By Paula Gaikowski
You might remember that phrase from an old commercial, but it seems pantyhose commercials have gone the way of the 8-track tape. Growing up transgender, I would watch them all with envy, “Gentlemen Prefer Hanes,” “Our Leggs fit your legs,” “Sheer Energy,” “No Nonsense”. Someday I wanted smooth sexy legs like that
Shaving my legs was a milestone and rite of passage on my transgender journey. There has been nothing more liberating and cathartic than looking down and seeing a pair of woman’s legs surface after shaving for the first time.
I had always hoped that someday I would free my legs from their matted jungle of maleness. Finally one winter, using the transparent excuse of dry skin, I persuaded my wife to give into a winter shaving so I could moisturize my legs without globing a mess of lotion over all that hair. Actually, this truly is a benefit of having smooth legs. Before I started shaving my legs during the winter, whenever I put on moisturizing lotion, the lotion would mat up in all the hair — yuck!
Finally the day came. I had dropped my wife off at the airport and I had an empty house where I could experiment with my new Venus razor. I envisioned a scene from the Venus commercial where Jennifer Lopez glides a razor over her already gorgeous smooth hairless legs and they reappear even more stunning.
I set to work bursting with enthusiasm and anticipation ready to “reveal the goddess in me.” I started by lathering up my legs and then slowly pulling the razor over them, but as I did the razor became clogged with hair. I constantly had to stop and clear the razor.
“Hmm I didn’t notice Jennifer Lopez doing this?”
After that, I needed to go over each spot several times. Next the shaving cream started to dry, then I cut myself. Next the razor got dull and it had to be replaced, then I cut myself again! Finally there I was hobbling down the hallway to get another razor while bleeding with shaving cream dripping all over.
In conclusion, after over 90 minutes, three razors, cold and bleeding legs, an aching back, a messy bathroom, my legs looked more like Mario Lopez than Jennifer Lopez!
It was not the glorious feminine initiation ceremony I had imagined. Still covered with patches of hair and nubs my legs did look a lot better and I was, of course, delighted at my initial results.
Practice makes perfect, and after five years of shaving my legs, I’ve learn a few things that I would like to share. We all want that feminine shaving scene we see in the commercials and I’ll get you there girls, but the first time is a bit challenging.
To do it right I am going to strongly suggest that you buy yourself a set of electric clippers. For under $20 at CVS or Wal-Mart you will find more than one type available. I bought a model with a length attachment and use it to trim my arm hair down to ¼ inch. As a transgender woman, these clippers can and do have many uses.
Next, before we do any actual shaving, find a spot where you can start shearing off a lifetime of leg hair growth. I suggest a spot where clean-up is easy and there is a lot of light. There is going to be hair everywhere. I shave my legs for the first time every year come October. I pick a sunny warm day and go out onto the back deck. Here I can see all the little hairs in the sunlight and clean-up is simple with a broom. Slowly but surely, work your way up from the ankles, carefully around the knees and gently behind the knees and thighs. When you’re done you might want to find a mirror and check for spots you missed. At this point, your legs will be bristly, but they will look amazingly different.
Phase two can wait until the next day or if you have time, jump right into the shower. I find the key to getting your legs pretty girl smooth is taking it slow. I take three or four days to finish the whole process of transforming my legs from boy to girl. When I first started shaving, I used shaving cream; it smells pretty and makes you feel feminine. However, in the shower it’s near impossible to keep water away from your legs and the shaving cream starts breaking down. Shaving cream washes away as soon as a few drops of water hit it.
Instead, I use a moisturizing soap. I prefer Dove because I like their :”Real Beauty” campaign. Soap lather lasts longer than shaving cream and doesn’t wash away as quickly.
The first day, I shave from the ankles to about halfway up to the knee. I take my time and get all those hairs in the back and front. The next day, I start at the ankles again and move upward to the knees. The point not to miss here is that I am going over the same area as the day before. This gets any spots that I missed. The third day, I start at the ankles again and go up to mid-thigh. To finish on the last day, I start at the ankles and go all the way up my legs. By now, you have gone over each area several times and have now transformed your legs into smooth and feminine accessories.
The average women shaves her legs about once a week, sometimes more in the summer, sometimes less in the winter. If you’re not on HRT, then it probably should be every day. Your mileage might vary, but here’s what I do.
Believe it or not shaving will become a chore after awhile. So the easier you make it, the more you will do it to keep up that gorgeous look. I shave from the ankles up to the knees one day and then the next day, from the knees up to the top. By doing only half the leg, I’m done in five minutes. This makes it easy enough so that I don’t skip a day and keep up the maintenance. After a few weeks, they become use to the razor and are really smooth when moisturized afterward.
Wearing a dress and hose for the first time after shaving is a defining moment in a girl’s life. Nonetheless, being able to look down at my legs and see what appears to be feminine female legs, has a healing and curative effort. Those periods of acute gender dysphoria come less often and are less severe when I shave my legs.
Now go ahead. Reveal the goddess in you!