“My Internalized Misogyny”

Ana del Prete | Media Contributor

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Artist Statement: I have to remind myself constantly to be true to myself and not to follow whatever is socially expected of me. One of the hardest things to do, for me, is to get over the expectations of my physical presentation. Women are expected to do so much, and in spite of recognizing the unfairness, I find myself struggling with internalized misogyny regarding body hair. When I see a woman or a non-binary person wearing their leg or armpit hair proudly, I hate to admit that my immediate reaction is to feel uncomfortable – and then guilty that I feel that way. I have spent so much time trying to unlearn what I’ve been told femininity is, and to remember that we are all free to express ourselves and wear our hair, makeup, and clothes however we want, or not to wear it at all. Recently, I’ve tried shaving less, because I personally hate the process of doing so. I have worn less makeup during my day-to-day activities because wearing it in general doesn’t feel right. I am feeling more and more comfortable with the fact that my body doesn’t belong to anyone but me. My body is my jurisdiction and no one else’s. 

Those hairs on your leg are as beautiful as flowers that grow from the ground. Your face is a blank canvas, just as beautiful bare as it is enhanced with makeup or accessories. The message is simple, but clear. Do what makes you happy. No one owns you, but you.