May 31, 2011

The Beard Project

Bearded woman Paula documents her experience when she challenges herself to stop shaving for three months.

And then this weekend, she posted this video to mark the unexpected end of her project:

So the beard had to go because of a job interview. And it's one of the last things I think about, when I fantasize about being utterly myself, inside and out, by letting the beard grow. If I had that courage, I could probably deal with the strange looks, or alienating some people who I thought were my friends. My beard would be a filter, separating the important, truly loving people in my life from the shallow ones. As there's no other noted bearded lady where I live, people would probably quickly come to recognize me, and either be repulsed, or realize that here's just another human being with a neat genetic quirk. It might inspire people, the way these videos inspired me... not so much to do the same thing, but to just be okay with who you are. Because really, there are a lot of other women just like us.

But when it comes to a job, very few would employ a woman with a beard to represent their company in any way. Most want a clean-cut, normal-looking person... and some will only hire especially good-looking employees. You often can't have unique-colored hair or piercings, or express your personal style through clothing... and that's just because so much of a business' reputation is all about image. As Paula points out in her latest video it's true for women and for men. I know I could not be allowed to do my job if I stopped shaving. Actually, that might be a fascinating situation to see how my boss might approach asking me to shave, and if I refused, how he would decide to dismiss me in a legal and politically correct way. That would be kind of amusing...

And being unable to find a job anywhere but a circus (I'm exaggerating here) would leave me free to pursue my artistic dreams, for which I do not have to represent anybody but myself and my work. That's almost tempting.

Anyway, I loved watching these videos and seeing a woman who faces her fear like that. If I ever saw her on the street I think I'd just run up and hug her, and royally freak her out. Thank you to Sophie for finding these!

May 24, 2011


This weekend I gave myself one of the worst nicks I've ever had. It immediately flooded me with anger, because I know I was being careless and trying too hard to get a close shave around my chin area. Idiot, it's a new style of blade, I'm still learning how to use it! Should have been more careful.

So now there's a Psycho-esque mess going down the drain, and it will not. Stop. Bleeding. I tried all the usual tricks. Cold water. Pressure. Bits of toilet paper. Globbing on the thickest substance to hand (usually my facial soap) just to at least keep it from streaming down my neck. Nothing worked but time. And then trying to cover up the scab with make up? Forget about it! Every time I tried, I would disturb the clot and and open the flood gates all over again.

I ended up having to cancel my plans for the morning. I thought there was no way I was going out to be around human beings. So I shed some tears of frustration and self pity, cuddled my dog, had a cup of tea. And then when I felt I'd wasted enough time feeling sorry for myself, I just... went on with life. But the awareness that I avoided something because I wanted to hide how I looked haunted my mood for some time afterward. I know full well that is not the way it should be. But it's the way that it is--it's hard to help that.

May 11, 2011

Where's Allerleirah?

I'm here. And I've not forgotten about you guys.

I'm going through various family and personal stuff right now, unrelated to my usual hairy self. Very little of it is dire, some of it is even very positive, but it is very consuming because it's happening all at once. I need to focus on life for hopefully just a little bit longer, and then we should be back to a more normal updating schedule. Please be patient with me. I am coming back.

Oh, and guess what happened to me tonight? My hair dresser got a little carried away and now my hair is so short I can't hide behind it. That's been a fear of mine for ages, but my hair dresser knows I'm timid about cutting it, and I always remind her of where I draw the "too short" line. Nothing above the chin! Maybe she was having an off day, I don't know. It's a beautiful cut, but it's not me, and it's not comfortable. But regardless, now I have to live with it. At least it'll grow back, and fairly quickly.