20 October

Dear Fortune,

So I told Mama that this ignoring thing is NOT working. I begged her to let me shave my legs. But Mama said, “The rule is, not until high school.”

THAT IS MORE THAN TWO YEARS AWAY.

I can’t deal with this for that long. What am I going to do?

21 October

Dear Fortune,

At church today I prayed all my leg hair would fall out. I guess Mama heard me whispering to God because after church, on the drive home, she started lecturing me about accepting what God gave me.

She said, “What are you going to do? The first time some boy says you are too dark, you going to ask God to make you lighter? What about somebody who calls you short? You going to demand to be taller? What about somebody who says they prefer green eyes? You going to try to change those too?”

Then she started lecturing me about loving myself the way I am.

I pointed out that she shaves HER legs, so where is her self love?

Daddy started laughing. And HE got the Mama eyeball. Then he got all serious and told me, “Landisa, you can’t keep trying to change yourself to please other people.” And he started going off about how women often get surgeries to alter their bodies, just trying to make other people happy.

I guess I kind of see what my parents are saying. But I don’t think shaving your legs is like having surgery. I mean, for starters, it isn’t like I want to be doing anything permanent. I mean, hair grows back after you shave it. So what is the harm? Not like I asked to pierce my nose or get a tattoo – now THAT would be permanent. But shaving? What’s the big deal?

***

Tell us: Do you think Landisa’s parents are correct that it is wrong to change your body to please other people? Or are they overreacting, since, as Landisa says, the hair can grow back?