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.
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.