I wish I didn't know the recipe for getting teased in middle school, but unfortunately, I got made fun of a lot. I had huge breasts by the time I was 11, a complexion dotted in acne, and, most embarrassingly, the kind of thick body hair that often comes with being Italian-American. Combine all that, and you get a girl who was heckled and teased to the point that her dad had to put Post-it notes in her lunchbox that said, "You're a leader, not a follower." Yeah, it was rough.
My hairy limbs made me feel freakish and ugly, and it certainly didn't help that one girl nicknamed me "Godzilla." After months of torment, I raced off the bus one day and made a beeline for my bathroom. I pulled out a razor -- a tool I had never used before (okay, minus the time I shaved my eyebrows the night before third-grade picture day) -- and went to town on my arms. I watched in awe as the hair easily came off and wondered why I hadn't done this sooner. When I was finished, I looked at my smooth, naked arms and thought, I can't wait for everyone to see this tomorrow.
But the reactions weren't what I was expecting. The teasing I thought would end only got worse, because now the girls knew what a pushover I was, caving to their mean words. My arms were too hairy before, and now they were too bare. I couldn't win. On top of that, I hated my arms without hair. They just didn't feel like mine, and shaving them quickly became the biggest beauty mistake I'd ever made.
The worst part was the tedious growing-out process. My arms were prickly and irritated, and I couldn't help picking at the follicles. Basically, I learned a major lesson early on that you should never let anyone pressure you into something you don't want to do -- for beauty or otherwise.
Since my middle school disaster, I haven't done anything to my appearance for anyone but myself. I draw on my brows, paint my lips, and apply foundation every morning so that I can feel good. And on days when I go sans makeup or spot a breakout, I don't sweat it. Today, I'm far from hairless head to toe; in fact, I mainly just give myself a weekly shave for the enjoyment of lathering on some body butter after. Haters gonna hate, but they're sure as hell not going to convince me to break out the razor.
By: Samantha Sasso