mamas who don't shave~ what will you tell your dd and will you/do you allow shaving? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 06:54 PM
 
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as a woman who shaves i can say with 100% certainty that a huge part of it for me was 'societal pressure' not like people were pressuring me to do it but that most women didn't have body hair so i shaved too. i hit puberty young and i started shaving my bikini line b/c i didn't want the world to see my pubic hair when i went swimming.

i am a sporadic shaver.. i shave when i am going out or w/e in an outfit that will show my legs... i always shave my arm pits especially if i am wearing a tank top. i hate shaving and i wouldn't do it if not shaving was more normal. i never shave above the knee or anything. i can go a long time without shaving my legs before it is noticeable but my arm pits are another story.

i don't know what i would do in your situation. i don't want my kids to feel pressured to shave but i think it is a bit inevitable. i went to middle school with a girl who didn't shave her armpits and she was teased mercilessly.

on a similar subject... at least women aren't required to shave... in high school any guy who came to school with facial hair had to shave in the office.. i believe it was a dry shaving too.. which for guys is especially ouch inducing.
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#62 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There is nothing more feminist than asserting that women are mindless robots without minds of their own who go along with something just because a man says

That says a helluva lot more about how one views women than it does about this "evil patriarchy" who is forcing us, against our will, to conform to their standards, and if we choose to shave we are really not choosing it because we silly women are obviously incapable of making decisions unless we are trying to please a man!

Yes, it screams feminist.

(from someone who shaves, or not, depending on whim and on season with a partner who doesn't care either way).
I don't take responsibility for other women's choices or actions. Women possess the potential to live up to their natural beauty, that doesn't mean that most take advantage of that. That is sad to me. Women are selling there own selves out on a myriad of levels, that is not my fault.
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#63 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 07:01 PM
 
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i guess i don't see anything particularly crazy about the belief that many women shave b/c of societal pressure... sure i shave because i want to... i want to because i think it looks better... i think it looks better b/c in this cultural it is considered gross for women to have body hair.

the infantile thing is intriguing to me... i wonder how this plays in to the way men look at young girls. is it healthy for our society to continue to blur the difference between sexually mature women and little girls?
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#64 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 07:05 PM
 
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So now on top of being disgusting, silly and infantile, women who shave are sellouts?

That's a lot to read into a simple cosmetic choice.
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#65 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 07:12 PM
 
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I don't really care why anyone shaves or doesn't shave, or if they think it's conforming TO shave, or disgusting NOT to shave... BUT, our DD's have a mind of their own and, IMO, should be allowed to do whatever they choose regarding shaving or not shaving their body hair. Heck, if they want to shave their heads that should be *allowed*. I'm all about raising my children to think for themselves -- but even if they want to shave their legs b/c it's what everyone else at school is doing, so be it. It's not life threatening or MY decision as a parent to make - whether my own legs are hairy atm or not (they are).

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#66 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 07:16 PM
 
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i guess i don't see anything particularly crazy about the belief that many women shave b/c of societal pressure... sure i shave because i want to... i want to because i think it looks better... i think it looks better b/c in this cultural it is considered gross for women to have body hair.

the infantile thing is intriguing to me... i wonder how this plays in to the way men look at young girls. is it healthy for our society to continue to blur the difference between sexually mature women and little girls?
I was hoping the conversation would follow up on the second part. That is what I find concerning, especially in regard to my daughters and what expectations they may face in their future.

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#67 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 07:19 PM
 
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even if it is 'selling out' or buying into societies warped idea of women i do not think there is anything wrong with wanting to 'fit in' so to speak. it is normal to want to fit it and not every body is comfortable (or has the desire) to stand out in the same way. there are things i do and don't do that are not the norm and i don't care if people don't like it... and there are things other women do or don't do that i understand the reasoning for but am not comfortable adopting the practice.

shaving, clothing, make up, hair styling, peircings, tattoos... these are all choices that people make. i used to have more piercing than i can count and many people find that really strange.. i also have a tattoo in a place that involved getting very personal with my friendly neighborhood tattoo artist, i don't wear make up, and my clothing choices are all over the map.... so you'd think i wouldn't give a crap what people think about my arm pit hair.. but this is one of the ways in which i prefer not to stand out. everyone is different.
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#68 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 07:47 PM
 
