In America you have middle school, which consists of 6-8 grade.  For gym class you have to change out of your school clothes and wear the sport uniform – red shorts and t-shirt. I was 12 in 6th grade and that’s when the other girls started shaving their legs.  I was the only Indian girl in my grade and was not about to be seen as the one with hairy legs.

For some reason I knew asking my mom was out of the question, so I started secretly shaving.  It was winter and freezing, so my legs were never seen, except in gym class where they were shiny, smooth and gleaming. I carried on secretly shaving from about Oct – March of 6th grade year. However, as it always does, spring came along and the weather became warmer and warmer. My mom did not know under my long johns and sweatpants were shaven legs.  I realized I had to stop shaving and let my hair grow back before it became too hot.

I let the hair grow back as long as I could and worked up the courage to ask my mom if I could shave.  Of course this did not go down well, a 12-year-old shaving???  For an Indian mother, this was outrageous! She said she didn’t start shaving till she got married (which is what she said about EVERYTHING) and no I could not. Tears and door slamming was how that ended.

For the next week every time I was in the bathroom having a shower or bath, my 2 brothers would come to the door and scream, “mommy, I can hear D is using the shaver machine”. (They were 9 and 6 at the time).  I would then start crying in the bathroom, mad at how unfair my life was and why I couldn’t just be a normal ‘American’ girl.

It all ended about 2 weeks later when my mom bought me a packet of razors of my own to use. They were single blade and pink.

I was overjoyed.

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