HOMH: Macy Hernandez delves into daunting gender roles as a young girl

Macy believes that actions, such as shaving or not, become empowering as long as the individual is doing it for themselves and not for those who surround them.

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HOMH: Macy Hernandez delves into daunting gender roles as a young girl

Story by Maricruz Reyes, Centerspread Co-Editor

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“Growing up, there was this consistent hindering pressure on the female image, especially on younger girls like me. I always had this idea in my mind that I had to look and be perfect no matter what it took.

In elementary school, I came to the conclusion that girls having body hair was not okay, and the fact that my mother told me that body hair was gross was not helping. So me, being an eight year-old girl with naturally dark hair on both my arms and legs—thanks to the genes from my father—was not even close to the so-called standards at the time. Not too long after that, my mom shaved my legs for the first time. So ever since then, I have been self-conscious about my hair; as soon as I would see it growing, I would immediately shave it all off. And I mean all of it, from my legs, my arms, my mustache, to my eyebrows.

That is why now that I am starting to not shave in high school is such a big deal for me, because I have been doing it for so long. Growing up with these responsibilities have shaped me into who I am today. But, it was not so much rebelling against what I grew up with, but being able to mold my own ideology. It came naturally to me. I realized people do not have to be a certain way, or look a certain way; they can be whatever they want. Their actions become empowering as long as the person does it for themselves and not for the societal conformity. Shave or not shave, we are all human beings. And by the end of the day, no one really cares about the hair covering one’s body.”