process of slashing through 21 years of Italian-Ashkenazim Jewish hair) is that I don’t have the years of mistakes and practice that must of my peers have and it is in that spirit that I’d like to offer some advice to my fellow shavers (or those contemplating shaving) of an advanced age who feel a bit lost:
- Bring a snack: Or at least eat before you begin. There’s nothing worse than your blood sugar dropping when you’re halfway through the first leg because you either have to put things on hold while you go find food or you just rip through the remaining hair in a blind rush to finish up. I’d really recommend a nice ham sandwich (or tempeh if you don’t do meat) but obviously you should pick the snack that feels right for you.
- Give up on retiring: It turns out that everything involved in shaving your legs is expensive as hell and you’re just going to have to get used to spending an entire paycheck on supplies every once and a while. The really painful part is the initial purchase when you buy all your razors and lotions and creams and gels in one go but at least after that the purchases are a bit more spread out. It’s possible to buy the cheapest version of everything but between the dull blades and the lotions that just make your skin greasy you’re going to be paying for the cost difference in physical pain.
- Get involved in your local black-market medical community: You’re going to lose a lot of blood doing these first few shaves (and probably in years to come) so why not try and make some money off of it? This CBS affiliate says that you can make $337 for a pint which means I could have easily made over a thousand dollars if I’d kept the blood from my first shave. Worried that your shaving cream and less than sterile bathroom will contaminate the blood? That’s the beauty of the black-market: no government interference with your right to sell your own body parts in a dangerous and unregulated medical marketplace.
- Learn to live with imperfections: Yeah you’re going to miss some parts of your leg and some jackass is probably going to come up to you and point it out but just remember how hard you worked and then throat kick them. Fuck that person, you look exactly how you want to look and you look great.
- Be prepared to feel like a traitor: Maybe this is just me living in a very pro-leg hair community while also carrying Jewish-Catholic guilt but as great as I feel about my decision I can still hear every person with leg hair I pass think, “Wow, look at that sucker caving to patriarchal standards of beauty. I might be a plagiarist who steals old ladies’ purses but at least I’ve remained strong.” Honestly most people aren’t judging you and those that are judging you are forgetting that You Are Allowed To Do What You Want With Your Body In Order To Feel Happy And Safe And Comfortable so you can throat kick those people as well.
- Develop 20/20 vision: I like to turn my bathroom into an improvised sauna when I shave (keeping the legs moist and all that) but the downside is that my glasses become so fogged up that I might as well be blindly hacking at my legs with a machete. It’s rare in life that Constance-without-glasses has better vision than Constance-with-glasses but in this case it’s true. This does mean that I need to get my eyes very close to my legs in order to see what I’m doing which ends up with me throwing out my back as I attempt contortions that even Cirque du Soleil performers wouldn’t try.
- MOISTURIZE: Moisturize before you go into the shower, moisturize during the shower, moisturize when you get out of the shower, moisturize when you’re done shaving and then moisturize again when your legs are dry. In fact just go dump moisturizer into your tights and go around wearing moisturizer filled tights all day. Your legs will thank you.