Broadcaster Síomha Ní Ruairc is encouraging women to question why they feel the need to remove their body hair.
The TG4 presenter and Conradh na Gaeilge youth coordinator stopped regularly removing her body hair around two and a half years ago and hasn’t looked back since.
On The Hard Shoulder this evening she said she originally decided to “let it all grow out” to challenge her own feelings about the way she looked.
“At first it was accidental,” she said. “I was in a relationship; I was much more comfortable with myself and I wasn’t being as strict with myself and how I presented myself. I was just very comfortable and confident in myself.
“I realised that I had let my body hair grow probably to the longest it has ever been – probably since it started growing on me.
“Then I realised that I really didn’t like the look of, especially, my underarm hair. I was almost repulsed by it and I really didn’t like that I had revulsion towards my own body – something that just grew on me naturally.
“So, I kind of took it upon myself that I wanted to combat that thought. I didn’t like that and I wanted to reclaim that narrative in my own head of how I looked to myself.
“So, I kind of let it, figuratively, grow on me and get used to how it looked in the mirror and yeah, now it doesn’t bother me whatsoever.
“It was kind of like exposure. I had to expose myself to it and I just got comfortable with it.”
She said it took her around six months to get comfortable with her new look – and another six to stop caring about what other people thought about it.
“You do sometimes get glances,” she said. “I am not saying it is the most outrageous thing in the world to have hair on your body but you know, you do get the odd glance.
“If you’re on the beach, if you’re wearing a sleeveless top and you are out and you put your hands up, you would get a few glances and stuff so it took me a while to stop caring that other people were looking.
“Now I would be like, what are they looking at before I remember, ‘oh yeah, people aren’t used to seeing that kind of thing.’”
Ms Ní Ruairc is now encouraging other women to stop and think about why they feel the need to shave.
“It is not for everyone and I do not judge anyone for shaving and removing their hair but I would love for them to just sit with the question themselves and say why do I feel the need to do it?” she said.
“If they would still like to shave maybe they could just question, why sometimes don’t I like it when other people choose not to remove their body hair as well?
“It is just down to personal preference and I would really like if people could understand that.”
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