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DH has bought me some shorts. Why do I feel weird about it

(25 Posts)
sleeplessbunny Sat 02-May-15 17:59:37

Just that really. Occasionally he buys me clothes on a whim as a present, usually they are lovely but today he came home with a nice t-shirt and shorts that are shorter than I am comfortable wearing. I told him I'd exchange them and he asked why. I ended up getting narky with him because he didn't seem to understand or care about the general leg-care issues involved with shorts. So I am reflecting overthinking and need some help. Is this a feminist issue and if so where do I stand on it? I am not yet at a point in my feminist-awakening-journey where I can happily wear shorts with white & hairy legs but CBA with the faff and kind of resent it.

GraysAnalogy Sat 02-May-15 18:02:29

I don't see the problem to be honest. He bought you something you don't like it doesn't have to be a big deal or a feminist issue surely?

YonicScrewdriver Sat 02-May-15 18:04:09

Was he ok with you returning them?

scarletforya Sat 02-May-15 18:05:27

Leg care? confused

AuntieStella Sat 02-May-15 18:06:30

His buying something he thought you might like (but getting it wrong) is not a feminist issue. Shorts are hardly an unusual thing for people to add to their wardrobes in spring.

Your attitude to what you are comfortable to display in public probably is though (and I mean that in a neutral, not a critical way). If you want summery, but leg covering, clothes then I suggest you and DH go shopping together, return the shorts and look for palazzo pants or long swishy skirts.

YonicScrewdriver Sat 02-May-15 18:07:33

Depiliation and tanning I think, scarlet.

sleeplessbunny Sat 02-May-15 18:08:36

The shorts themselves are OK, its fact that I would not feel comfortable wearing them that make it feminist-y to me. I would quite like to be able to wear them without feeling self-concious or judged regarding the appearance of my legs, but the reality is that I would feel very awkward so won't consider wearing them. Maybe it's just me?

SevenEleven Sat 02-May-15 18:09:10

Mountain out of a molehill, tbh!

JohnFarleysRuskin Sat 02-May-15 18:12:45

I love shorts - dh prefers short skirts- now that is a feminist issue ;)

Sorry you're feeling uncomfortable op. Are you saying you feel your legs aren't good enough to be 'out' and he doesn't appreciate this?

sleeplessbunny Sat 02-May-15 18:16:10

yes I think so, John.

He doesn't mind if I exchange them, he just asked why I and I struggled to give an explanation that didn't make me sound like a madwoman

sleeplessbunny Sat 02-May-15 18:16:41

Agree it's pretty trivial grin

LineRunner Sat 02-May-15 18:24:43

I don't think it's trivial. Are they the sort of short shorts that shows a bit of bum cheek? Are you supposed to wear these 'for' him, in public or private? Are you supposed to remove all your leg hair? Etc etc.

Things like short shorts do buy into the 'beauty game' and wearing them can become like appearance-based wifework.

meditrina Sat 02-May-15 18:42:23

Even if they were quite long Bermuda shorts, I think there is a strong expectation that the part of the limb on show will be hairless, unless you have fine, sparse, blonde/skin-hued hair.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sat 02-May-15 19:10:48

If it were me I'd just say "Thanks DH teh top is lovely but do you mind taking the shorts back they're a bit shorter than I feel comfy wearing and yes I know you think my legs are lovely but I'm not going to wear them thanks for the thought though".

I do think that women generally feeling that they need to attain a certain level of grooming / aesthetic standard before they put bits of themselves on display is a feminist issue but I'm not surprised your DH didn't run though that in his head when looking at the shorts grin

You could keep them for wearing round the house / garden if you like them and they're comfy?

If short shorts then that's different and would be more in line with if he'd bought you uncomfy lingerie you had shown no inclination towards wanting, but for some reason I have in my head "normal" but shortish ones, given the current 80s stylings!

sleeplessbunny Sat 02-May-15 19:25:11

They're not uber-short bum-cheek flashers or anything (agree that would be a whole different ball game), just proper shorts rather than bermuda length ones which would be my normal limit. They are about the same length as the PE shorts I used to wear at school aged 12 or so (but much nicer, obv). I have tried them on and yes they are comfy. I am now leaning towards keeping them and wearing them once or twice to try and test out my own feelings a bit more.

