December 28, 2011

Smacking Myself

I guess even a woman with a beard has some sensitivity lessons left to learn.

My step-sister has been getting eczema off and on for a while now, and recently developed an infection in the eczema around her eyes.  It's gotten emergency-room severe a couple of times now, as antibiotics in pill-form seem unable to help her overcome it.  Her face has become a hard, cracking, crusty, scaly, itchy, painful visage.  Because of the infectious nature of the infection, she is not allowed to attend her college classes.  So she spends much of her time in her room.  She says its because she doesn't like people looking at her.

I caught myself saying, rather haughtily, "Well, now she knows how I feel all the time!"  What the heck was that?  When did I start thinking I have the monopoly on humiliating cosmetic conditions?

So what if a sudden acute attack of a skin condition is not quite comparable to an incurable chronic issue that calls into question one's gender identity?  That's just technicalities.  It's all about the way a person feels about themselves.  Whatever the severity of someone's perceived "problem" with their body, it's all relative.  It's not a contest to see who is the most hard-done-by. 

There are girls who call themselves "bearded ladies" who simply have a lot of blond vellus hair on their chins.  I might wish that was all I had to contend with, but the way they feel about themselves is valid.  They might very well feel worse than I do.  I've got to be careful of this tendency to be too full of self pity.
I think sometimes, as human beings, we enjoy self pity.  We enjoy being in pain.  Maybe becoming okay with ourselves as women with beards involves letting go of the pleasure of wallowing.

I have promised myself to be more understanding and encouraging to my step-sister from here on.  Maybe it could be worse.  But to her, nothing could be worse right now.

December 20, 2011


Lately I’ve been fantasizing about what it would be like to be totally comfortable with myself as a hirsute woman.  ...A hirsute woman who hides her hair.

Kind of an oxymoron, but in my fantasy it makes sense.  In my fantasy, I still shave and pluck and cake on make-up and take three pills a day so as not to draw attention to myself, so as not to let hair get in the way of first, second, third impressions.  But in my fantasy, I’m also okay with who I am, how I was born, how my body has developed.

I’m in a car with a bunch of friends.  And friends of friends.  Not all of them are people I know well, but probably people I’ll see again.  And there’s an argument of the sexes going on, as often is the case with people around my age, trying to get a leg up on the other.  A guy tries to win the argument of who has a harder job getting ready in the morning by saying, “Until you know what it’s like to have to shave every morning, you know nothing about hard work!”  (And yes, I’ve seen this argument in action before.  It has been used, heh.)  I say, a little bit smug, “Well since I do know what it’s like, I think I win.”  And when the raised eyebrows fly my way, I shrug comfortably and say, “What?  I have a beard.  So?”

...I guess, to me, being “okay” with being hirsute means talking about it.  (It may not be so for everyone, and that’s fine.  That’s awesome, in fact.  I remember when being “okay” with it meant I didn’t wake up, look in the mirror and want to cry.  Each step leads to another.)  Not all the time, just when it would be natural to bring it up in conversation if there were nothing “wrong” with it.  Talking about it as I would talk about my freckles; they’re there, they can’t be controlled, and even if some days I don’t like them, they’re nothing to be ashamed of

I imagine it being common knowledge amongst my acquaintances that yep, I have a beard.  And it ain’t no thang.  So common that it’s as boring, as old news, as when I cut my bum-length hair to my shoulders.  It shocked people at first, but now they have trouble even remembering it happened.  Maybe once in a while they might think of it, be reminded of it in idle conversation, but it’s hardly a topic to ponder on.  Or judge on.  Or act on. 

It’s just little old me.  Just a girl who shaves her face.  But dang does she ever make good cupcakes!

You know, as I'm formatting this for posting, it occurs to me to wonder something.

If I'm fantasizing, why am I not just fantasizing about not having hirsutism?

What do you suppose that means?  ;-)

December 13, 2011

The Jeremy Kyle Show - Woman with a Beard

The Jeremy Kyle Show - Woman with a Beard:

Rather simplistic when it comes to dishing out solutions, but I love that this woman appeared on TV. She's so dignified and calm and I want to hug her!

Thanks once again for finding this, Soph!

Also, this week on the All Kinds of Fur tumblr (always potentially NSFW) we're celebrating armpit hair with two photo posts a day.  Yay!  (Most of them are celebrity photos, as it's hard to find non-fetishized pictures of everyday girls and women comfortably displaying their fur.)

December 6, 2011

Product: KoS Azor System Razor

King of Shaves has never steered me wrong with anything of theirs I’ve tried so far: shaving oils, shaving gels, new shaving gels...  And their razor kept receiving awards so when I saw it on sale (as they were discontinuing the white model), I figured, worth a shot.  I’d never tried a men’s razor before; all the popular ones (and their replacement blades) were all so expensive.  And what’s more, I’d learned that the only real difference between a woman’s razor and a man’s was the angle of the head and/or the shape of the handle.  Shaving your face versus shaving your legs and armpits requires a different grip on the razor.  I’d become accustomed to shaving my face with disposable women’s razors anyway.

The first time I used it, I was amazed I'd only nicked myself once.  The angle was weird to me, and the Azor’s particularly bendy head was awkward because I wasn’t used to it.  But it was a nice result from four lovely, sharp blades.  Every razor’s first shave is usually nice.  Since April, I got through the learning curve, and I've finally gone through my first set of three cartridges.  I just ordered more

King of Shaves Azor System Razor


  • Four "Endurium" coated blades
  • Hinged razor head which they call their "Bendology Technology"
  • Large rubber bumper to lift stubble
  • Wishbone-shaped head
  • Ergonomic handle (light-weight or heavier version available)
  • Eco-friendly packaging

Things I liked:
  • The blades really last!  Whatever this “Endurium” stuff is, and yeah it sounds a bit like something they’d infuse Wolverine’s bones with, but I think it works.  I can go almost three months without replacing the cartridge--this is just using it on my face and armpits.
  • You can’t argue the price point.  At under $8 CAD for your first handle and the same price for 4 replacement cartridges (you get an even better deal if you buy 8), even with International shipping it’s cheaper than going into your local drugstore and picking up the leading men’s razor.  And as it lasts longer than my usual pack of disposable ladies razors, it ends up being cheaper than that too.
  • Because I go through less product, I feel I’m producing less waste.  Always a good thing.
    Things I didn't like:
    •  It is definitely a learning curve to switch to this, particularly from what I using before.
    • The “Bendology Technology” is a little soft for me.  It’s great if you’re a man as it provides just the right pressure for a close shave without irritation.  But as a woman who feels she simply cannot have any trace of shadow, I have to prop a couple of fingers against the cartridge when shaving around my chin for extra pressure.  I realize it's not proper but it's a necessity.  
    • Four blades makes for a flat but rather broad razor head.  A little more difficult to use on the curves of my girly little chin.

    Did it do what it promised?
    For a guy, it probably does shave better because it bends.  As a girl, that’s probably true in some areas of the body, but I’ve gotta press hard on my chin.  I don’t find any advantage of the large soft rubber bumper as regards to preventing cuts, but then I nick myself out of carelessness, regardless what kind of blade I’m using.  The blades last long, as advertised, and I have to agree it is certainly eco-friendly in design with minimal packaging.  I like it enough to keep using it, simply for the long-lasting blades.  Face shaving isn't ever going to be 100% comfortable, particularly for a woman, is it?

    See what other people thought of the Azor system razor:
    Skin Care for Men
    Review Centre