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For the record, although I think I made it clear, I would *never* tell her she couldn't shave, that IMO would be weird and creepy. I support her for whatever, my issue is making it plain as day in a positive way that not shving is the normal thing and shaving is actually kind of wierd when you know the history of it. (Plus it's just not necessary and I would like to instill values in her well beyond her looks. I would love it if beauty could be about personality, intellect, creativity. Not something to devote copious amounts of time to in the external sense. And I can even see how clothes and hair and makeup lend to a persons own expression of themself, but I find it hard to correlate that to shaving.)
I totally understand your view. I was also confused by the use of "allow" in the thread title. I never got the impression that you personally would forbid your dd to shave. Hopefully, growing up with a mama who believes that not shaving should be the norm, and puts that into practice, will set the example for your dd. I do believe that beauty is about personality, intellect and creativity. It is to me, and that's what I try to instill in my children. That's all we can do.
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#69 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 07:54 PM
 
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is it healthy for our society to continue to blur the difference between sexually mature women and little girls?
no. it is not healthy at all. this is mostly why i don't shave and why i wish (but don't really care) that others would not either.

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#70 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:12 PM
 
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no. it is not healthy at all. this is mostly why i don't shave and why i wish (but don't really care) that others would not either.
I've seen references to this multiple times, and I've even read a few links over the years. However, I've never seen anything resembling proof that female shaving has anything to do with blurring the line between mature women and girls. Anybody got anything on that?

In any case, I'm not prepared to live with hair that I don't like just because other people don't like it. I won't be uncomfortable because some guy thinks I look better, and I won't be uncomfortable because some feminist thinks I look more liberated.

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#71 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:15 PM
 
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I've seen references to this multiple times, and I've even read a few links over the years. However, I've never seen anything resembling proof that female shaving has anything to do with blurring the line between mature women and girls. Anybody got anything on that?
The Desmond Morris links I provided earlier talk a lot about it (not in terms of providing proof, just in terms of adding to the discussion). They also bring up the same issue that another poster brought up -- how come no one ever says that it's infantilizing for men to shave their beards, or that women who prefer clean-shaven men must have a thing for young boys?

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#72 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:22 PM
 
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They also bring up the same issue that another poster brought up -- how come no one ever says that it's infantilizing for men to shave their beards, or that women who prefer clean-shaven men must have a thing for young boys?
Good point!
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#73 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:28 PM
 
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a woman's body hair increases dramatically once she hits puberty. shaving, especially removing all of the pubic hair, makes a woman's vagina resemble that of a pre pubescent girl. this is not the only beauty marker in society that serves this purpose. another example is out emphasis on being thin and eschewing the curves most women have. those curves become more prominent the closer a girl gets to adulthood.
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#74 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:36 PM
 
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The Desmond Morris links I provided earlier talk a lot about it (not in terms of providing proof, just in terms of adding to the discussion). They also bring up the same issue that another poster brought up -- how come no one ever says that it's infantilizing for men to shave their beards, or that women who prefer clean-shaven men must have a thing for young boys?
I often hear women say that it is "creepy" that some men prefer shaved women. I honestly never understood it. There are so many physically different things between a grown woman and a pre-pubescent girl. Body hair is just one small part of that. I see it as no different than someone preferring brunettes or people with green eyes.

I'll even go a step further and say that I don't like body hair on myself, or anyone I'm intimate with. In my perfect world the only body hair humans would have would be on their heads and their eyebrows. DP shaves everything except his arms and legs, but he has toyed with the idea of shaving his legs. He's a red-head, so it's not like he has a ton of dark hair but he can't stand the tiny bit of chest hair that he has. Would I leave DP if he suddenly decided that shaving wasn't for him? Of course not, but I probably wouldn't be as sexually attracted to him either. Kind of like how I would be a little less attracted to him if he grew a mullet I guess that if I had some subconscious attraction to young boys, I probably wouldn't be with someone that is 13 years my senior.

For the record, I never asked him to shave or said anything about it. It is a habit that he's had since before I knew him.

Anyways, so this isn't completely off topic... I'd explain shaving to any future daughters that it is a personal style choice, much like a hairstyle. No option is the "wrong" option as long as it's something they like and want for themselves.
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#75 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:41 PM
 
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The Desmond Morris links I provided earlier talk a lot about it (not in terms of providing proof, just in terms of adding to the discussion). They also bring up the same issue that another poster brought up -- how come no one ever says that it's infantilizing for men to shave their beards, or that women who prefer clean-shaven men must have a thing for young boys?
When I clicked your link, I just got a summary of a book, not any excerpts. I tend to wonder about that, myself - the male shaving thing. I personally prefer less facial hair, from a comfort standpoint, although dh does wear a beard sometimes, and he looks great, either way.

