For about 6 years, from ages 8 to 14, my mom was with an older guy named Ramon. He’s probably one of the better men my mother’s ever been with. His only flaw, apparently, was back hair.
One day, when I was around 11 or 12 my mom called me into the bathroom, where she was standing with Ramon and an electric shaver. She proceeded to tell me, with her crazy person logic, why I needed to shave Ramon’s back. “Because one day, you’re going to have a husband, and you need to know how to shave his back when the time comes.” As if 20 years later, there was sure to be a future version of myself standing in divorce court while a man points at me from the witness stand and yells “SHE COULD NOT SHAVE MY BACK, YOUR HONOR!” A single tear will roll down my perfect face, slick with the knowledge that, despite my six figure income and rockin’ good sex skills, I was never properly trained in the ways of husband shaving.
Thankfully for me, my mother understands what it takes to keep a man. So instead of just sucking it up and dealing with her boyfriend’s back hair like a grown up lady, she stuck this situation into her crazy Rube Goldberg brain and an 11 year old girl shaving the hair off her 55 year old step-dad’s back went from being some sort of hillbilly horror show to being a character building exercise. A mother’s noble attempt to prepare her daughter for her inevitable heterosexual bondage.
Not only is this incredibly heteronormative, but also sexist and it makes an assumption about certain body/body hair types being more or less desirable than others. Basically, it says “my daughter, at this young age, I can already tell that you’re going to grow up with a preference for men without back hair, but knowing you, you’ll end up with a man with back hair and have to shave it off. Because, my child, you are the type of person who knows what she wants and settles for less anyway.” Thanks mom. This is why we don’t talk.
I basically whined and bitched and got hair stuck in the clippers (this is as wonderful as it sounds) until I was dismissed to my room to think about what a terrible wife I’d make.
For the record, my boyfriend has no back hair, and I wouldn’t shave it off if he did. Be who you are. Back hair forever!