While I was shaving last night, I had my usual slight bout of irritation over the poor quality of my shave. I don’t know if it’s the razors themselves, the soap, or perhaps my technique, but lately I haven’t been able to get the clean shave I desire.

The humble razor. Covers a whole range of sins, doesn't it, ladies?
The humble razor. Covers a whole range of sins, doesn’t it, ladies?

I then thought of the lovely shaving equipment my brother bought my dad for his birthday, and I thought maybe this could be a good opportunity to treat myself. I grow hair on my face; why shouldn’t I have nice equipment to take care of it?

I then thought, as I often do, about the implications of being a woman and admitting, with relative ease, that I exhibit more traditionally masculine physical qualities like growing facial hair*. From an objective stand point, it should be the same as being a man who does not grow facial hair. Their friends might give them grief for it (which I don’t necessarily approve of, but that’s a post for another time), but their general adequacy as a member of the human race is not brought into question.

Not so for us bearded ladies. I have always questioned the idea of any unusual hair growth being “gross”, especially seeing how we try to promote as much growth with the hair on our heads as we can, but we bearded ladies are labelled gross, freaky, sub-human, men-in-disguise, and a whole bunch of other really insulting shit.

The insults themselves do not necessarily bother me, but I do find it ironic that traits such as being a tomboy, liking maths and science, knowing about cars, etc, are seen as very attractive by many, but as soon as any “male” qualities present themselves in a woman’s physical appearance, that woman is seen as freakish and sub-human. The message here seems to be “We do not care about what hobbies and interests you choose to pursue. These qualities are unimportant. But as soon as your appearance becomes anything less than 100% feminine, we care a great deal”.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I find that troubling on many levels.

 

*To clarify, around 50% of women grow some amount of hair on their face, so it’s not exactly unusual. I do however grow more than most women, as it runs along part of my jawline and under my chin.

26 thoughts on “The Word Needs to Get Over Us Hairy Women

  1. Since I have dark hair, I have some perceptible hair on my upper lip (the horror!!). I used to endure waxings, which were awful, painful, and made little difference! Now I just ignore it.

  2. THANK YOU! Many people women comment on this (or I assume lol), but f&*k it: YES, I am hairy! So what, AND I have dark hair. Sometimes I wax/shave depending on what I wear but for the most part I just leave it alone. Hair does not equal bad hygiene I hate when people equate the two.

  3. WORD!!!!!
    I stumbled upon your blog and I find the blatant disregard for societal bullshit values refreshing!
    I knew a guy who wanted someone to look like a “hairless playboy bunny” ( if that even exists), something she agonisingly explained she couldn’t be, ever. Thank Goodness for her she got rid of the a**hole.
    Thank you for this. I love you. Yeah, I’m honest that way.
    http://angstychutzpah.wordpress.com/

      1. hahaha
        I love you even more now 😀
        Love and heartfelt goo wishes, rainbows and sparkles all the way from the backdrop of Himalayas, Skardu, Pakistan :*

  4. Ugh I totally feel you sister!!! Because I have dark hair the bodily hair tends to be exaggerated. I always have to get my upper lip and chin threaded every two weeks. If I let it go past that I feel like a man. And I hate it. I don’t like when people get close to me because I feel like they’re staring at my mustache. And hair elsewhere where it normally doesn’t belong?!? Like lets say… NIPPLES?!?! My boyfriend told me that he’s never met a girl with hair on her nipples… But luckily for me, NOTHING on my breasts will stop him from groping me. This may be TMI but there is hope on finding someone who will ACCEPT you, so long as you accept yourself. I couldn’t believe it, how much he loves those puppies, hairless (tweezed clean) or not. Doesn’t stop him.

    1. Interesting comment. I can’t say I’ve let anyone close enough to my nipples for them to provide me with feedback on the hair there, but from my perspective… I honestly find it fascinating more than anything else right now. When I find it irritating again I’ll get rid of it, like I always do with what’s on my face, but for now, meh.

  5. So much agree! Thanks for posting this – I’ve always found people’s disgust for hair weird, especially because there’s a disparity between genders. I mean, it’s just hair. Why is it attractive on certain areas of the body, but not on others?

