? !

Thank you, boy on the bus, for your *overwhelming* sensitivity.

I was, obviously, on the bus today when one of two boys having a discussion declared that if he “had a daughter with a mustache, [he’d] make her shave it.”

There are just so many things wrong with that statement.

First of all, let’s think about what shaving does to someone. When a young teenager first grows “peach fuzz” on their face, it is thin, wispy, soft. It is hardly noticeable at all, compared to the hair on grown men. Throughout a boy’s life, he will likely shave his face more and more often, as the hair grows back quicker and thicker. Darker, too, usually.

The same thing would happen to women with facial hair if we shaved it.

So if you want your daughter to have a thick, glorious mustache, then go ahead and suggest shaving to her. But in this modern day where that is socially unacceptable, women with facial hair have three options, only, if they want to conform:

  1. Waxing. Essentially, you go to a salon, they spread a special warm wax over your upper lip/chin, press some paper over it, and rip it all off with your hair. This hurts like hell, sometimes takes more than one try, and costs at least $8 a visit. If you go once a month, allowing a week or two with a full mustache in between visits, that is $96 a year. You do need it to grow out somewhat in order for the waxing process to work, so you can never be permanently mustache-free.
  2. Tweezing. Literally plucking it out, hair by hair, with tweezers. This is far more painful, and far less effective, for the strands will often break, having the same effect as cutting or shaving hair: promoting thick growth. It is also incredibly time-consuming.
  3. Laser or electrolysis treatments. These both sound so frightening, technical, and dangerous that I do not want to touch on these at all. 

Of course, the least acceptable, but most comfortable option for hirsute women is to just say to themselves: "This is natural. If society doesn’t like it, fuck them."
And mean it.

Now we can touch on the fact that you would force your daughter to change her body to your liking. There is nothing unsanitary about allowing hair to grow wherever it does. Therefore, it is a purely aesthetic option, and aesthetic decisions are personal decisions.

Besides that, it breeds insecurity in your daughter that her own father would tell her that her natural form is somehow lacking and unacceptable. This would be a terribly harsh blow. The daughter may not feel it consciously, but it would affect her decisions or feelings on aesthetics and body image. If her own parents can’t accept her, how is she supposed to accept herself and foster self-confidence?

Maybe this seems ridiculous to the majority of you that would see this, but for hirsute women, this is a serious issue. It is painful to not offend society’s delicate senses on the image of a ‘proper’ woman.

There is little to no pain involved in plucking my eyebrows or shaving my legs, even though I have sensitive skin that despises shaving. But I haven’t touched my upper lip since the start of this summer. I will probably have to get it waxed again at some point, but I would rather avoid it for as long as possible. The nervous anticipation, the painful rip, the burning afterwards, the watering eyes, the anxiety-ridden walk home in which I hope no one notices my red upper lip, lest they know what I’ve just gotten finished doing.

It’s dreadful. And I only have a mustache; some women have a full back of hair.

So thank you, boy on the bus, for your consideration of the hirsute ladies around you as well as your potential future daughter. The insecurity monster loves it when generous people like you feed it.

Have a great life.

  • 27 October 2011
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