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a woman's body hair increases dramatically once she hits puberty. shaving, especially removing all of the pubic hair, makes a woman's vagina resemble that of a pre pubescent girl. this is not the only beauty marker in society that serves this purpose. another example is out emphasis on being thin and eschewing the curves most women have. those curves become more prominent the closer a girl gets to adulthood.
But, women in our society were routinely shaving long before the current emphasis on being thin came into play. The feminist view of shaving has also been around a lot longer than the trend to shaving or otherwise depilating the genitals. When I was younger, when people talked about women shaving, there was no doubt they were talking about armpits and legs...not the genital area. This is really quite new. I've also been shaving my genitals for...almost 30 years, and they've never looked anything like the genitals of a pre-pubescent girl. That's not why I do it. (It's also not why I prefer less/no pubic hair on my partner...although it's obviously his choice, just as shaving is my choice.) In fact, the first time I did it, I'd never heard of it being done at all - I just thought I'd like it, and I did/do.

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#76 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:43 PM
 
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Anyways, so this isn't completely off topic... I'd explain shaving to any future daughters that it is a personal style choice, much like a hairstyle. No option is the "wrong" option as long as it's something they like and want for themselves.
This.

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#77 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:44 PM
 
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i have to say that i agree 100% with it being a personal choice. no one should shave or not shave b/c of a partners preference or something like that. i occasionally shave my pubic hair but if dp ever decided he wanted me to shave all the time or something it would be an issue.
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#78 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:45 PM
 
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i have to say that i agree 100% with it being a personal choice. no one should shave or not shave b/c of a partners preference or something like that. i occasionally shave my pubic hair but if dp ever decided he wanted me to shave all the time or something it would be an issue.
It wouldn't be an issue here. I do shave all the time, but if he wanted me to stop, I'd just say "no", and that would be that. I have to say, though, that it's never come up. Neither one of us cares what the other does about their body hair.

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#79 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:47 PM
 
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so sort of on topic... i didn't know until i was in college that some guys shaved their genitals... i mean obviously it doesn't come up much in conversation but i was totally shocked that this was not unusual... i mean i really only did it b/c i didn't want it coming out of my bathing suit.. and when i was older b/c ... well.. for slightly less modest reasons. but anyways since guys don't have the bathing suit problem i could never figure out why they would shave
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#80 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:51 PM
 
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So I am genuinely curious...

Do those of you who feel that shaving for women is conforming to male ideals of beauty and infantilizing, oppressive, etc, how do you feel about other grooming issues that can be lumped into the "beautification for others, not ones self" category?

Do you feel the same way about trimming fingernails? Painting fingernails? Removing ear wax? Cutting hair on your head into a style or trimming it at all for that matter? Coloring your hair? Wearing clothing? Wearing deodorant?

Do those of you who do not shave do any of the above? If so, how is it different?

All of those things are "changing" the natural way our bodies look or smell. Where is the line between shaving vs. other grooming?


Sincerely just curious.
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#81 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:52 PM
 
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so sort of on topic... i didn't know until i was in college that some guys shaved their genitals... i mean obviously it doesn't come up much in conversation but i was totally shocked that this was not unusual... i mean i really only did it b/c i didn't want it coming out of my bathing suit.. and when i was older b/c ... well.. for slightly less modest reasons. but anyways since guys don't have the bathing suit problem i could never figure out why they would shave
Various reasons. The first one that comes to mind is probably a UAV, though.

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#82 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:53 PM
 
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o man... i can usually guess what people don't say... but i am totally at a loss here.
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#83 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:55 PM
 
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but anyways since guys don't have the bathing suit problem i could never figure out why they would shave
For the same reasons many women shave. They find it more comfortable, they like the way it looks/feels, and erm... ease of use during intercourse.
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#84 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:55 PM
 
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i do shave but i don't wear makeup really... want to know something sort of weird? when i wear contacts i am way more likely to wear make up then when i am wearing my glasses.. same with earrings... since i don't have contacts right now i almost never wear earrings or make up.
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#85 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:57 PM
 
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For the same reasons many women shave. They find it more comfortable, they like the way it looks/feels, and erm... ease of use during intercourse.
wow ... i have no idea how that would make a difference. now i want to know.. oooo DPPPPPP once he finished laughing he would go hide the razors.

i wonder if a guy who wanted to shave his arm pits would get the same negative reactions as a woman who didn't shave hers.
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#86 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 08:57 PM
 
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Some normal and hairy support! :

I think it is important to share with your children (male and female) why you choose to do something, or not, and why. We can only hope that we pass along some of what we feel so passionately about. I feel really strongly about showing my body in a natural and normal way for ME. Not because I think this is the only way, but the right way for me.