    1. exactly. Maybe it’s because I come from a somewhat hairy family? I don’t know. But it only ever bothers me when it’s really obviously very dirty. But that’s more a hygiene thing.

  6. I think this is an issue that we as a society struggle with. As a woman, I feel squeamish about my own hair that is anywhere but my head, eyebrows and eyelashes. And it’s my own damn hair… Why on earth am I grossed out by it?

    Ugh.

  7. I don’t really find it troubling. You can’t change people’s sexuality or what they’re attracted to by debating it. Personality wise it’s easier to go-with-the-flow but when it comes to the body we’re biologically inclined towards certain things. Beards make the jawline stand out, something that would make a woman look more masculine.
    However, that of course does not give anyone the right to call names or treat people differently.
    But people still have a right to not find beards on women attractive. We can’t live in a utopia society where everybody only cares about the purple fluff inside our beautiful hearts. If we did we just wouldn’t be human.

  8. I don’t shave my underarms in the winter and hardly ever shave my legs. I resent feeling like I have to do it.

  9. I wish I didn’t grow facial hair. I don’t think about it in other people, but in myself it is bad news. Every time I shave I get a rash and bleeding everywhere. Just know that I share problems with this too, although a different nature.

  10. I have always had insecurities about my body hair; hairy arms, knuckles, sideburns that try to be like Elvis, upper lip hair and even hair that likes to grow on my neck (under my chin). There has always been someone (mostly family and friends ) that would point out and comment. Over the years I tried to shave my arms or just wear long sleeve shirts all the time, or I would just get tired of all the looks and shave EVERYTHING lol But now I pick and choose my battles. I can’t just stop shaving because then I feel like when I go out, people are staring at the hairy parts, even though they probably aren’t.
    On another note: For my facial and leg hair I use a mans razor. I feel it gives a closer shave without nicks. If I want silky legs then I use this concoction I found on Pinterest where you combine baby oil, and sugar to make a scrub, Scrub it on your legs as an exfoliant, wash off and shave with shaving cream, then rub the scrub on again (this gets the little hairs that are stuck under the skin) and shave one last time, repeat on the other leg. It’s a lot of work and kind of messy but well worth it!

  11. Some women with unwanted facial hair use the prescription medicine Aldactone; not a total cure but often helps. Just thought I’d put that out there for anyone who might be interested, although sounds like you’ve got your solution down pat. Congratulations on being FP’d!

  12. I grew up watching my mother shave; I thought that was something women, as well as men, had to do. It wasn’t until I mentioned it to a friend at school that I realized that hairy women are ‘freaks’ and I should never mention it again. Well, I inherited that trait, so I guess I’m a freak, too. I’m fortunate that my facial hair is tamed with tweezing and wax strips (depilatories and razors wreak havoc on my sensitive skin), but my body hair is something else altogether. I can never wear shorts above the knee. Hell, I barely wear anything but long pants and long sleeves. Fortunately for me, my husband has never found it to be an issue. But I so agree — there is such a double standard it is ridiculous! And boy is it a self-esteem sinkhole for me. I think it’s a shining example of “life isn’t fair.”

  13. As another hairy girl, I thank you for providing a forum for us hair-laden women to express our regularly suppressed insecurities about our excessive hair. I used to shave my arms, still shave the other acceptable parts of my body (yes, sometimes that includes the knuckles or my bottom), and every fortnight I take the blessed tweezer to my upper lip, chin, and nips. It is a welcome reassurance to read that others experience the same ordeals, so thank you.

  14. I resent having to shave; shaving wreaks havoc on my delicate skin with ingrown hairs and blood and the rest. However my distaste for shaving is in a constant battle with embarrassment about looking too hairy in public. My logical mind doesn’t want to waste time on such things, but my gut looks down and sees furry unfeminine knees. I solve this problem by wearing leggings 95% of the time so I only have to depilate in the absolute heat of the summer. Even then, I’m blonde so it’s not really that painful. I think if that weren’t the case I’d say fuckit and go full gorrilla.

    I think my furry knees look ridiculous so I feel obligated to do something about them. All I can say is, thank god for boots/leggings/tights.

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