I admire women who are confident enough to embrace their imperfections and find a way to grow old gracefully. I don’t want to be the kind of woman who has a plastic surgeon on retainer or one who is still wearing Juicy Couture when she’s fifty years old.
The way I see it, there are two ways to approach aging: you can either try to hide your imperfections and wind up looking like a bald guy in a bad toupee; or you can let nature take its course and save yourself a lot of money on plastic surgery, beauty products and bad rugs.
I do have my limits though. When nature goes beyond a few grey hairs or wrinkles and starts throwing weird gender curveballs, even I have to say screw it to the growing old gracefully crap. On some level, men expect to lose a little hair when they get older and women expect their boobs to sag. But when women go bald and men get saggy boobs, something has gone very, very wrong.
I may not be battling male-pattern baldness (yet), but there is another masculine issue I’m trying to contend with – I’m starting to look like the character Shaggy from Scooby-Doo.
There are a lot of guys who can rock a goatee, but I’m not one of them…. probably because I’m not a guy!!! It makes NO sense. I never participated in medical experiments for money, never lived near a nuclear power plant, and I’m pretty sure none of my immediate ancestors were gorillas. So what’s with the freaky facial hair??
In my early 20’s I laughed about the one stray chin hair that would occasionally crop up. It was funny for a few reasons….
- There was only one of them.
- Everything is much funnier when you’re young, stupid, and don’t realize the middle-aged crap that’s waiting for you around the corner.
- By the time it was discovered it was about four inches long, which gave it kind of a circus-freak-show quality. And who isn’t entertained by freak show oddities?
Inevitably I would spot the errant chin hair when I was outside my house – a quick glance in the rearview mirror when the sun hit me at just the right angle, or in a public bathroom underneath the unforgiving florescent lights. Then I was left to wonder how long it had gone undetected and how many other people had noticed it before I did. But one quick pull of my tweezers was all it took to return me to my normal, non-freak show appearance. No big deal.
It became decidedly less funny when that singular whisker got lonely and thought it was a good idea to invite all of its hairy friends to come live with it – on my face. I thought my new goatee was a byproduct of my second pregnancy (the hormonal gift that keeps on giving) because they seemed to coincide with each other. But it could also just have been the first, in a long line of reminders that I’m no longer in my twenties.
Either way, it was a problem that was no longer resolved by a quick yank of my tweezers. Now it was a daily project to make sure I didn’t walk out of the house looking like the bearded lady. No matter how much time I spent yanking hair out of my face, there was always one or two (dozen) that I missed. I swear I heard my tweezers groan at me one day as if to say, “Sorry Hun, this ain’t gonna cut it anymore.”
Even though I was already getting my eyebrows and lip waxed once a month, I was resistant to waxing my chin at first. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was because I knew tons of girls who waxed their eyebrows and lip – it seemed as mainstream as getting your hair dyed. But I had never once heard about another girl waxing her chin. Ever.
The hairy cheese stands alone.
Once tweezing became a part-time job, I finally caved in. During one of my waxing appointments with Geri (my professional waxer), I casually said something along the lines of, “While you’re at it, why don’t we wax my chin too.”
Even though Geri spends most of her work days elbow deep in women’s unwanted body hair, I still felt embarrassed to draw attention to an area of my body that by all gender rights, should be naturally hairless. So I tried to make it seem like I was enjoying the hair being ripped out of my face SO much that I hated to see it end with just my eyebrows and lip.
Geri made waxing my chin seem like a normal occurrence – maybe in her line of work it was. She talked about other female clients who came in with 5 o’clock shadow on their face and quickly followed up that statement with, “But you’re nowhere near that bad.” I love her. With that one comment, I went from feeling like a circus freak to being as normal as apple pie… or at least as normal as this apple pie….
After the waxing was done, I wondered why the hell I had waited so long. Sure, my chin felt like it was on fire, but in just a few seconds the wax had accomplished what it took my tweezers forever to do – my face was as smooth as a baby’s butt…. or a normal woman’s face.
I’m wondering if this is the last of the embarrassing facial hair problems or will muttonchops be next? Will I get to the point where it would be easier to have Geri cover my entire face with hot wax rather than doing it piecemeal? She could put it on like a mud mask, and then rip it off in one big sheet. Sure, my eyebrows would come off in the process but at least the painful part would be over quickly. And I think I could live without eyebrows – works for Whoopi Goldberg, right?
I don’t think waxing is a permanent solution though. Eventually I’m going to get to the point (in 30 or 40 years) where I don’t give a shit about getting rid of my facial hair anymore. Then my grandkids won’t want to kiss me because prickly kisses from Grandma are gross. Or worse – I’ll get into a horrible accident while I’m still young, wind up in a coma in the hospital, and my loved ones will be too busy crying to remember to wax off my goatee. (Note to my family: If I die looking like a Billy goat, I will haunt your ass forever.)
The only real solution to the problem is laser hair removal but it’s EXPENSIVE. What I need to find is a philanthropist who is uninterested in ending world hunger, saving poor children in third-world countries, or finding a cure for cancer. Someone with several thousand dollars burning a hole in their pocket, who would rather see me hairless than make the world a better place.
Mr./Mrs. Moneybags, if you’re out there, I promise to be the perfect charity case. I’ll send you monthly pictures of my hairless face, write you letters about my new life outside the freak show, and (as a one time special gift), I’ll mail you my old tweezers with your name embossed on them. I bet you won’t get a sweet deal like that from the guy over at the Christian Children’s Fund.