October 6, 2009

Beard Pride?

I learn through the grapevine of the Internet, through the "average" person's horrified exclamations or a woman's own proud defiance, that there are women out there who are not hiding their beards. It could be feminist thing, or a cultural thing. Perhaps all removal methods have been exhausted, or maybe it's just simply an acceptance thing. I see it as an I'm-not-sorry-I'm-me thing. Regardless of the reason, they're out there, courageous.

Sometimes I wonder if anyone would count it against me that I shave my beard and try to help others select their hair removal methods, all the while trying to tell readers, bearded and unbearded, that it's okay to have facial hair. If I'm hiding it, doesn't that indicate shame?

Well, yeah. I'm embarrassed. I don't talk to people about it, outside of my mother, my doctor (and if it counts, the two friends I've mentioned it to once), and the similarly afflicted, determined and beautiful women I've met online. If I'm feeling down and I find that I can't hide my hair as well as I would like to, I'll call in sick, shut myself in the house and throw a glorious pity party. But considering the widely held standards of attractiveness, can any hirsute women be faulted for feeling ashamed?

My goal is not to advocate the way we should present our bodies. That's every person's individual choice. What I want is to share and explore, and make other women see that they're not alone. I hope that the more comfortable we become thinking about it and talking about it, the easier it will be to live with hirsutism--or for those who don't have it, the easier it will be to not even see the hirsutism. Whether a woman wants to hide it or show it, we all have no choice but to wear it, so accepting it is probably what we need to work on.

Am I the only one who's wondered what they'd look like if they grew out their beard, though? I'd need an extended leave from work to find out, because I certainly wouldn't be comfortable wearing it out in public. But you know, some people do that sort of thing as a marathon for charity, or to nurture solidarity--hockey playoffs, the final push to the end of a big project and soforth. I'm trying to see myself at full bushiness and it makes me giggle. It would have to be one heck of a project.


Sophie said...

What a beautiful article.

Al, I think I'm gonna join them... The beard wearing ones... I'll write more in the e-mail...

its always and only about self acceptance...

Allerleirah said...

If you do and it makes you happy, I'll be so jealous! :D