Friday, February 28, 2014

Breaking Beard



I feel like my posts lately have been kind of shallow. I feel like maybe once in a while I should write about something important that affects us as mature women, something that is fundamental to our well-being and self-image. So I've decided to write about facial hair.

This actually started out to be a funny post. But then something changed. After wearing my Frida necklace in my last post, I realized I had never really appreciated her strength and amazing originality.


Her unibrow and mustache fit in with my idea of writing about facial hair and led me to some interesting articles online. SeƱora Kahlo embraced her uniqueness and didn't try to conform – her image was her trademark. But how would you feel about seeing facial hair on women in everyday life?

There's a very interesting article on Jezebel here about a Sikh woman who has a noticeable beard. Her photo was posted on Reddit derisively, but she responded to it with outstanding grace and an explanation of her religious beliefs. The way the story ends is quite gratifying.

I read once that most women would be able to grow an obvious beard if they didn't remove their facial hair. My facial hair is not very noticeable, but I was born a brunette so I do have random black hairs on my face. Some have turned white now, but they're still bristly. Mostly I pluck (I find it so satisfying!) and I also shave my chin. I used to ignore my mustache, but it started looking more obvious to me a few years ago, so now I shave that, too. I leave the softer, lighter hair on my cheeks.

There is a little patch of black hairs under my lower lip, which I usually shave. It's my own little soul patch. (According to the Urban Dictionary the term soul patch has been replaced by dork tuft or douche tag, but Ima stick with soul patch.)

Howie Mandel's soul patch - Creative Commons

I've decided to leave it alone for a while. I admit I'm a little cowardly because I'm not going to stop plucking and shaving all the other hair, and I really don't think my soul patch will be very noticeable. But I'll know it's there, subverting convention.


my  little soul patch - can you see it?

Is that radical? Would you grow your facial hair?

Val

24 comments:

  1. Hmm. Interesting. At the moment, I say no, I wouldn't. I get the odd single dark hair on the side of my chin which I pluck out (it's always in the same place, as though that one hair follicle is on crazy overdrive or something). The whole female body/facial hair debate is always food for thought. The idea that it can be described as "unfeminine" is laughable, since we all have underarm and leg hair, and many of us have facial hair too. Apparently it's supposed to be the Year of the Bush too, but that's a whole other story! I guess any time a woman flouts convention and braves ridicule to do her own thing with her own body, it's radical, although it shouldn't be anyone's business but her own. xxxx

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  2. I have very dark hair and started waxing my upper lip as early as high school. It's now such a part of my beauty regimen - right up there with pedicures - that I don't even think twice about it. That said, the other day, my aesthetician asked me if I wanted under my lower lip waxed, something I never had to do but, when she shoved the mirror at me and I peered, I saw what she meant. At the time, I was horrified and gave her an emphatic yes, please! After having read your post, however, I wonder if I should wear it as a badge of honor. "I survived my 30s" or something like that?

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  3. Wait - what?! You're using my button! My button for T3!!! I mean, I made them but I never thought anyone would use them! Squeeeee! Thanks for the promo. I feel honored to be in such hallowed company.

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  4. Interesting topic! I always thought of myself as pretty facially hairless, but either I'm totally out of it, or Asian women have some high freaking standards. I've had more than a few point out my eyebrows (which I do pluck, but sparingly), my sideburns, and my moustache. I've never trimmed or groomed the last two. I occasionally mime stroking a fu manchu. :D

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  5. Also, I'm totally going to use your term 'drumstick thighs' from now on!

    A Japanese term is 'daikon ashi' - having legs that are thick at top that narrow dramatically like the icicle radish.

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  6. The joys of post menopause... the hair on your head thins and it somehow moves to your face.
    If I find any strays on my face , they are plucked. Thank heavens for a magnifying mirror, the eyesight has also changed. Vanity or habit not sure.

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  7. You are so brave to show your chinny hairs. NO! I would not grow a beard; at least, not while I have the strength and eyesight to pluck them!

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  8. I've always thought that if I could only take one thing with me to a desert island it would be a toss up between my tweezers and my sunscreen. I think the tweezers would win. I can always sit in the shade.

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  9. Well, to answer your question, I had to peer very closely at the screen to see your little soul patch. Low thyroid perhaps, but I don't have a lot of body hair...at least not right now. It's anyone's guess what my body will be like in a year.

