A new generation of womxn is embracing body hair and dismantling the ideas that hair only belongs on a mxn or part of a vajazzle. We meet 18 years old feminist and activist Natalia based in Poland looking to change stigmas in one of the most homogeneous countries in the world.
Despite her young age Natalia has become engaged in politics and wants to own a pig one day in a country which respects womxn and minorities.
Read more below. Shot and Art Directed byJohana Kasalicka with MU thanks to Bekka Harvey. Styled by Marketa Vasickova.
Why did you stop shaving?
I was on holidays with my male cousin. Spending all day wearing bikinis, also meant a morning routine of shaving. I had found some black spots on my armpits and my cousin’s reaction to them was shocking. He said, “I was disgusting, dirty and neglected”. At ﬁrst, I got very embarrassed but then I looked at him. I couldn’t believe it. He was a man with dark long body hair growing everywhere. His face hadn’t been shaved for days, his legs, hands, and armpits hadn’t been shaved for an eternity. I raised his hand and asked him: Is your hair nasty as well?” He denied this in saying “My hair is not disgusting because I am a man. Your hair is disgusting because you are a woman.” I didn’t get it. Removing my hair was very painful for me, I was spending on it a lot of money and time so I just stopped doing it because that day I discovered that shaving should be a choice, not a duty.
Can you tell me more about the Black Protests?
I was 15 when black protests in Poland started. Womxn were ﬁghting against tightening Poland’s already very restrictive abortion law. Till 1993 an abortion was legal in Poland. That right was taken away from us thanks to the Roman Catholic Church but the conservative government also almost made abortion completely illegal in 2016. Thanks to Black Protests, which were happening not only in Poland but around the world, we were able to keep these 1993 regulations pull back into law. During the time of the protests, I got really depressed, I didn’t want to be a womxn in Poland as it seems to me that I didn’t even have a right to protect my life.
How does your surrounding react on your activism?
starting the conversation on femxle body hair and removal, my other female friends are becoming a little more relaxed when it comes to shaving. My activism is one of many reasons why I am now the “black sheep” of my family. I’m not close with most members of my family, for me, blood relations don’t really matter. They claim that I’m too small to change the world and there is no point in trying. That’s just not true.
What do you think would help to progress the situation in Poland?
We have to understand that together we can really make a change and doing the smallest “good” things is better than not doing anything at all. It is very important to start with us, the knowledge we own is crucial.
First of all, we need to learn how to talk about abortions. Do research on what is happening in countries around the world where abortions are completely banned (for example El Salvador), We need to learn to accept people, no judgements, respect the opinion of other and participate in local activism and events. Most importantly – VOTE.
Do you think you want to stay in Poland or do you see your future somewhere else?
There are so many beautiful places to see, I want to experience living, where womxn share so many opportunities, I want to go there. No explanation on why Gay is ok and people are respected. I want to discover these things and then ﬁght for Poland of my dreams.
Follow us on: