I'm back from my lake frolicking, and I'm sure some girls out there would ask me how a woman with so much hair could enjoy a sun-and-sand sort of holiday. Yes, there's the unfamiliar lighting situation in the bathroom and the constant need to keep body hair invisible, not allowing the delicate skin any rest at all. But I cheat. Stomach fuzz unsuccessfully removed? There are some fun one-piece swimsuits out there these days. Chest and armpits getting irritated? A crew neck t-shirt over a swimsuit top will hide it all and still look beachy. And who else is glad the bermuda-length short came back into style? Raise your hand! Long board shorts keep me from having to shave up past the knee if I don't feel like it, and so many people are wearing them in the water that you'd never stand out. There are ways to hide things without looking like you're hiding them, and if you feel that you don't look like you're hiding anything, you start to forget that you have anything to hide and just have yourself some fun. A girl can look cute on the beach without revealing all that skin.
Besides, there was less family at the lake this year, and less people to hide myself from. There was some relief in that. But some loneliness, too.
As I was thinking on my trip about the comfort of more modest beach attire, and the huge amount of relaxation awarded when you can skip a day or two of shaving and plucking at least one or two areas, I remembered a different holiday. The summer after I finished laser treatment, I didn't have to worry about shaving my face at all for a few months. On that holiday, the simple knowledge that the beard was not going to crop up (even though I checked religiously every morning) made me feel so comfortable with myself that I wasn't nearly as bothered about the rest of my body hair. I didn't stress about waking up early to get to the bathroom first. If I felt like leaving my legs a little prickly, I did. With only one single worry removed, I felt that much better about myself. I felt I was tackling nearly the same amount of hair as the average woman, and that gave me the courage to fudge it.
Will we ever be able to truly enjoy the same summer fun everyone else can enjoy? While we still struggle with hair removal, it will be hard to say. I don't know if a girl can rely primarily on a hair removal method or cute, covering swimwear to give her the power to overcome the feeling that it's a constant war to keep the hirsutism hidden. It may have to come from somewhere deeper.