My mother tried to get my not to shave my legs when I was a teen. I started shaving super early at 10 or 11. I felt huge pressure to. And, huge pressure from my mom to NOT. It was gross to feel both ways to me. My mother would point out any time I plucked the brows. She nows flips out that my lovely normal armpits - but thinks that the legs are fine *shrug*

Now, I don't shave or remove any hair (eye brows are all there, nose hair, and toe hair). I do trim my pit hair every few months since it grows like a weed!

I want my children to feel unpressed to make the choices that a right for them, with a critical mind. I hope to encourage this, but don't feel in any way we can control it. It will usually just blow up in your face

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#87 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 09:01 PM
 
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I don't have a dog in this fight. But, I did learn in sociology class that the pinking of lips and rouge was to make oneself appear younger/aka more fertile. I have noticed now that I have kids how cool it is that they do have cherry lips and natural glows. The eyes? No idea why we do that (though that is the only thing I do since I am blond everywhere but my head which is just weird to me).

The only thing I don't like is full shaved genitals because to me I look like my 12 year old self and gross myself out, and a partner better not be shaved because I am just not that into pre-pubescent males. trimming is just to keep things neat. I don't think trimming is anything but a personal choice.

Hair or no hair, I think SO much of what we do is to be attractive to partners on a subconcious level. If I was living in a commune of all women I wouldn't wear make-up, die my hair, wear tight clothing and would still trim. I would most definately wear my armpit hair long.

But, I am here in society and while not so concerned about fitting in or being attractive to the opposite sex (as in I don't do a lot of things that women do) I can't say I don't do things to fit in. I shave. I wear mascara and some days I even muster the strength to care what my clothes look like.

I take it as "it is what it is". Nobody has to do what they don't want to do. I know I should style my hair according to some, but don't feel like it. I shave, but for some they just don't feel like it. Cool. I always say take what you want from society and reject what you don't. To each of us what we reject and what we accept are very different.

And to me....most of what we do looks wise isn't for ourselves. It is for ourselves through the eyes of others. That just is. We are social beings and don't think that it is weird to do it. (Not all things of course! Some just is done to feel more comfortable physically!).

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#88 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 09:42 PM
 
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This has been an interesting thread to read! I love all the different opinions...

I am a shaver myself (when I have the time ). I plan to let my children make their own choices about shaving and when to start. I think I look nicer shaved and I think my husband looks nicer when he shaves his face. If he got his back waxed, even better I don't think shaving is about making someone look younger - just smoother and less hairy. An old person can shave all they want but, they are still going to look old if that is the type of skin they have. It's just one of those things, I've never liked a hairy guy face but I certainly find nothing sexually attractive about a young boy who has not yet started to grow facial hair. I don't think my legs look younger without hair - just prettier I think men prefer a waxed / shaved genital area so that oral sex is more pleasing to give. I know I am glad that penises don't have hair. (hope I'm not violating anything here - just trying to respond to different points I've seen raised.)

Anyway - to tie this all into the original post - I will not attempt to tell my daughter that there is anything wrong with shaving or not shaving. I will not attempt to tell her that either is the right thing to do either. I will say it is a matter of personal preferance as far as looks and comfort go and that I think she is beautiful whatever she chooses. I honestly think that to make anything more out of the decision to shave or not shave is just attaching too much meaning to a simple physical preferance.
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#89 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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Ironically, as I am reading this thread ads for laser hair removal keep appearing in the margins...

mummy to one sweet, beautiful, strong, clever, perfect
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#90 of 416 Old 07-01-2009, 09:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamieCole View Post
So I am genuinely curious...

Do those of you who feel that shaving for women is conforming to male ideals of beauty and infantilizing, oppressive, etc, how do you feel about other grooming issues that can be lumped into the "beautification for others, not ones self" category?

Do you feel the same way about trimming fingernails? Painting fingernails? Removing ear wax? Cutting hair on your head into a style or trimming it at all for that matter? Coloring your hair? Wearing clothing? Wearing deodorant?

Do those of you who do not shave do any of the above? If so, how is it different?

All of those things are "changing" the natural way our bodies look or smell. Where is the line between shaving vs. other grooming?


Sincerely just curious.
ok i'll bite!

i don't shave
I do not wear makeup
I rarely wear deodorant (only when I haven't showered in several days or a week and need to be around folks who would notice I smelled, which is not the majority of the folks I choose to hang out with)
I do not paint my nails
I trim my nails them for hygiene and safe sex reasons
i have short hair because I do not want to spend anytime hairstyling
I used to color my hair but only "crazy" colors to subvert the dominant paradigm
I wear clothes because it illegal for me to leave my house without clothes on and because i do not like the way it feels when "things" touch my skin. also the weather is a factor is clothes wearing
I don't "tan" on purpose only from being outside
My clothing is practical, mostly from thrift stores, and not "fashionable"
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