It was funny watching one of Barbara Walters' last interviews earlier this year.
She always does a wrap-up of the most interesting people from the previous year, and in the months leading up to the movie awards season there was much talk about Mo'Nique, the stand-up comedienne turned late-night talk show host. It was a no-brainer that she would end up on Walters' top 10 list.
The journalist and the funny woman talked about some serious issues - Mo'Nique being molested as a child by her brother and her open marriage - but the topic that seemed to give Walters the most pause was one that was interesting, but not very weighty.
Mo'Nique doesn't shave her legs.
I wasn't surprised because I know a good number of black women who don't, namely because the hair on their legs is sparse. But during the interview, I was shocked when the camera operator zoomed in for a close-up of Mo'Nique's gams.
She's got a whole bunch of hair. A lot of it. It's dark and it's long.
I first caught wind of Mo'Nique's no-shave policy several months ago when she was on the cover of a national magazine. Her make-up was flawless, her hair was perfect, and she was wearing a lovely outfit with a skirt that fell just to her knees.
Despite all of her top-notch grooming, all that stood out to me was her unshaven legs.
A few months later, Mo'Nique is standing on one of numerous red carpets that she walked down in the build-up to the Oscars. She was at the Golden Globes, where later that night she won Best Supporting Actress for her role as an abusive mother in the movie, "Precious: Based on the novel 'Push', by Sapphire."
Before the ceremony, she's standing next to her smiling husband, posing for the paparazzi, when she hikes up her beautiful gold dress and shows her hairy legs.
Four years ago, again speaking to Walters on "The View," Mo'Nique opined that rocking unshaven legs was more common for black women. She refuses to indulge in the grooming ritual because it's painful and, interestingly enough, her husband prefers her hairy.
Needless to say, Mo'Nique got blasted in print, blogs and on TV. In repeated interviews, she stood by her ritual (or I guess it'd be a non-ritual), although she says she shaves her armpits to avoid being stinky.
I'll admit I didn't find her au naturel legs attractive. I'll also confess that if mine looked like that, I would give in to shaving, waxing, plucking or Nair-ing, if only to feel good about myself.
But what's good about Mo'Nique is that she doesn't care what people think. She's doing her own thing, in her own world, and not giving in to societal norms.
That's a great
place to be.