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  10. I can't see the hairs!! I have Greek blood so I expect I'll develop something but hope not!!! I don't think id shave but who knows! X

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  11. Lol Val--I also posted the shallowness of my recent posts but somehow facial hair did not come to mind--
    I have been somewhat surprised lately at how many women shave, myself included, railing against the common standard that it would "grow in darker and thicker". I hope by the time that happens to me Ill be too blind to see it. Xoxo

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  12. Wow. I think I need a magnifying glass. I can barely make out what you're talking about.

    I've had "sideburns" since I was 9 I think. That is just the way my hair grows. I don't worry about it. Since I'm blond all of my hair is basically invisible anyhow. Already I have to dye my brows and wear mascara for my lashes.

    I wouldn't let other facial hair grow though. Already my husband is pretty picky about me having hair anywhere else. That would be a huge turn-off for him. And it does matter than I'm still desirable for him. I ask him to shave for me. I figure it balances out.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  13. I had to squint to see yours! I couldn't grow mine out, admittedly I doubt it would be a beard but I am quite hairy and I am now getting hairs on my breasts too, if I am frank I am a little embarrassed by the boob hair however I don't feel the need to remove it yet, my facial and neck hair is waxed and plucked x x x

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  14. I've been lucky to not have a lot of body hair, and most of it (legs and arms) has been very light in colour. However, in the last few years, I've noticed a few strays popping up on my chin and on my breasts that get plucked when they get long enough. There are no end to the indignities that come after 50 ;) If someone wants to let their body hair grow, more power to them, but I'll still keep shaving my underarms as long as I can.

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  15. Fortunately I have blonde hair, also in the face. So it is not very obvious. But when I don't take care I would have a moustache. I fight it with the tweezers, nearly every second day.
    I love the appearance of Frida K. but I don't want to copy her. When I was a little girl I saw an old woman with a full beart. I was shoked.

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  16. I am just not ready to go all Duck Dynasty yet. I just don't have the nerve to not pluck/wax/shave.

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    1. lol at the Duck Dynasty reference..wish I had thought of that!! ;o)

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  17. Interesting subject. Your soul patch--I can't see it. You are lucky your hairs are light in color. My nasty facial hair is dark and I've had electrolysis to remove it. No fun to do but it worked for the most part. I do know a woman that let's her hairs grow as a point of wisdom and pride.

    blue hue wonderland

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  18. I do have some now, very little that's menopause for you - You wish the hair would grow at the right places like my eyebrows that i plucked and plucked for so long in my youth,but no they at weirdest places - I have one exactly at the same place as yours, but i pluck it -
    Frida never plucked maybe she didn't have the plucker to pluck maybe? Maybe she hated it? Maybe she shaved it once and it grew even more, so left it alone - or maybe she wanted to look like a man...she liked women i think?

    No i would not grow my facial hair!

    Btw Val you are not shallow at all, you are funny most of the time, and i like it, there is a lot of seriousness in blog land, i think, to much in fact - I think you are refreshing !

    Keep it that way!

    Hugs

    Arianexo

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  19. My family has always called those 'wild hairs'. I get one dark hair once in a blue moon in strange spots. Sometimes my chin, once on my shoulder, occasionally on a spot on my arm in the middle of a bunch of blonde hairs. Bodies are interesting that way!

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  20. oooh a touchy subject for this little mixed European gal! I've got all the dark, hairy races in my geneology..Italian, Polish and Hungarian...so imagine all the hair I lighten,shave, wax and otherwise rid myself of!! I have a mustache under my mustache that no amount of hair lightener will take care of, because it is actually a case of hyper-pigmentation caused by this damned AZ sunshine. So, for me, no Khaloesqe appreciation of my hairy attributes! I am not that evolved.

    xo,
    Alyssa

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    1. I understand the hyperpigmentation thing...I have it on my upper lip. sucks.

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  21. We're not very hair chicks in my family... even when the hormones start going nuts in the latter years. But we all do have one strange facial hair issue in common: sideburns. They're fine but they're there, more so than the average woman often reaching the jawline. I used to shave them, not because they bothered me, but more for appearance sake. Too itchy so I stopped. They're still there and I just don't care.

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  22. I struggle with facial hair. I have PCOS. I do what I can to get rid of it :(

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Enough about me - let's talk about you!