Let’s talk about body hair, a topic near and not-always-so-dear to my heart. Many things are personal, and hair is no exception. Flamingo is a new line of razors and wax kits for women that recognizes body hair is a choice, and your preferences may change at different times in your life. Mine definitely have…

Join me, if you will, on a tour of my evolving furriness:

Childhood (birth-age 10)
I am kind of a fuzzy kid. In elementary school, my nickname is Kiwi, because I am “small and furry, like the fruit.” My arms are fuzzy, my legs are fuzzy, and I have a whole lot of eyebrow. (Yes, eyebrow. Intentionally singular.) I will embrace the eyebrow someday, but I don’t know this yet.

Middle School (age 10-13)
I DREAD gym class. Not because of physical activity, but because it involves wearing shorts. Shorts involve showing legs. Legs (at least, when they’re mine) involve hair, prompting the more sophisticated kids — the ones who have seemingly shaved their legs since birth — to make fun of me. Finally, after many passive aggressive attempts at asking my mom if I can shave (“Look! The hairs are poking through my ballet tights!”) I am given the go-ahead. My first time involves a janky single blade disposable razor definitely meant for a man’s face and a bar of Dove soap. It is not my finest work. Still, I can’t stop petting my own legs. I feel invincible.

High School (age 14-18)
While applying concealer to an unfortunate blemish, I notice something glinting atop my upper lip. Is that… a mustache? IT IS. My mom says this is normal and that no one can see it. This last part is a lie, but I am willing to believe. Then one day during study hall, a boy named Matt wanders up to me and says, “Did you know you have a mustache?” Why, yes I did know, Matt, and now I also know you’re a horrible person. Anyway! I decide to remove said mustache with depilatory cream — a bad bad bad idea. It smells like rotten eggs and the hair kind of melts off my face, leaving a weird residue. It all grows back in around four seconds. Never again.

College (age 18-22)
I go to a women’s college, where we are encouraged to make our own choices. They call us strong and beautiful on a regular basis. (Seriously, the president of the college leaves a message on the dorm room phones every single morning telling us so.) It’s around this time I meet Laura, who is smart and beautiful and talented and amazing. She does not remove any hair at all — legs, underarms, the whole deal — and is unabashedly proud to flaunt it. Against all the nonsense I’ve been sold by the universe, her boyfriend loves it, too. I have seen the light. Why, then, do I still feel so much pressure?

Aimless Adulthood (age 22-29)
This decade is marked by searching and wandering and confusion, and hair is no different. There will be friends and lovers who profess their preferences — loudly, boldly, obnoxiously — like it has anything to do with them. Friends wax shapes into their bikini lines and even experiment with dyes. Other friends will laser off their body hair — all of it. Forever. When contemplating such a move, I realize, weirdly, that I like my own body hair. My body made it! Like a craft, or something. Also: It grows because I’m alive. Who am I not to embrace that?

The Present (thirty-almost-five)
Now, I am comfortable in my groove. I remove some things — I’m looking at you, lone goat-like chin hair — and keep others. Sometimes I’m in a furrier mood than others. Sometimes, I’ll shave only the stretch of leg that sticks out of the pants. Sometimes my preferences are seasonal, like waxing in the summer. Other times, I love to feel like a smooth seal, gliding through the water (or my sheets, same diff). I understand that, like many choices, your hair (and whatever you choose to do with it) can be empowering if you embrace it as such.

Flamingo talked to thousands of women about their needs and preferences, and they understand that everyone’s feelings about body hair are different. (They also get that you may never want to do any of this, and that’s great, too.) If and when you want to participate in the hair removal game, it’s good to have options.

Do You Shave? Wax? Something Else?

If you’re into shaving, their razors are amazing. I have been known to permanently borrow razors from boyfriends, because theirs were just better — weightier, sharper, longer lasting. At long last, Flamingo’s razors are just as good, but actually meant for a woman’s body. (I have the neon orange one, and it makes me happy to see it in the shower.) They also make shave gel and body lotion, too.

Do You Shave? Wax? Neither?

If you prefer wax, Flamingo has you covered. At-home waxing has never been my jam; “I’ll put the strip on and then never bring myself to tear it off,” I thought. But since finding these, I am a convert. It hurts 8 million percent less than I thought it would, and the results are smooth and last much longer than shaving. (The tips in their handy wax guide make all the difference.) The body wax kit is great for larger areas, like legs, while the face wax kit is great for smaller spots, like upper lips, toes, or bumpy spots where razors just can’t go.

Real Talk: Do you shave? Wax? Neither?

What are your feelings about body hair? Do you shave or wax (or something else)? Let’s discuss…

(Photos by Christine Han for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Flamingo, a company whose products we love and mission we believe in. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep Cup of Jo running.)