The prosecution: Imani
Mum has strong ideas on how I should present myself and calls my body hair ‘unladylike’
My mum is always nagging me about my beauty regime, which, as an adult, I find annoying. She is always telling me what to do with my body hair.
I think her sentiments are a product of her cultural upbringing. We are Muslim and Middle Eastern, and Mum has always had strong opinions about how to present as a feminine woman. Waxing my leg hair, bikini area, arms and upper lip was encouraged from the moment I started to develop at 14, and I know her mother suggested the same when she was growing up.
But as I’ve got older, I’ve rejected some of these norms. I don’t really shave or wax my legs and arms any more as I can’t be bothered. I’ve had boyfriends and they don’t care. In the UK, we spend so much time covered up, I don’t think it’s necessary to be worried about hair all the time.
I’ve taken to growing my underarm hair in the winter, so it’s quite long now. I reckon it’s because I went away to university in Germany two years ago and found more women who thought like me. I also learned a lot of feminist theory that supported my ideas.
But after I graduated and moved back home, my mum called my body hair “unladylike”. I ended up giving in and waxing again a few times. The one thing I could never stop waxing, however, was my upper lip. Growing up, my mum always threaded hers, but a few years ago she got this battery-powered hair remover and I started nicking it