Martha Aurelia Gantner for "Natural Beauty"
“From the age of 12, growing up with extremely sensitive skin, body hair was my worst nightmare. The fact that I'm a brunette with south European descent, living in a cold country without many sunny months was making it even harder.
Body hair was my biggest complex and I just decided to face it and love myself the way I am.
I was tired of the constant struggle.
It made me feel at peace with myself. I realised that we are responsible for what we like and what we don't like. I realised that beauty is really just in the eye of the beholder, and that all of us have a choice.
On a deeper level, it made me more connected to my feminine side and to mother nature too.
There were many bitter comments and weird looks.
People were making fun of me. I won't even say that it's unpopular where I live; there are just no women my age of whom I know that would not shave. I guess the situation is a bit different in Western Europe where people can more freely just be themselves.
In Poland it's still considered a real taboo unless you're a really old woman from the countryside. But it's nice that encouragement came from people I really wouldn't think of in the first place. It's a good way to tell between open, understanding people and those who constantly judge without any deeper thought.
Though as for the latter, for many of them there's still hope, it's mostly a matter of habit.
I would love to encourage all the ladies who are tired with this shaving terror to ditch the razor! But I'd like to encourage all the ladies who love their skin super smooth to keep shaving too. I just don't want anyone to do things against themselves just to please society. It's history repeating itself. Once there were corsets to keep women "in check", now it's the constraint of being absolutely hairless.
The good thing is we won't be needing such things anymore, people are getting more and more conscious, learning to love the truth instead of the programmed illusion.”
– Martha Aurelia Gantner, musician. May 2017 (photographed June 2015).