Female Student Sparks Debate With 'I Don't Shave' Essay

PHOTO: Yasmin Gasimova is seen in this undated Facebook photo.Yasmin Gasimova
Yasmin Gasimova is seen in this undated Facebook photo.

A UK student has worked online readers into a lather, after writing about her refusal to shave her body hair and perpetuate what she described as “unfair expectations of women.”

In an essay that appeared in the The Tab Liverpool, titled, “I Don’t Shave and I’m Not Going To Start,” Yasmin Gasimova wrote that since having stopped shaving at the age of 11, she has endured much criticism from acquaintances and schoolmates. But she remained staunchly opposed to the notion that she should alter her natural appearance to suit societal norms.

“As someone of Turkic origin, I don’t remember ever not having hair,” Gasimova, now 19 and a computer science student at the University of Liverpool, wrote. “In fact, as early as 10, boys were making fun of my moustache and I was trying to shave my noticeably hairy stomach.”

But a year later, the author decided that shaving her abdomen and legs wasn’t worth the inconvenience it caused her, so she stopped. After a period of pushback from friends, family and boyfriends, Gasimova wrote that most people close to her eventually agreed with her personal stance.

Gasimova did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for comment. But in her essay for The Tab Liverpool, the author also shared multiple photos exposing her unshaven legs, underarms, and face.

Some commenters offered support of her position on not shaving, cheering: “Good on you for be comfortable with your hair!”

Others asserted their dislike of female body hair.

“I'd hope the Author of this article is aware that many guys don't like body hair on women and that she's tough enough to take the, regrettably inevitable, abuse she's getting,” wrote one reader.

Gasimova disagreed, she wrote.

“If you think the au naturel look is gross, it isn’t – you only believe that because you’ve been conditioned to see it that way your entire life,” wrote Gasimova. “I dream of the day I can walk around in the summer in shorts, without being conscious of people judging me. It will, however, take many of my sisters joining me and ridding the public of the shock.”