Is This What Happens If You Don’t Shave Your Underarms?

I started shaving because I was sick of being made fun of, but I kept shaving because it made me feel better personally. No one forced me to shave my legs, arms, underarms or pubes. I shaved my legs first and gradually started getting rid of everything else because I liked not having hair. It was my choice. Apparently, there was no choice at Wangaratta District Specialist School in Australia because a teacher shaved a student’s underarms in front of the entire class. Yeah, you read that right.

14-year-old Taylah Woods went to school and ended up getting humiliated in class. Wangaratta District Specialist School teaches students with intellectual and sometimes physical disabilities. This class was a life skills course to show students how to do various things. The teacher claims that she was simply showing Taylah how to shave her underarms since it’s, you know, and invaluable life skill.

The teacher also told Taylah that she would be made fun of if she didn’t shave. Ms. Woods said, “I spoke to the teacher the very next day and she told me that she has the right to do it, it’s part of the curriculum.” Um, no, I’m pretty sure you don’t have the right to force a student to shave in class and call it part of the curriculum.

Even worse, the principal Libby Hosking said, “It’s not to say that shaving armpits needs to occur, it’s just an option.” Yes, it’s an option. However, this teacher didn’t give Taylah the option. She shaved a student’s underarms without consent. Oh but don’t worry, the school is “very concerned and regret that the family and the child were very upset.”

Ms. Hosking claims that a note went home to families to state this would happen as it’s part of the curriculum but that maybe a permission slip should have been signed. No, a permission slip shouldn’t have been signed because this should not be part of the curriculum!

Ms. Woods said that her daughter had previously stated she didn’t want to shave her underarms, which means she didn’t give consent for this to happen. Even if she did want to shave her underarms, nothing gave this teacher the right to forcibly shave a student’s underarms in front of the class. Nothing about this makes sense in my brain. I don’t care if this was a shaving school. This teacher had no right to shave a student. Period.

Ms. Woods explained, “That’s invading her rights as a person to decide whether or not she wants to get it done or not.” Everyone has the right to keep or remove their body hair. You don’t have to shave or wax or pluck. You can do whatever you want because it’s your body! You’re the one who chooses what to do with your body hair, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
 
What do you think about this? How do you feel about your body hair? Would you be upset if this happened to you? Tell us in the comments!
 

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1 Comment

  1. avatarMEG says:

    I really feel for this girl. You are right it’s HER choice. My understanding is that this is a school for children who need to learn life skills – that also includes grooming, interacting with others and most importantly how to navigate this world.
    In this instance, the teacher may have been instructing on why shaving is done. How to shave – the mechanics of it. I know many children who learn by hands-on. Where it is acceptable (home, the beach but maybe not as a waitress or at a business meeting). What kind of jobs lie ahead and what areas of the world each choice is more acceptable.

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