Yes, shorts have become an educational tool on my feminism journey confused

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sat 02-May-15 19:46:27

Oh well if they're comfy then they sound great for round the house and garden in the summer grin

And maybe out of doors as well depending on how you feel smile

I'd keep them and say sorry for getting the hump. I did that to DH once over a hair-straightening gift when we were first dating, it was all a bit of a disaster grin

sleeplessbunny Sat 02-May-15 19:48:31

Thanks MN! smile

poocatcherchampion Sat 02-May-15 19:56:12

I cba to shave my legs half the time. I wear anything that is comfy. I think that makes me unusual tho.?

Sorry - not very feminist understanding from me.

Branleuse Sat 02-May-15 20:00:44

youre not comfortable wearing them because you dont feel like you should/could bare unshaven legs, yet you dont want to shave them because thats a feminist issue?

I dont think shorts area feminist issue

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sat 02-May-15 20:01:56

Well different people have internalised different aspects / levels of the "beauty standard" and also it changes over the years as well for various reasons.

I don't know how unusual it makes you poocatcher - probably a bit if you wear shortish things / are fairly young / are dark haired and hairy. If you're into knee length and older and fair like me then maybe not so much. I cba a lot of the time either but I'm at a different point in my life to the days when I did.

I've gone in the other direction with makeup - I used to wear hardly any or none for work, now I would feel quite not right without it. So there's a habit thing as well.

There's no rights and wrongs in all of this IMO. We are all in this society and we get all sorts of messages and we navigate it all as best we can smile

shaska Sat 02-May-15 22:24:23

We're always our own harshest critics - and I think that's a feminist issue. As is the fact that men don't seem to naturally put 'being viewed' near the top of the considerations when choosing clothing. It makes sense that they wouldn't and it's good that they don't! It's just crap that we do.

I'm sure thought of whether you'd deem yourself worthy of shorts didn't even cross his mind. He probably thought 'Ah, shorts. Shorts are handy. These are nice! She'd look good in these. Summer, etc.' Plus, no doubt he thinks your legs are wonderful, so why wouldn't other people.

You should definitely wear the shorts if you like them, hairylegged or no. But I know what you mean. I've had a sudden epidemic of cellulite, I live in shorts in summer and now I'm going to have to be 'brave' about wearing them because my legs are now noticeably 'sub par'. Blah.

YonicScrewdriver Sat 02-May-15 22:38:38

yy shaksa

sleeplessbunny Sun 03-May-15 07:40:39

Sometimes I wonder how much more successful my career would have been if the headspace I use up with this sort of crap had been put to better use...

DrinkFeckArseGirls Sun 03-May-15 08:19:32

Of course personal grooming is a feminist issue. The time women take to be of an acceptable grooming level and the cost that follows it are a great disadvantage to women. Men don't spend that sort of cash just to look acceptable and do not waste that much time thinking about it doing it.
Obviously I'm talking in general: some men, some women, etc.

That's something that has been bothering me. Especially when I was dating. I'd spend time and money on her removal and personal care when the blokes would just shave their face and show up. Totally different ball game. Do I have the guta to do it differently next time I'm dating? Probably not.hmm

Branleuse Sun 03-May-15 08:30:08

At some point if you really do believe that people should be able to wear shorts, no matter what their legs look like, then you maybe should putyour money where your mouth is and just do it. Wear a swimming costume on the beach even if youre fat. Wear shorts even if your legs are hairy and pale.
Its only when you actually do it that you realise noones really judging or looking at you anyway.
No point having hairy legs as a feminist statement if you then cant even bring yourself to wear normal summer clothes through shame.
hair removal is hardly a major feminist issue. I assumed it was mainly symbolic

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