Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hairy Horrors

NB: This post may not be for guys!

My cousin and I sat on the edge of the pool, our feet dangling in the water. I would have been in year seven or eight. The hair on my toe caught bubbles of air and we laughed. Then I wondered why her feet weren't doing the same.

This is a shout-out to the other hirsute women out there, ashamed of something that is out of their control.

Puberty beat me with it's cruelest stick. Lanky and gonky and stringy, I starting developing hair under my arms in primary school. I have near black eyebrows and dark brown hair, so it was never going to be a downy, soft, peach fuzz. Invited to only one party with the 'popular' clique, I wore my best party outfit to the blue light disco. I hadn't been able to shift any of the hair running the scissor blade under my arm before my parents dropped me off, and I still remember the disgusted stare I got when I momentarily lifted my arms too high.

I started to steal my fathers navy blue disposable razors and guessed my way through what I thought I should do. I was too scared to ask my parents to buy me some of my own, so I would reuse them until the hairs were sharper than the blades.

The mole on my lip made me self conscious about people looking to closely at my face - it would sprout dark and strong hair that tickled my lip if I folded my mouth in the right way. When I got my first boyfriend I decided to do something about it, for fear he would say something or notice my man-mustache. Of course, this bought anxiety about other areas of hair that needed to be tended to. I had no idea what was normal, what it should look like, what people did and what was normal. I spent many a week fretting about going into the chemist to see what I could do - in the end, I bought a depilatory cream and just melted everything away (That might explain a bit my relief at getting that lip mole removed/minimised).

Gf1 and gf2 were over at my place a few weeks ago when gf1 mentioned she had access to a good deal on Intense Pulse Light hair removal - before she even finished her sentence I jumped in and told her to sign me up straight away.

Last Wednesday I had my first session and I can not put into words the amount of relief I felt lift off my shoulders just by walking through that door. I stood at the counter and confirmed I was there for the bikini/underarm package. I took a breath and told her 'I know this is gross. But I was wondering how much it would cost to get my feet zapped too'. She looked up at me and laughed 'Why would you think that is gross? That's fine, it won't cost any extra'.

It took less than ten minutes for all three areas to be zapped. She put me at ease as she asked me to lift my arms so she could have a close look - a big deal for someone who goes to great lengths to hide her automatic 5 o'clock shadow. She made small talk and joked as she zapped at my toes and the top of my feet. She was patient and understanding as I awkwardly shifted my underwear around so she could do what she needed - the first person to be anywhere near there since I was a young child (under non-romantic circumstances!).

She relayed a story of a girl who approached a different clinic because she was embarrassed about her hair problems - only to be met with a look of disgust from the receptionist girl. The hirsute girl finally got the nerve to come to this clinic to have her embarassing problem remedied, almost in tears again as she explained what had happened to her last time she had vulnerably reached out for help. It was towards the end of the story and the end of the session as she realised I was the same as that girl. 'You'll be so happy you've done this', she told me.

It will 8-10 months before the process is completed, the dark hair that has cursed me may be a blessing in disguise - the darker the hair, the more successful the treatment is likely to be - and everything looks pretty much the same. But inside, I feel so much better. So much lighter. So much more 'normal'.

I will no longer be the victim of my hairy insecurities. I will no longer feel guilt for something that is not my fault. I will not be ashamed of what is, really, only natural.


Lara said...

i sooo understand.

Enny said...

Lara - thankyou :o)

I was about to get all passive agressive about how terrible it felt to write about something that embarassed you, only to get no response at all!

non-Blondie said...

Did it hurt? Is it expensive? I've always wanted to get it done...hairy toes are not for me!

I also want to get my arms done - I sometimes wax them, the hair on there is like, style-able!

Enny said...

non-blondie - No, not really. There would have been maybe 8 - 10 'flicks' under each underarm, and maybe 4 total for each foot. It's kind of like being flicked with a really thin rubber band - it's like a sharp little flick. It also smells like burning ;o)

The price is very good - the package thing that we got was $99 for underarms and bikini - but she also mentioned she is cheaper than a lot of places because she wants it to be affordable. The first time I heard about it, a lady I knew paid $3000 just for her underarms... even if mine takes a full 10 sessions, it will only be $1000. She showed me her underarms - they were immaculate - she hadn't shaved for 2 years!!

You could easily get your arms done and I imagine you'd feel fairly similar ;o)

Cléa said...

Good on you for doing it, and for writing about it. It must be quite liberating :).

LaLa said...

Oh Enny, I am so hairy. I had laser a couple of years ago. I need to go back for a touch up session but yeah, so, so, worth it.

You poor wee thing.(I'm saying that because I totally feel your pain)

Enny said...

clea - thankyou! I am looking forward to the results too...!

lala - how many sessions? how did it work for you? :o)

kranki said...

It's cheaper than moving to France I suppose. How shitty that society makes what is normal and natural feel like you have the plague. I'm apologising on behalf of men in general,

Enny said...

kranki - are they hairier in France?! But thankyou - much appreciated... although I think it's mostly always been girls that have been the harshest critics!