Women’s Facial Hair an Unspoken Topic

There are some things that are just not talked about in polite conversation. Menstruation (although we’re shaking up that shit here at ZL). Being the “other woman.” Oral sex proclivities. STDs.

Women’s facial hair unquestionably falls under that category. I run around hiding my Nair behind the cough medicine if I know anyone will be using my bathroom, and I have a tendency to take out the tweezers to do some necessary plucking at stoplights.

Let’s face it, it’s freaking embarrassing for a lot of women to have facial hair. I 100% fall into this category, and I don’t think I know of any women that haven’t had to address the occasional chin sprouts from time to time (maybe I just have hairy friends).

But embrace it?

The Guardian’s Julie Bindel is taking a long, hard look at the idea.

We all have an achilles heel, and mine is facial hair. I hate it, both on myself and other women. I have a particular terror of fuzz appearing on my face, and always carry one lone item of beauty equipment: tweezers. Luckily, I am not particularly afflicted, although in recent years I have noticed one long black hair that sprouts from my left cheek, another under my chin, and a few barely noticeable ones above my lip. The second they appear they are instantly torn asunder.

Yeah, seriously, it’s like a never-ending battle. And I’m glad that Bindel mentioned hating facial hair on other women as well, since I thought maybe I was just a horrible person. I sat at a meeting not too long ago next to a woman with a hair on her face that had to be an inch and a half long. I wanted to pull it out. I wanted to tell her to pull it out. Instead, I did nothing, but it’s a crying shame that, whenever I see this very nice lady, my first thought will always be, “Big black hair!” [Ed. Note: Kind of like that scene between Austin Powers and Fred Savage's character in the Austin Powers Goldmember movie -- "Mole!"]

But some women are cool with sprouting the stuff, and some are even trying to make beards the new little black dress.

Over the past two months, a feminist activist in Bristol called Jessica Burton has been running a campaign called Hairy Awarey, asking women all over the land to go natural. “I’ve been hairy for so long that it just seems normal to me,” says Burton, “but I do feel that at the moment women do not have a choice about hair . . . I suppose the excitement about Hairy Awarey was that the simplest of actions (leaving the razor on the side of the bath tub) can have life-changing effects for the women brave enough to try it.”

The logic of Hairy Awarey is that if enough of us give up the tweezers, the sight of body and facial hair on women will be normalised and any stigma will eventually disappear. But is it really that easy?

Uh … no way is it that easy. To make a slight analogy, my male friends are at the age where their beards, goatees, mustaches, whatev are containing their first threads of gray. I notice. It irks me. I want to pull them out.

Is there a stigma to being a fairly young, good-looking guy with a couple of glaring white beard hairs? Well … yes and no. But it’s definitely noticeable, and it’s something that weird OCD people like me will remember.

Perhaps that’s why I’m so ridiculous about staying on top of my own (fortunately fairly minor) facial hairs.

I could never do what Shazia Mirza did when she grew out all of her body hair as part of the BBC3 documentary “Fuck Off, I’m a Hairy Woman.”

“At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it,” she says, “as I was obsessed with hair removal, having had a Hitler moustache since I was seven. But actually it was very easy. Having body hair is the most natural thing. We are all hairy, and it is a myth that men like hair-free women. After the programme I had thousands of emails from men who said they much prefer hairy women – but they can’t say that in public because lads’ mags tell them they have to like a hair-free Abi Titmuss.”

And check out these numbers! Those ne’er do well hairs cause all sorts of problems, if research supported by Embarrassing Body’s Dr. Dawn Harper is to be believed.

According to a survey of 1,000 women carried out as part of the campaign, 30% of women with unwanted facial hair suffer clinical depression, a quarter believe facial hair has held them back from promotion, and more than 40% say it has affected their ability to form relationships.

Um … yeah. Sad but true. It’s kind of like menstruation, something that most women are inconvenienced by and are in sort of a permanent state of wanting-to-make-it-go-away-but-just-gonna-have-to-suck-it-up-I-guess.

So what’s behind this beastly mess? There are a number of causes, actually, and potentially medical attention that needs to be given, if you can believe it.

Aside from hereditary factors, it can also be caused by an excess of certain testosterone-related hormones or polycystic ovary syndrome (POS). Jessica Karjala discovered she had POS after being alerted to the fact that a sudden facial sprouting can be a symptom of the disease. “When I experienced an increase in facial hair it was coarser and thicker than usual,” she says, “and I removed it out of vanity. I chalked it up to middle age or perimenopause. I wish I had known that my increase in facial hair was an early symptom of a harmful hormone imbalance. Regardless of your comfort level in regards to your appearance, [that knowledge] could prevent serious future health problems.”

