‘Gender capitalist’ model, activist, filmmaker, and artist Rain Dove has released a radical new video to combat the idea that body hair isn't 'feminine'.
Rain describes themselves as a gender capitalist, which means they’re not gender non-conforming, not transgender, and not androgynous, they’re just a human.
In the video, which has been published to their Instagram, Rain shaves body hair from their armpits and legs, and then glues it onto their face to form a 'beard'.
Rain shared the video to her 240,000 Instagram followers with the hashtag #WhatsTheFuzzAbout, and the narrative of the video sees Rain explain to their followers what to think when they say that body hair isn't feminine, or that it's 'disgusting'.
When people tell you that your body hair is not feminine, and that you need to get rid of it to be beautiful, here's what to remember...
We may feel that if we don't follow social constructs that we will end up alone. But there are 7.5 billion people on the planet, and odds are in your favour that someone will love you, for you.
Also the word feminine is not universal, what's considered feminine varies regionally, culturally, historically.
Rain also focused this film on body hair because in the past, they were made to feel disgusting and ashamed by having it. Speaking to Teen Vogue, Rain described how they were made to feel ‘ugly’ or ‘mannish’ when their armpit and moustache hair bloomed, which led to feelings of shame and the desire to hide.
Now, Rain is fighting back. Instead of feeling ashamed by a natural part of their body, they’re celebrating it – and showing how it shouldn’t be seen as ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’.
Personally I don’t believe there is a true way to be “masculine” or “feminine”. But by society’s definition “feminine” is “characteristics of being female”. And body hair is a natural one that often grows on ones bodies regardless of sex or gender.
Rain is also keen to challenge the idea that body hair is ‘disgusting’ or ‘gross’. Rain thinks that we’re made to feel this way by the media – in order to sell products to us.
The danger comes about when commercials, ads, articles, images, and films sear into our minds the idea that we wouldn’t have any of the things that make us comfortable without a product or enhancement.
They exploit our greatest fears and bank on the fact that we would pay money to not experience them. Sometimes a company will flat out make up problems we don’t even actually need to worry about just to sell something.
But what they need to realise is that they are selling more than just a burger or makeup or shaving cream... they are selling an idea of how to be a visible or worthy person. And many of us can’t fit into that idea- so we get depressed.
The video also aims to question why body hair is intrinsically seen as a masculine attribute – and tries to make people open their minds beyond these categories.
This video is just one of many to come out addressing gender based oppressions and stigmas. We didn’t get to choose the body we were born into... so it’s not like anyone intentionally picked a side. Race, sex, sexuality, age, size, aesthetic.... we shouldn’t be punished for our vessel.
“Men” and “women” both experience pressures to exist in a particular way or think a particular way simply because of what’s between their legs or on their ID. But it’s 2018. True freedom for all beings to be as they are is long past due.
Rain is also keen to express the idea that they're trying to give out a message of self-acceptance, and self love.
My goal is DEFINITELY to send a message of affirmation and acceptance about one’s body. And there are more messages to come!
The key takeaway from the video is the phrase: 'This isn't about beauty, it's about freedom'. Rain posted the video as a way to make people feel good about their bodies, without worrying about societal norms. When it comes to body hair, Rain doesn't want to shame people that like to remove it, or suggest people shouldn't shave - instead it should be about absolute personal freedom.
I want people to choose their existence for themselves. But preferably make decisions about their bodies and world based off their own critical thinking. Not based off social pressure or shame. I want people to live THEIR lives. Not let others live for them.
And if you want more of where that came from, check out Rain's instagram handle, where a new video tackling the sexualisation of women in food marketing has just been released...