created february 28, 2021

i’m a woman now relives the internalized pressure of conforming to “womanhood” as an afab person, especially during the teenage years.

for this piece of video art, i perform my shaving routine developed from the ages of 14 to 17. i layered the sounds of shaving, smearing of cream, and the tap running to reinforce the repetitive, exhausting attempt of chasing after the ideals of “womanhood”. i use quotes to say that “womanhood” is simply a societal construct, one we as afab people are taught to strive to embody at every waking moment in the name of being desired. desire is the social currency we need to earn in order to feel loved by the men who dictate what is desirable, and in the case of body hair, it is being hairless from the neck down. even a relatively shallow critical thought of this standard would reveal that it is pedophilic in nature – being skinny, small, hairless, and submissive are all attributes of prepubescent children. but even when i myself was a pubescent child, i unknowingly clung to this beauty ideal because i thought that the more i aligned myself with what the older men in my life wanted, the more i would be accepted. the happier i would be. the more comfortable i would feel in my own skin. if i could be what they wanted me to be, i would never have to address the terrifying unknown of what i truly wanted for myself.