The first time I ever had my eyebrows plucked was the night before my wedding. My bridesmaids basically sat on me while one of them used a pair of tweezers to individually yank hairs out of my face while my skin (and my mouth) screamed. I am #notafan of tweezing.
After that, I did get into the habit of waxing my eyebrows every 3-6 months or so, with the exception of the time that my sister talked me into getting my brows threaded and it was, no hyperbole, the single most painful thing I have ever opted to do to myself. Halfway through, the lady stopped and said she didn’t want to continue because my eyes were tearing up so badly and I told her that we must push through.
At nail salons, when I go in to get my eyebrows waxed, I got used to the cosmetic techs ask/screaming me loudly if YOU WANT UPPER LIP TOO while I follow them back to the storage closet that doubles as a waxing room. I’ve always politely refused, as waxing the soft skin on my upper lip made me feel like they would just rip my lips clean off and I’d be left looking like a potato.
I’ve always had very fine, very blonde facial hair.
Until I turned 30.
That’s when the hairs on my chiny-chin-chin started making dark, dramatic appearances. One day, you’re fine, and the next, you’re poking your child in the eye with a wiry chin hair the thickness of a piano wire. Those devious chin hairs. Are they doing all of their growing underneath your skin, filling up your sinuses, until it’s time for them to pop out in an unpleasant surprise party? How do they grow 4 inches in one morning?
Stupid, sneaky chin (and occassionally eyebrow) hairs.
Anyway. I’ve been losing hair on my head over the past 18 months or so. I’m working with various medical professionals on it. Some of them have said that they suspect it may be stress-related because you know COVID + seizures + parenting + life. One doctor said that, while my anti-anxiety med might be helping me keep my shit together on a day-to-day basis, my body might still be oozing all of the stress from the last two years, which is super fun.
Vanity is not one of my core sins but a doctor did suggest I start taking Rogaine and that sent me into a tailspin. I’ve found that I can be a little sensitive about it.
Enter: passport pictures
The Kid and I needed to renew our passports for our eventual travel outside these here United States so we schlepped over to Wal-greens on a Saturday morning. I did not much consider that this picture would live with me for the next 10 years. So…
Why? Just so many things why.
Why the weird smile? Why didn’t I take my purse off? Why do I look like a fucking blockhead Minecraft character?
I’m losing hair at my temples and, combined with my very strange George Washington bun, my head looks like a straight-up square.
Look. I am not a vain person, clearly. I don’t wear make-up unless I am in a wedding. My clothes aren’t wrinkled because I hang them up right out of the dryer and/or I don’t really buy clothes that wrinkle.
But this picture did me dirty.
Combine the self-esteem aftermath of this picture with the fact that my mustache hairs have been…louder …lately and, I decided that I needed some assistance.
Let me be LOUD and CLEAR that I believe people should be able to do whatever the fuck they want to with their bodies, hopefully without the damaging influence of culture saying that *all the things* are ugly and bad and terrible. I had friends in high school that shaved their arms. I’ve had hot coworkers in their early 20s get Botox. I know women that won’t leave the house or even their bedrooms without a full face of make-up. I hate the way that culture polices bodies and makes us spend so much mental effort and real-life dollars trying to look a certain way.
I love seeing women that buck cultural body standards with their hairy pits or mustaches. I love that gender fluidity is bringing some relief to the crushing weight of societal expectations. I’m of the “you do you, boo” mindset. Okay?
With that being said, I had a square head and a slightly thickening ‘stache.
I can easily fix one of those things.
So I bought some dermaplaners. To be fair, I think the razor companies realize that most women don’t want to picture themselves in a barber’s chair with shaving cream piled on their upper lip, while a barber sharpens his blade against his leather strap. So, while they do call these razors, we are not shaving, ladies. We are dermaplaning.
Last night, I checked a youtube video to make sure I didn’t give myself Joker-level scars with this thing and I placed myself in front of my bathroom mirror.
It was honestly very anticlimactic. My little hairs came off quite easily.
I woke up at 1:30am choking. I think it’s just slow-moving nasal drip that got caught at the wrong place but my very first thought was that I had inhaled the tiny mustache hairs and they had impaled themselves into my lungs. After I finished coughing, I laid back down and thought about what my epitaph would have been if my facial hair had caused my demise.
Here lies Beth, her dead form rare
After choking on her mustache hair
Cheers to getting older!