I wasn't sure what I was going to talk about first, but it turns out, I feel like talking about perspective.
As in realizing, "It could be worse."
Of course, some days I wake up, catch a brand new razor blade on ingrown hairs along my chin--faces bleed like ankles if you know what I mean, ladies--and while trying to staunch the flow so I can put on makeup, my liquid foundation clogs in the ravaged, dried out skin along my jawline. And the time ticks by and I have to go to work, and I think, "How can it be worse?"
My mother was driving me home from my laser hair removal session, the afternoon my technician finally conceded it wasn't making a difference. I stared out the window, contemplating all the money I'd spent and all the wasted effort trying not to hope for too much all these months. And my mother, who has always been slightly overweight and always unhappy about it, asked me: "Would you rather be fat, or would you rather have this?"
Without hesitation, I said, "I'd rather be fat."
Now, overweight people have just as much social stigma to deal with, and their qualifying characteristics are far more widespread, and yet still not accepted. How many reality TV shows are there now about people losing weight? And still, as a group they're probably one of the most mocked. But "overweight" does not have to equal unpretty in society, and certainly not unfeminine. No doubt someone who has to live day in and day out with extra body fat will argue, but my point is not that "being fat is better than being hairy." My point is that everyone can think of something slightly less crappy they'd rather be dealing with. Staying strictly in a cosmetic vein, what about being born with a facial deformity? Having to lose one or both breasts in a battle against cancer?
Besides, I've yet to meet an overweight person who would take on enough body hair to make a teenage boy turn green in exchange for an "ideal" body mass. One very overweight person I know said of a hirsute woman he saw, "I felt guilty for looking without buying a ticket!" Another one, as a commercial for Tweezie came on the TV, cried out, "Eww! That's so gross!" (It might be worth noting here that these are two people who are not--so far as I know--aware of my condition.)
I mean, sure, from afar you have shapely legs and a slim waist, but what happens when you attract someone to come within an arm's length of you? That's another entry for another time.
What I'm trying to say is, self pity is normal. Expected. Maybe even required. But when I need to pull myself out of it and you know, get on with life, it helps to realize that I'm really very fortunate. There are other cosmetic and medical conditions that I personally would have an even harder time living with.