Your Body, Your Choice: A Letter to Women and Girls Worldwide


Dear Sisters,

We may come from different walks of life, whether our diversity be in nation, race, sexuality, ability status, class, body type, passions… but what we all share is the persistent pressure to meet demanding and often unrealistic beauty standards and expectations. These pressures may include:

     » Removing your body hair.
     » Wearing a “perfect” face with makeup.
     » Enhancing your cleavage with push up bras.
     » Shaving your hand hair.
     » Lightening your skin.
     » Covering all of your body.

I receive inquiries and requests for advice often.

  • A woman from Saudi Arabia doesn’t want to cave to pressure from family to shave her hand hair (a common and expected practice in her country.)
  • A young girl from Washington is comfortable with her leg hair, but fears wearing shorts and skirts in public from past experiences of her peers taunting her.
  • A women from England prefers to not wear makeup, but feels discouraged by her friends and co-workers telling her she looks “sick” or “tired.”
  • Not to mention the countless messages, emails and comments on my channel telling me I’m “ugly”, “disgusting” and “need to shave my hairy armpits.”

It’s not an easy path to deviate from societal norms, but it’s also a path of strength and confidence building.

This is not to say to cave into these pressures is a weakness. I am not writing this to shame those who choose to align their hygiene, aesthetic or clothing routine to that of what society asks of them. I will always  encourage you to do what feels best for you.

What feels best for you?

  • Removing your body hair
  • Letting it go free?
  • Wearing makeup because you enjoy it as a form of expression
  • Embracing your natural beauty?
  • Accepting your body RIGHT NOW as it is?

Your defiance to your cultural norms may make others uncomfortable. This discomfort will bring them to witness their deep-rooted ideas of beauty from the seeds of their cultural conditioning.

I applaud you for being a shining example that women still are beautiful, desirable and MOST IMPORTANTLY deserving of respect regardless of how we choose to present our bodies. If you choose to not live up to what your society says you “have to do”, you are a living, embodied protest able to remind all who challenge you just of that fact.

It is your body. It is your choice. And no one has the right or place to make you feel less for it.

I want to live in a world where all beings can feel free to express their true and authentic self in ways that are fulfilling to them without fear of ridicule, isolation and judgment. Where when a woman decides to shift her appearances in any way, it’s allowed to be a genuine choice and not compliance to severe societal pressures.
Thank you for helping all sisters be true to themselves. Through liberating yourself, you liberate others.

All my love,
Alyse

11 comments

  • Taylor Rosner

    I love you so much omg this message is amazing and people everywhere need to hear it!

  • Tirina Bias MIller

    How do you clean dreadlocks? I do not have them right now and currently wash my heart every 3days. I know when it’s time as my hair dies not have a pleasant smell by that time after all the sweating etc. do dreads stink?

  • Ina

    You are a free soul! Not everyone has the ability of being that brave and open minded. We live in a society where everyone’s opinion can break you in half. If you try to go against it you then have to deal with the words and it’s not that easy. Words are so powerful in a way or another ??‍♀️ I wish more women were as strong ?

  • Ivy

    Thank you so so so much! I really needed this! Love you, Alyse

  • Katherine

    Hello Alyse! Thank you for this. I am so happy to see this. My own mother asks me all the time, “When are you going to get rid of those small animals under your arms?” & I always say, “Mom, you know I don’t shave my body hair off anymore.” Yet… she still shames me. My dad also says, “You’re not wearing a bra? disgusted look Why not?” It just feels so warm in my heart to know that I am not the only one who has been shamed for my choices regarding my body. Thank you for being so RAW, so authentic, so unapologetically you. ? And hey! Can you tell me where you get your crop tops from? Even if it’s multiple companies, I still want to know. Hoping to hear back from you beautiful soul.
    All my love right back at ya,
    Kath?

  • Madisyn

    I loved reading this! You are spot on with everything you said. I have a struggle not wearing makeup under my eyes, I have dark circles that are always there and very pale skin so I look sick when I don’t wear makeup. I feel really confident when I wear makeup but when I don’t wear makeup I feel like everyone’s looking at the flaws I see with my own eyes. I just don’t want to wear makeup anymore and I want to feel beautiful not wearing it. I guess that just comes with self love and trying to drink more water to help my under eyes? Hahah… also, thank you for posting this! Much love ❤️

  • Bailey

    What an amazing message Alyse! Thank you

  • Edris

    I whole heartedly agree with this! I choose not to wear make-up (I think I’ve worn it about four times in my life – I’m in my thirties now) I think it can look amazing, I just find it more comfortable on my skin without it. I have a healthy covering of armpit hair. I wear my hair in dreadlocks which I absolutely love but which has invited a wide array of comments in a still somewhat conservative society. I choose to shave my legs from the knee down – for no other reason than the simple fact that I like the feel of smooth legs and yet conversely my thighs are a riot of hair. For a long, long time, I felt an outcast from the norms of my community, ashamed to wear strappy tops in summer because of a self-conscious awareness of my hairy armpits. What I have noticed over the years however is that the more comfortable I become with my choices, the less aware I become of others scrutiny of my body or appearance. That is not to say it has been an easy ride and yet I believe I have had a far more tolerant journey than most. Beauty is a given; our bodies are sacred vessels that house the light within each of us. Like you, I want to live in a world where all beings are free to express themselves without fear of judgement, ridicule, shame or stigma and your words echo a strength and encouragement to all who wish the same or who are standing, defiant to socially acceptable ways of being that may not resonate with their purpose or state of being.

  • Bailey

    This message is so beautiful. I’m hoping one day i can be as brave as you are to not care about how the world sees you.❤️

  • Klara

    Hello Alyse,

    Thank you for your honest words, your inspiration and recommendation! ?
    I love your spirit.
    Best wishes and have a good week.
    Greetings from Nicaragua!

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