Samantha Louise Patchett for ‘Natural Beauty’
“I first stopped shaving while travelling solo around Mexico. With limited access to showers and too many adventures to be had, shaving became the least of my priorities. Once I realised that people didn’t care whether I had hair or not in addition to no longer having constantly itchy armpits due to stubble, I never looked back. Also having fibromyalgia, which is a chronic illness causing general fatigue and pain, I have to prioritise what activities I dedicate my limited energy to on a daily basis and shaving became something I choose not to do in order to save my limited energy for more important and enjoyable things. This was several years ago, and since then not shaving has been one of the catalysts for me to realise my gender-fluidity. There are days where quite frankly I wish I was more hairy, and at least had the option for a beard! In general, people’s responses have been accepting, either people are too concerned with their own lives to care about a small amount of inoffensive hair growing on me in places it should grow or they see my decision as an inspiration to follow suit. The only issue I have had being a hairy human is with performing at private members clubs, I had managers take me aside and ask me to wear sleeves as to not offend their clientele. I have had photos of me performing airbrushed so that my hairy armpits ‘would not become the focus of the event’. Yes, really, apparently my free flowing follicles are more interesting to these excessively rich people than their own enjoyment of a club night… people are way too concerned with judging other peoples personal choices in that area of society than their own lives. Either way, my hair is mine and no one can take it away from me.”
Samantha Louise Patchett for ‘Natural Beauty’. Photographed July, written September 2018.