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How Hair You!

Kennedy Dunning

During her annual spring cleaning, filmmaker, and budding feminist, Kennedy Dunning stumbles upon "The Box of Bad Things" and finds a razor inside. This triggers old memories from her teenage years when people commented negatively on her armpit hair. Today, Kennedy is confident in her appearance but curious about where the hatred and shame directed towards body hair came from and when shaving for women in the United States become a normalized practice. She researches the origins of razors in the U.S. and learns how companies have manipulated women to hate their body hair in order to make a profit through using razor advertisements and thus curating societal pressures to shave. Kennedy interviews Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, director of Women's Research & Resource Center, chair of Comparative Women's Studies, and Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women's Studies at Spelman College. With the help of Dr. Sheftall, Kennedy is able to analyze shaving more deeply, through Dr. Sheftall extensive knowledge of the male gaze and femininity in different racial groups.


In the end, Kennedy leaves the audience with a simple comment: "Shave. Don't Shave. The choice is yours. True feminism allows everyone the right to choose what to do with their bodies. But for hair to be so natural to those bodies, it's important to question a system that seems so adamant in not seeing it grow."

Kennedy Dunning is a graduating senior majoring in Documentary Filmmaking with a minor in Comparative Women's Studies. She directs, writes, and edits documentaries and narratives. Her subjects explore The South, girlhood, isolation, imagination, and more.

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