I am NOT excited to write about this.
I may seem brave, ballsy, or invincible to some but the truth is: that's pretty much bullshit. Or cow manure as the adorable old man in the Cottonwood Goodwill said today.
There a lot of topics that I haven't covered on The Militant Baker... some because they don't fit and some because I'm so damn insecure about them. Facial hair is one of the latter. But it's time to get painfully honest and wonderfully real with you. And if past experience tells me anything, there will at least be a few of you who will identify and breathe a sigh of relief that you're not a mutant. That's a good enough reason for me.
I started thinking about my aversion to this topic when I read this awesome article (and this one too) on xoJane yesterday. I then followed some of the links and saw that there were incredible women who dedicated entire blogs (here, here, and here) to the subject which struck me as super inspirational. Considering that I pride myself on talking about what most people won't... touching on the subject here just seemed like the right thing to do. Truth be told, I've been grappling with writing about this on TMB for nearly a year now, but I was waiting to feel comfortable about the condition before doing so. I realized yesterday that I may never feel comfortable with this part of my body and maybe I should just pony up some bravery and bring it out into the open. Goddamnit Jes, get your shit together and talk about this thing that has controlled your life already. Okay fine Self, have it your way.
This has controlled my entire life for the last ten years and I distinctly remember thinking a few months ago "I reeeeeally don't want to have a serious boyfriend right now because I reeeeeally don't want to have to worry about facial hair all the time." It has that kind of control over my life. Hair growth is constantly on my mind, and I have a routine every morning that involves a razor and cream... and I'm always on the search for the closest "shave". I just read that men's razors work the best, which makes total sense to me. I often get exhausted from the excessive tweezing that is required, so occasionally I'll dedicate an hour in the car (sunlight makes it more apparent) to clearing up my face so that I'll have a fresh start when it comes time to shave again. While I'll always shave it in the morning, if I have something going on later at night, the routine will commence again. I'm especially conscious of it while on a date and I often refuse to let men caress my face even though it's one of my favorite things in the world. My last LTR would stroke my face in the beginning, but then stopped and I felt the (comfortable) extreme shame that I've become accustomed to. But we never talked about it. I've never. Talked. About. This.
Approximately 24 hours after maintenance. Fuck you face.
The hair growth is normally on the side of my face, but has recently spread to the chin and neck. Quite often depending on the execution of maintenance I will end up with dark marks on my face which I usually fail at covering up. I'm always wondering if my co-workers notice. If the person in the passengers seat notices. If my boyfriends notice. I wonder if everyone that stares at me isn't looking at my tattoos, outrageous clothing or strut but rather at my humiliating hairs. Fuck this shit.
I also had a certain amount of fat shame around this... I don't remember who told me this or when I heard it, but I was under the impression that it was my fault I had this problem because of my weight. I don't know if this is true, seeing as it runs in the family and is quite common with the women I'm related to. Another strange coincidence that caught me off guard yesterday was an email from a woman talking about this symptom in relationship to Polysyctic Ovary Syndrome. Out of curiosity I researched other symptoms and identified with every single one. Depression. Weight gain and difficulty losing it. Abnormal periods. Facial hair. Infertility (maybe the lack of consequences from my poor decisions when I was younger wasn't just luck?). So, this is a possibility and depending on the test results from my doctor I'll have more information. But there is a chance this isn't the case in which I'll mostly likely process the reality of the facial hair differently. Probably with a more defeatist attitude if I'm being honest.
So no, I'm not comfortable with it. Yes, I would love a cream or laser hair removal. This is a part of my body that I feel okay with not loving and would be thrilled to change. That doesn't make me a body hater, though maybe it does mean that I'm especially susceptible to society's feminine expectations; but I don't care. I am so happy for the women who embrace this part of themselves... I would imagine that it removes a lot of stress and shame. Of course I would love to eventually get to that point so that I can move forward with pieces of life worry free, but I don't know if I will. And this is what makes me human just like the rest.
Do you have any experience with something of this nature? What is your understanding on this topic? Do you have another part of your body that causes you this much shame?
So, I wrote this a year ago, and I've been taking hormones for PCOS and it's been kind of working. But not too much. I realize that there are solutions like laser hair removal, but I'm not looking for "fixes" necessarily. Just a way to communicate that sometimes there are things about our body that we just don't like. And if you find yourself hating a part of you, you're not alone.