armpit hair feminism

Feeling like crap but carrying on regardless

It’s ironic that today on World IBD day, I spent the morning at the GP surgery. For a week or so I’ve not felt quite right, increased toilet visits, urgency and a couple of accidents. I have also been struggling massively with joint pain.

I had a Twitter chat with IA Support (isn’t social media brill?!) who suggested possible Pouchitis and recommended I visit the doctors. I put it off as my anxiety over being taken back into hospital kicked in and I wanted to hide from any medical professionals but then yesterday my son held my hand and it hurt so much I had to let go.

I realised it was probably time to call the GP…

So with a temperature, bad joints, increased poos with urgency and blood and feeling like I have the flu I am so fatigued, my dr thinks the same and I have some big boy antibiotics to try and kick this bout of pouchitis in the ass.

Yet it is world IBD day which means though I’d rather be in a duvet den I am actually on the bus into Sheffield ready to go on BBC radio to talk about IBD!

Because though I am a BIG fan of listening to your body and stopping when you need to, today is just too important to me to cancel. I do everything I can to keep raising awareness, to #stoppoobeingtaboo and to help as many people as I can. And I do it all whilst fighting my own battles.

I know today I can reach a large audience of people with IBD, as well as carers, family and friends of those with Crohns or Colitis. And so I will carry on regardless because it means EVERYTHING to me to make a difference.

This shitty disease that keeps knocking me down every time I am feeling better. It has to be for a purpose. I have to believe that my life isn’t a struggle for no reason, and I choose to believe that reason is for this Sheffield lass with a big gob to help others.

And so Ill keep going today, through running to the loo and grinding aching joints and I will make a difference.

(Let’s not even DISCUSS my day trip to London tomorrow for business meetings!!!!)

Luckily I am going on holiday at the end of this week with my lovely Timm and the kids to see my fab in laws in Lanzarote. Not great timing as I’m worried about ruining the trip but at least I have some down time and can relax and rest.

Love Sam x

20 replies
  1. gemmathomas
    gemmathomas says:

    I LOVE your blog Sam, it’s so funny and honest and inspiring. This sums up so much of what I think. I shave my legs and armpits, but do worry about the idea of grown women looking like hairless, pre-pubescent girls. Your attitude is so non-judgemental, but so celebratory! This is what women look like! Thank you for being so honest and straight-talking as ever. Happy new year!
    Best wishes,
    Gemma x

  2. Nickie @ Typecast
    Nickie @ Typecast says:

    I strongly believe that the easy access to p0rn has introduced part of the teen (and young 20’s) generation to a world of hairless, over-produced and unnatural bodies but these are the only naked bodies that young people have to compare, unless parents (like you) are prepared to teach their children that it’s not all like that.

    I read a passage in a book once (wish I could remember which book – but the though process behind it has stayed with me) which was a conversation between two women on this exact subject – one was all about the smoothness of her body whereas the other said it was creepy because it represented the body of a child therefore was unnatural.

    However, I shave certain areas of my body (and trim others) but I don’t get hung up if it doesn’t happen for a while – and, funnily enough, neither does my husband. A lot of the “image” behind hairlessness is from what is being portrayed, yet again, in the media. Perfect bodies should not have curly bits of hair sticking out of them when it’s actually entirely natural.

    Remember the furore when Julia Roberts didn’t shave her pits and showed them off? Nothing happened – the world didn’t stop turning… The hair is there for a reason – and for me, it’s ok to tidy it up once in a while.

    • sam
      sam says:

      Hi Nickie
      Thanks so much for your comment love! I have no issue with people wanting to remove/tidy/leave their body hair, but I wish there were more hirsute women in mainstream media to give teens a more balanced view of the world! xxx

  3. Roly
    Roly says:

    Due to a skin condition that was made worse by waxing/shaving, I decided a few years ago to stop removing body hair. I’d shaved or waxed my underarms and lower legs since teenage years, my bikini line was kept ‘tidy’ with nail scissors. Now I do nothing!

    I’m now in my early 40’s with a 13year old daughter who has yet to start removing hair (to my knowledge – although I have asked to come to me first so she doesn’t hack an arm off with Her Dad’s razor) and interestingly to me, an 11 year old son who is repulsed by body hair (male or female)! There are 2 younger children too but the 5 year old is quite partial to a bit of pitmuff stroking if I’m in a vest top in the summer…

    Anyway, I digress. I frequent a parenting forum and female hair removal is often raised as a feminist issue. I’m still surprised at the attitudes of other women who will state that hairy armpits (in particular) suggest to them that ‘hairy’ women are unhygienic, dirty, slovenly or don’t care about their appearance!

  4. alexpolistigers
    alexpolistigers says:

    Very nice article. You could go round in circles arguing about whether a choice is really free, since it has been made in the wider context of societal approval and so forth, but I think you have struck the right note. I never remove either leg or armpit hair, or any other body hair, for that matter! Smell is no more a problem than it is for men – good hygiene is important however much hair you have! No one could ever mistake me for a man, my husband finds me attractive, the earth continues to revolve, and my children are no strangers to how an adult woman naturally looks. If my daughter decides to shave later in life (she is still young!), then that will be up to her.

    The suggestion that we hairy women don’t care about our appearance is ridiculous. Of course we do – and this is how we care to look.

  5. Orsetta
    Orsetta says:

    Nice article. I sometimes epilate my legs and sometimes I don’t. I have to admit that I don’t like the look of my hairy legs, but I also don’t like the idea that I don’t like hairs because society made me not like them. So I am keeping them for a bit. The shaving of girls started in the Twenties when bikiny, short sleeve tops and fashion changed. Fashion people started shaving armpits of models and film stars becasuse it looked “cleaner” and than people saw celebrity with shaved legs and armpits and they started to copy them. I think films should have hairy people if they are in the wild or in the past or zombies, and I would like to see hairy bodies on a cat walk. If they did that, people would be less judgemental about hairy women.

  6. Libby Sharman
    Libby Sharman says:

    I am a student nurse and I read your blog to remind me always to care for the person and not just treat the symptoms. Hope you feel better soon.

  7. Jeanie
    Jeanie says:

    I do hope things start to improve and the antibiotics kick in soon. I know today is important to you and good luck with that. Try to get some rest before you go away. Just keep telling yourself you deserve it. After all, you do!

  8. Ginny Murphy
    Ginny Murphy says:

    Sam, have you given up work as a result of the UC/J Pouch surgery? I have some interesting points which you may like to put in your blog as facts surrounding lack of understanding.

  9. Stephen Dolle Neurosciences
    Stephen Dolle Neurosciences says:

    I live with hydrocephalus (another invisable illness), and not IBD. But am a huge FAN of yours now. You kick ass (tis a pun)! In 23 years, I’ve tried to make some noise and progress for hydrocephalus with very limited success. So, keep doing what you’re doing as it’s going to lead to progress in the treatment of IBD. You’re hot too! For some fun, you should take your hubby or kid out on the baskeball court. That’s my therapy when I’m not drumming!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] But do consider that we somewhat perpetuate the normality of bare vulvas, underarms, and legs by shaving them ourselves. We can make what is natural (hairiness) normal, by doing it. (I enjoyed this recent post by a mother and why she has quit her razor due to what she thinks it does to her daughte…) […]

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