Women I know use a depilatory like Nair or Veet (which smell horrible), wax (which hurts like hell), or pluck (which is time-consuming and kind of hard to do completely thoroughly). I’ve heard that some women shave (which I just cannot imagine … maybe I have this preconceived notion that face-shaving is something only men do). Oh, and of course there’s electrolysis, which is pretty expensive.

I could never grow out my facial hair—ew!—but I’m curious to see how y’all feel about the subject. Oh, and also any sort of hair removal ideas that don’t involve horrible odor, pain, or images of my father standing in front of a mirror with shaving cream on his face.



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136 thoughts on “Women’s Facial Hair an Unspoken Topic

  1. I don’t have any facial hair aside from my eyebrows. I’m just not a very hairy person. But I would like to keep it that way.

    Honestly, though; clinical depression from facial hair? Am I being insensitive, or is that just ridiculously self-conscious to the point of idiocy?

    • It really depends on the severity of the facial hair… Some women, especially those with PCOS like me, find that they have THICK LONG DARK CORSE facial hair. Not one or two strands but a true noticeable stubble/5 o’clock shadow, skin discoloration, and in-grown hair/razor bumps.

      When dealing with cases like this, you encounter many people and situations that make this condition particularly hurtful. When you are “dressed up” for a night on the town, people think you are “transgendered” or “dressing up” like a woman. When you pull you hair back to head to the gym, people say “excuse me sir…I mean ma’am…I’m sorry I didn’t look up”. These situations lead to emotional pain but there is also physical pain if you have a lot of in-grown hair or if you pluck often and encounter a chin or upper lip FULL of thick, cores hair. It cost hundreds and even thousands for laser hair treatment because for women like me, the problem still persists even after the 6-8 prescribed treatments. Insurance doesn’t cover fixing “cosmetic” problems, and society is not “kind” to the “unpretty”.

      Situations like the ones I’ve described above have made me apprehensive about being around people, especially people I do not know very well. I cannot say that I’m clinically depressed but I can see how someone CAN become clinically depressed from this condition.

      NOW with that said… there are some people who really DON’T have as sever a problem that can blow a few stray hairs totally out of proportion. I just wanted to put my own experiences on the table to let people know that facial hair CAN be a very devastating problem.

  2. After waxing and tweasing and generally making myself miserable for many years, I just sucked it up and started shaving. (On the QT of course, very secret squirrel about it).
    I’m not ashamed to hate it, and I hate it on other women as well.

  3. I just cannot relate to the idea that facial hair could keep someone from advancing in a career. I like to pretend I have upper lip hair when I go in for my haircut because I like to get waxed and feel pampered. But honestly, it’s the blond, fine hairs that I have all over the rest of my body, as does everyone else. And I only get my hair cut once every three months, so if it were actually a problem I’d have a weird mustache that magically disappears without explanation every three months. You’d think that would evoke comments of some sort if it were even a bit noticeable :P

    I do find facial hair, REAL facial hair on women to be somewhat distracting. Just like I think hairy moles are distracting, on anyone. It just seems like something is wrong – like you mentioned, there are medical problems it could signify. Maybe it’s true that if everyone just stopped plucking/tweezing/waxing it would seem more normal but… it wouldn’t affect me directly. I wouldn’t feel like some burden had been lifted from my shoulders. But maybe it would for other women, so if there’s a need, then I say go for it. But I’ll stick with shaving my legs and my tri-monthly wax, just because I can :)

  4. I stopped removing any hair from my body over a year ago and it is awesome. If you have a problem with women who have facial hair, I have to assume you are just still very invested in the patriarchy and the control of women’s bodies through pointless, time-consuming, shaming grooming rituals. Seriously. Mammals are hairy.

    And guys with a few grey hairs in their beards? HOT. Signs of aging are signs of lived experience. Embrace them. Humanity is beautiful just as it is. We don’t need to pluck it and dye it and confine it to this youthful perfect hairless mold. That shit’s boring.

