I am mostly Armenian with almost black hair and just about the lightest skin around. I was called so many names in grade school and highschool because of it. I tried bleaching, which looked weird against my white skin. I even tried trimming it down a bit (so it was still dark and there, just not as thick). I thought shaving my arms was disgusting and the hair would grow back thicker, etc. When I was in my late teens my younger siblings and mother convinced me to give it a try. It is WONDERFUL! I've been doing it for more than 10 years now and the hair doesn't grow back thicker, and it really doesn't look that noticeable even when it is growing back in. I really urge you just to give it a try.
The only other thing no one has mentioned here is an epilator. In case you don't know what they are, here is the one I have:
I've tried this on my arms before and it works just fine, however I find shaving is easier. It can be a bit uncomfortable for some though (it's literally plucking many hairs at once).