Fuzzy Wuzzy

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My mother had a chick mustache.

Since I was born in 1970 and she went through a phase of "Hey, all body hair is natural and cool" which lasted until about 1982, I didn't really notice it too much.

Actually, that is a lie. I noticed. And was freaked out.

Imagine my distress when I was entering my own puberty and started to noticed the darkening of the hair on my jawline....and then upper lip. It was bad enough that I wasn't a size 2 and now I was the new incarnation of teen wolf?

So I began an obsessive fixation on inappropriate facial hair. It started with my upper lip, then moved to my eyebrows and has progressed to my chin.  I do not lie when I tel you that were it not for my daily meticulous attention to the potential chin beard hairs, I would look like Scott Ian from Anthrax:

You think I jest? Alas, I do not. (Thanks hormones that lost their minds when I turned 36. That was a sweet gift you left there.)

Since my mother never had a "Female Facial Hair and what to do about it" discussion with me, I had to find my own way - shaving, tweezing, waxing until I found my own regime that worked.

About 8 months ago, Emily approached me and said "I think I am getting a mustache".

And it was true, she was.  Ye olde Puberty hormones were rearing their follicled heads and making themselves known. Another girl had made a comment and Emily took it like a dagger to the heart.

One one hand, I was REALLY sad that my daughter did not seem to have inherited her fathers ridiculous lack of body hair gene. On the other hand, I saw my opportunity to pass on some helpful advice - female to female - in a way that I never got.

Since this wasn't a chapter in "What to expect when you're expecting" there wasn't a lot for me to go on.  I mean, this is NOT a topic of most other mother groups:

"So! Let's Talk about the chick  'stache and what we should tell our daughters about it!"

I decided to go with humor and described her grandmothers epic Fu Manchu stylings of my early teen years. I then described the terrible travesty that were my mothers Jolen Bleaching years. My best description was that an albino fuzzy wuzzy had come to live on the top of my mothers lip, and we were supposed to pretend like we didn't notice.


Then I broke it to Emily as gently as possible. She seems to have come from a hirsute female line and that there was no reason to live with this. That, in the 21st century, we had things to deal with the hair, should she feel self conscious about it and want it removed. Puberty is spectacularly shitty enough without the entirely removable problem of facial hair. I confessed that I, myself, could grow a girl goatee to rival her fathers, should I let it all just go feral.

Her decision was absolute: "Get rid of it".

So, every three months, my daughter and I sit down for a 5 minute wax session where I remove her mustache.  Zip, Zip, Zip and Voila - all done.

Today, Terrance walked in and saw the box of wax strips on my dresser. "What are these for?" he inquired.
"Your daughter", I replied. Then stared at him, waiting for his head to implode. Which it did.

"Isn't she too young for this? I mean, won't it all just grow back Darker and Thicker?"

I raised my coiffed eyebrow at him and opened my hairless mouth: "Would you rather she be teased at school? Would you rather that she HAVE a mustache?"

He sulked.  "Well, No...".

"Ok Then. This is one area when I can claim absolute female knowledge superiority and just say that Yes, we wax her upper lip and it is no problem. The end".

So we did. We do.

And I have no regrets.

11 Baleful Regards:

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

You are doing right by her, Dawn.

I am a woolly mammoth who procreated with a beast from the Pelt Belt. I feel terrible for my daughter's facial hair destiny and as such, have solemnly vowed to teach her all of her options.

roo said...

Where did this myth of "It'll grow back darker and thicker" come from?

If that were true, why are there so many women suffering from over-plucked eyebrows that never grow back?

Dawn said...

Kelli - you made me actually laugh out loud.

I told this story to the (Italian) salon lady who takes care of me and she said "I was teased horribly as a 12 year old. Called Chewbacca. There is no earthly reason any young girl should have to feel that terrible about herself!"

and Roo? Who knows. Perhaps the same people that gave us "Hairy palm" and "go blind" from masturbation?

miss selene said...

i am in the bleach the upper lip and tweeze the hell out of everything else group. if only hair didn't start growing overnight when i wax, i'd so go for it. :S

they need a stop-hair-from-growing medicine/hormone. i'd so be on that!

also, facial hair was the ONLY thing my mother ever taught me about being a woman.

Mary_Flashlight said...

I swear to you that I just had the entire lower portion of my face waxed on Saturday. Good lord at the difference. I never knew my cheekbones were that defined! Until now I'd only had the mustache and brows done.
I deal with the post-wax breakout, but 2-3 days worth of harmless breakout that goes away on its own is SO MUCH BETTER than being the chick with the mustache and beard.

At least for me.

My mother has so little body hair that I find it unfair. OTOH, she also has incredibly thin hair on her head, so I guess there's the trade-off. At least I have really thick head hair too!

sophie said...

Mother taught me how to use Nair on my upper lip. Unfortunately, being far fairer than she, I ended up without a 'stache but with a significant read streak that lasted for a couple of days. I now subscribe to the dsily shaving of the 'stache, combined with vigilant tweezing of the chin hair bastard clan. My sister and I have a pact that when one of us becomes too infirm to maintainthe tweezing, the other will take responsibility. Loving sisters are important.

Anonymous said...

My brother reacted just like Terrance when he found my sister-in-law waxing their 11 y.o. daughter's eyebrows. But the puberty fairy had brought her boobs and a unibrow that rivaled Bert from Sesame Street, and the kids at school were brutal. A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do!

dramamama said...

Ok Dawn...I have been looking for a better way to deal with my own facial hair issues (and will soon have to do the same for my daughter). I have been too afraid to try home waxing, but boy would it be more convenient!

What brand do you use? Where do you get it (or where would you get it if you were still in the US)? Do the strips come prewaxed?

Dawn said...

I don't have a brand, per se. My eyebrows and bikini are left to the professionals ( since I tried to wax bikini at home and Yikes, It was a disaster)

I tweeze my upper lip - and by age 40, I have to admit that there isn't much that grows back in, so every few days I give a cursory look and take out any stray hairs.

My chin has truly gotten crazy, and I am considering laser hair removal for the chin because it is driving me crazy. Plus it seems to be tied to hormones, so the hormones flare, the hair grows and I break out on my chin. I am too old for this shit.

I bought the wax strips at Walmart - They are wax strips on plastic that you warm up between your hands, then place the wax on lip, wait a few to let it harden a smidge and then grip and rip ( in opposite direction of hair)

I tweeze anything that is left over since Em won't let me do more than one pass on each side. Then I rub in some Arnica Oil to her lip to help the skin.

I think I paid six bucks for these?

However, I very much believe in the power of the salon to do an excellent job, if you've got a large amount of hair. I also have done some serious hack jobs on my eyebrows, so I now leave that to professionals since I don't seem to have an "eye" for how to shape my own.

Baglady said...

I have my brows done every three or four weeks and my tache every month or two. I get them threaded because I too end up with a blonde moustache if I bleach (not that I didn't try it for a while). I think what you're doing for your daughter is spot on. I hope she appreciates it (I can imagine it's good bonding time, too).

My mum isn't very hairy but my sisters and I all are due to being mixed race. The perils of being a woman!

dramamama said...

Thanks Dawn! I found something like what you described at my local grocery store. Trust me when I say that I will not be trying to do my own brows! I mainly wanted this for the chick 'stache!

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