By Liana Jacob
THIS WOMAN hasn’t shaved her genitals, armpits or legs in over SEVEN YEARS – and although her MUM called her DISGUSTING she says feels ‘free’ after letting it all hang out on her WEDDING DAY.
Entertainer, Katrina Hendrix (28) from Saint Petersburg, Russia, began shaving her body hair including her under arms and legs when she was just 12 years old.
But after eight years of enduring her hair growing back fast and having to shave every day, in 2011, she decided to ditch the razors and leave it natural. Her mum was initially against this and even branded her as ‘disgusting’ but after seven years, she has now accepted her daughter the way she is.
Katrina has also been mocked and teased by strangers on the street who call her an ‘ugly freak’ but has learned to ignore the negative comments. The ridicule she has faced hasn’t stopped her from being hairy on her wedding day and while her husband isn’t a fan of body hair, he supports her decision.
During her time dating, she realised that men accept body hair more than women do and the purpose of her embracing body hair empowerment is to show that women have the choice to be or look like what they want without the pressure of society’s version of beauty.
“In my opinion the hairy armpits looked very innocent and body hair is very soft and pleasant to the touch,” Katrina said.
“I started shaving when I was a twelve-year-old girl. I shaved daily for eight years My mum said my hairy legs were unattractive.
“My hair grew very fast and I had to shave every day. When I stopped shaving, the hardest part was trying to explain my position to my family and friends.
“To grow my hair at first it was unpleasant; the skin was scratched when the hairs grew back, but it quickly passed.
“First, I let go of the hair on my vulva, then my armpits and only then my legs. I did not immediately let my hair grow freely, for a while I still shaved my armpits or legs sometimes, because I was shy. But overall, in a couple of months I turned into an obviously hairy woman.
“My mum said that I look disgusting, my stepfather simply laughed and told her that ‘this is just temporary, she is a rebel and will get tired of it soon’.
“That was the worst part; hearing such words from a loved one was like a bullet in the heart. It took my mum seven to eight years to accept me and my point of view.
“Now she supports me and says not to listen to anyone but myself. Of course, she is still not a fan of hair on a female body, but this will not shock her anymore.
“I heard people behind me calling me a monster, a crazy feminist, an ugly freak. Some people did not hesitate to come up to me to say that I look terrible. I pretended not to notice this.
“But when I returned home, I cried from powerlessness. I understood that I could not explain my point of view to everyone.
“Over time, I developed an immunity to what people think about me. I realised that my comfort should concern me more than someone else’s opinion.
“I was always very worried about how my partners would react. But to my surprise and happiness, not a single man was against my body hair.
“It looks like it’s more acceptable for men than for women. I realised that if a man wants to be intimate with you, then body hair is the last thing he thinks about.”
Katrina’s confidence continued to grow, and she let her hair grow even on her wedding day. But she made sure all eyes were on her wedding and not her hairy body.
“Now I’m happily married, my husband is not a fan of body hair, but he respects and accepts my choice. Unfortunately, I have only one wedding photo with body hair,” she said.
“Once, my husband and I decided to experiment. We observed people’s reactions to male shaved and female hairy legs.
“We concluded that both options are not acceptable for people. But people tried to find explanations why he shaved his legs (getting ready for a tattoo, doing swimming (hydrodynamics), etc.
“When people saw my legs, they usually called me a crazy feminist or a woman who does not want to take care of herself.
“Yes, I was hairy on my wedding day, but it was not noticeable. I did not raise my hands or something like that; I do not like excessive attention, and I made sure that attention was attracted to the wedding, and not to my body hair.
“This is actually not about body hair; it’s about choice. This is about the opportunity to be whoever you want, to look like you want, not to hide your feelings and point of view.
“I feel free. I feel like I no longer depend on the opinions of others. I want to destroy these old beauty standards. Women can control their bodies and if she does not want to shave it is absolutely normal.”
Find more about Katrina’s body positive journey on Instagram.