A lot of the choices women make, ranging from what we do to our bodies to how we conduct our most personal affairs, are subject to commentary from family members, friends and total strangers. Sometimes it seems as though everyone has an opinion that they just have to share, asking you to explain yourself and making you question whether or not you were actually right in the first place.
Of course, it rarely hurts to hear what someone who cares about you thinks about any life-changing decisions -- but some things are really no one else's business. Here are five decisions you never have to justify:
1. What you do with your body hair. Shave, don't shave, wax, don't wax -- whatever your preferences are, own it. In a July 2013 blog for the Huffington Post, Paloma Goni expressed her frustration at needing to justify her decision to keep all her body hair as is. She wrote: "Logically, I can do what I want with my body, but I don't want to turn going out for a stroll into a quarrel, and don't want to decline plans because I feel like I need to hide. Because yes, I'll admit it: I'm not ready to listen to the criticism or endure the stares. I'm not a revolutionary. Yet."
2. Any decision regarding sex. When, where and how you conduct your sex life is truly nobody's business, provided everything happens between consenting adults. Whether you're experimenting with one-night stands, waiting for marriage or questioning what you want, you don't need to explain yourself to anyone.
3. Whether or not you want to have kids. Parenthood isn't for everyone, but it's commonly assumed that all women aspire to be mothers. Women who are childfree by choice are often the subject of prying questions and inappropriate commentary. A quick poll of HuffPost Women's Twitter followers revealed 23 things childfree women are tired of hearing, and in an August 2012 blog for the Huffington Post, Anjali Sareen wrote: "It seems as though there's no statement other women take more defensively than hearing me say I don't want children. Somewhere along the way, we've forgotten that the choices we make for ourselves can simply be that: choices."
4. Your living situation. Whether it's living with roommates when you're past your twenties, cohabiting with a partner you're not engaged or married to or moving back in with your parents for a while -- who you live with and why is up to you.
5. Putting your career before your personal life -- or vice versa. If the ten million debates about "having it all" have taught us anything, it's probably that you have to prioritize, and only you know what's most important to you. If you would regret not moving across the country for a new job more than you would regret breaking up your relationship, that's your call to make.
What other decisions should you never have to justify? Comment below, or join the conversation on Twitter @HuffPostWomen.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST:
The reality of being a woman — by the numbers. Learn more