Their faces. Their arms. On the regular.
It’s true. It’s culturally unattractive to have hairy arms (meaning any hair) and anything less than smooth-as-whipped-butter faces (read: shaved, exfoliated and perfectly moisturized). I’ve shaved my face before (what? I was curious, I try shit out and there are special teeny, tiny razors specifically for this purpose, in an array of pretty pastel colors) but I haven’t done it since moving here because I’m lazy.
Actually I’m not lazy but Tokyoites will absofuckinglutely deem you lazy if you don’t wear makeup. Believe. Like, don’t subject the general public to your unmade-up face. You’re not even going to make the effort to look like you put forth an effort? How rude. My American mindset thinks, jeez, judgmental much? But here, it’s viewed as having consideration for others; make like you give a shit, don’t make it hurtful for others to look at you because they have to look at you. Thirteen million or so of you. Everyday. So, shaving your face and arms is part of the cultural ideal for a Japanese woman.
GF told me I should try shaving my arms (of course she would and thus keeps proving how much more with it she is at being a woman than my bio-femme ass).
Her: It’s not going to grow back hairier.
Me: I don’t know…
Her: Trust me, you’ll like how it feels.
Me: But it seems like more maintenance that I’m not sure I want to commit to.
Her: By the way, women here are not as hairless as you think they are.
Me: What are you talking about? They so are.
Her: No. They’re not. I saw a woman on the train today who had leg hair matted down by nude hose. In fact that’s why so many woman wear nude hose (with sandals, by the way, which is a pet peeve of mine), to hide their hairy legs.
Me: Seriously? I thought it was because it’s considered a tad indecent to bare your legs.
Oh Japan, yet another cultural aspect that I don’t understand…hose in the hot-and-humid-as-fuck summer to cover beast legs coupled with meticulously shaved faces and arms, arms that are covered with anti-UV ray arm warmers, by the way.
Oh, and the perfectly made-up faces? The makeup itself might be questionable but the skin? Fucking astoudingly beautimous. Like the stereotype. Like porcelain.