Last week I went to the gynecologist. The second I arranged myself in the stirrups I had a startling realization: I hadn't shaved my legs in more than a week. Question is: Is this uncouth? Is there etiquette about such things? Was my lady-parts doctor insulted that I hadn't even bothered to take a shower for him, yet alone smooth my gams? Or was were my unshaven legs some sort of subconscious gesture of emancipation, i.e., I do not shave, therefore I am? Was it worth even wasting mental energy on? Hell, why not? I decided to poll my girlfriends to get the lowdown.
One friend, who works in advertising, says she makes a point not to shave for the gynecologist ("I don't want to send anyone the wrong message!"), but she seems to be in the minority. All my other girlfriends, however, whip out the razor before changing into the robe. [Robe? You mean that cold, itchy paper shit? -Ed.] Another friend, a working mom, sayas she never steps foot into the doc's office without running a razor over her legs and her "down there." "It's not about trying to impress anyone," she explains, "It's just a hygiene/ease thing. I just want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to make sure my doctor can get the best look possible of what's going on down there." Adds a friend who works in fundraising: "Yes, I do. But not for the physical therapist, who massages my inner knee." Hmm!
Another friend, a writer, says she doesn't make a point of shaving, although it has nothing to do with women's lib and everything to do with, well, the pretty: "I shave my legs for the bikini waxer but not necessarily the gyno. I guess i figure that she's there for health reasons while the waxer is for aesthetics so i want to impress her more?" Says a lawyer: "I shave everything for the gyno. She's my favorite doctor and if I can make her job (which I would NEVER want) a little better, I think that's nice. If you shave for a boy who tells you you're pretty, don't you owe at least that to a woman who tells you that you don't have chlamydia?" Lastly, a smarty-pants grad student mused with following: "Since I'm not going to get waxed for the gynecologist, I figure shaving my legs is the least i can do. Like tipping the mailman. You can't make the job of delivering mail on icy Boston streets less shitty, but you can at least make a small gesture."