That scruffy stuff on my face.
Ah yes, my facial hair.
I can still remember the horror of having multiple whiskers protrude from my face just a few days after turning fifteen.
I wanted it gone forever, immediately!
I took pride in my smooth soft skin, I had worked very hard through puberty to make sure I never had one pimple.
Not. Even. One.
But biology said fuck your smooth skin!
Deal with it.
So, I have been and the conclusion is probably not what you think.
I’ve tried waxing, shaving, trimming and so on.
On one particular occasion I became so upset with my facial hair that I quite literally plucked every hair from the left side of my face. The only reason I stopped before reaching the right side (besides that awful pain) was because I noticed that the left side where I had been plucking was now starting to swell and go numb. The next day, the left side of my face was red and slightly purple. It appeared as if someone had repeatedly back handed the left side of my face.
So my conclusion?
We’ll, I’ve accepted it.
I had to ask myself a serious questions that left me heart broken and humiliated…
Why do I hate my facial hair?
After beating myself over the head with this question I found my answer with a good friend of mine who has struggled with weight gain for a few years.
A while back we were ridding home from the city, her kids were asleep in the back and we began talking about life.
In the middle of the conversation she says
“Alex, would you think of me different if I just gave up on trying to loose all this excessive body weight from having the kids?”
I thought a moment, I mean really thought about what to say and if I would see her opinions or judgments differently. Then I asked her a question.
“Would you think of me different if I stopped fighting with this stupid hair growing out of my face and still wore clothing that the rest of society deemed as feminine?
Together both of us pondered while listening to some music, still on the highway.
Finally, she spoke up and said “you know what, yes! I would see you differently! I would see you, giving a big damn fuck you to society for making you feel as if you aren’t pretty enough to wear a dress or high heels simply because your biology insists on pushing hair out of your face, something you have NO CONTROL OF. You don’t get to choose your body type, you just have to accept it, and if you did that, I think it would be inspirational!”
At this point I’m in tears, because she’s right!
So I pull over because I can’t see when I’m crying and she takes over driving.
Back on the road, I said “You know, you’re so right! The only reason I want my facial hair gone is because I want other people to think I’m pretty and that I should belong in a dress or high heels. Facial hair has made me feel that I don’t belong in some of the clothes I wear, but really its not my facial hair, its this idea pressured onto me by todays societal standard that I can’t have both. Its the same thing for you to though! You have been kicking your own ass over the weight you gained after the kids. But why? Because your afraid that others will see you as a bad example for your kids, or that you are lazy! But the truth is, being a single mother with two toddlers is all you can handle right now. You deserve to feel beautiful because you are beautiful! Your weight is a testament to the struggle that you have went through to bring two lives into this world, it should not be seen as a problem! But just like my facial hair, I’ve grown up in a society where its taboo to be scruffy & fabulous! But you know, these are our bodies, this is what they do, this is how they react to our genetic make up, this is how they respond to LIFE! Why should we hate that?”
At this point, she’s in tears now, the kids are waking up, its getting hard for her to see the road too. She pulls off some random exit and I tell her to pull into the first place that serves ice cream.
Got the kids settled momentarily, got the ice cream and then talked a bit more.
At the end of the conversation, we had come to the conclusion that the only reason we see the things we don’t like about ourselves as a problem, is because we are comparing ourselves to a beauty standard that is unattainable for ourselves. Ultimately , fighting a battle that has already been lost.
Some people might not like my facial hair, which is fine.
But I have accepted it and I will embrace it.
Deal with it.