No Shave November is a month long even to raise awareness for Cancer and to raise money for Cancer research and treatment. I had planned to participate this year and raise awareness for not only cancer but also PCOS by embracing one of the hardest and for me THE hardest part of dealing with PCOS: growing facial hair.
I had planned to blog about it each week and document the growth of my “lady-beard”, but after ten days of growth, and not a single blog post written, I gave up.
I’d had a bad brain day the day before, and on November 10th I was going to go out with one of my nieces to do some Christmas looking. When I got up on the tenth I just couldn’t handle the hair. I had been bullied as a kid for my looks (among other things) and while I have managed to put it behind me, sometimes when I look in the mirror I still hear the ridicule of others. I also battle with trichotillomania – compulsive hair pulling which started in grade 7 when I plucked out all of my eyebrows and most of my eyelashes. As I have gotten older the urge to pull hair has subsided, but I do use that compulsion to keep my neck, chin, cheek and upper lip hair under control. So, before I left to meet my niece I snapped a picture of how far I got with my No Shave November… Then I got to the business of hair removal. I used an electric razor to get rid of most of it as I knew I didn’t have time to actually pluck each hair, and then I spent a bit of time just plucking the most unsightly ones, mostly on my upper lip and chin where the stubble left a “shadow”.
For me the facial hair is hard because I’m not particularly “girly”, I don’t wear makeup and rarely do I dress up or “do my hair”, but I do like to feel feminine and I feel like that’s a lot harder to pull off with facial hair. The hair grows in dark because I have dark hair. I have hairy knuckles, hairy arms, hairy feet, and a hairy belly. But those things I can hide. My face is there for everyone to see and to make judgements on. It’s the first impression I give off. I have worked with kids for over half a decade and at least once a year I will have a kid ask me why I have a beard or a mustache or whiskers. I tell them “That’s just how God made me, and I’m perfectly me.” but I don’t feel perfect.
I admire the women with more facial hair than I have who have embraced it, who find ways to feel feminine and perfect just the way they are. I’m just not there, and I don’t know if I ever will be.