    • I wouldn’t consider anyone who thinks facial hair is weird to be “invested in the patriarchy.” Because, you know, it’s not normal for women to have beards. It’s just not evolutionarily (I may have just made that word up) normal. Women have armpit hair, pubes, and leg hair, yes, but rocking the full on beard is simply not something that women have really ever had, even waaay back before plucking and waxing was in vogue. I would think that’s why people find it odd, because it’s not “normal” hair like the hair in the aforementioned list.
      And no, I’m not bashing people with facial hair as weird, abnormal people. It’s just that facial hair on men is a natural result of their hormones, and on women it’s a tad less natural because women have less testosterone.

    • I’m also thoroughly unimpressed with your assertion that disliking facial hair = you are a BAD FEMINIST. Very divisive, I don’t approve.

  5. A stray hair here and there?
    No big deal, a minor annoyance, really.
    I used to work with a woman who had a full on beard. She shaved every day, and let me tell you, it was disconcerting. By 5 o’clock, she truly had a classic “5 o’ clock shadow”.

    If I had that much facial hair,I am vain enough to admit that it would seriously depress me.

  6. Incidentally, laser treatments work well and are permanent.
    Expect to pay about $300 per session at your dermatologist. They have medical grade lasers as opposed to those an esthetician may use.

  7. In my hometown, there’s a woman with a full on mustache. I HAVE seen her shave it but she wears it unshaved most of the time. Everyone in town knows her and (SMALL town) accepts that she has a mustache. She must have a hormonal imbalance, but she does have a daughter and is a married woman. Even without the mustache, she’s sort of masculine. She wouldn’t be any prettier without the mustache. So I don’t think she cares much. She’s been accepted by her community, and she has a family who loves her. Zero vanity. God bless her!

  8. It should be talked about. If you’ve got abnormal facial hair, mention it to your doctor. It can be a sign of hormonal issues, but it is often heredity.

  9. What exactly is “normal” in terms of facial hair on women? Answer: there is no such thing as “normal” in this instance. Yes, if you are in your 40s or later and you start sprouting a shit-ton of hair on your face that wasn’t there before, by all means have it checked out. But that’s true for any sudden change in your body: massive weight gain or loss, moles changing shape, hair loss, numbness, changes in vision, whatever.

    Women from certain racial/ethnic backgrounds naturally have a lot more hair on their faces and bodies. Are they “abnormal” or unhealthy or undesirable because they are not fair-haired, white, pale, blue-eyed etc?

    Have you all never heard of dismantling the gender binary? You do know that “men” and “women” come in a whole range of secondary sexual characteristics, right? Policing facial hair on other women is policing gender and it is sexist. I find it completely incompatable with feminism.

  10. Ok.
    (A) None of us are fucking Nazis who idolize Aryans, so kindly unstick your head from your ass.
    (B) It is entirely my right to dislike facial hair. Where it becomes a problem is when I start approaching women with hair and telling them it’s unfeminine or gross or something (which, I would like to point out, I would never do). I may think it is gross on myself if I had any, but I came out as a fair-haired, blue-eyed whitey, so I can’t really say. I don’t like facial hair on guys, either, so maybe it’s just personal preference.
    (C) Yes, I have in fact heard of dismantling the gender binary and all of that jazz. I’m just very happy with my fem, straight self because that’s what gives me the jollies. I certainly don’t expect it to work for everyone else.

    • I just realized my wording concerning expanding gender and moving away from the binary may have seemed callous; it is definitely not my intention to disparage anyone who doesn’t conform to the traditional gender stereotype.

      Also, I meant *feminine, not fem.

  11. No, Erin, I have to agree with you.

    Addy, Feminism means never needing to give a fuck.

    I do what I want, when I want. IF I want.

    It means I can wear sexy undies – or none at all.

    I can be sexually submissive, dominant, bi, lesbian or straight.

    Feminism means defying all stereotypes. or conforming to them. Perhaps especially those imposed on us by the *uber Feminists*.

    I am most definitely a “been there, done that” kind of person, probably most of which occurred before you were even born.

    Please. Do not even attempt to tell me what a feminist is.
    A true feminist cannot be defined.

  12. Erin, one doesn’t have to be a Nazi to privilege Whiteness. Most people in the US privilege Whiteness; very few are Nazis. There is a racial component to the desire for women to be hairless. There’s also an element of worshipping youth and of privileging gender-conforming people like yourself.

    I find it odd that you claim you would never go around telling women their facial hair was gross, yet you feel the need to talk at length about how it’s not “normal.” Other people on here are saying how they “hate” it and it signifies that something’s wrong with the person. To answer your earlier question, yes you are being insensitive by dismissing (as “idiocy”) the depression that other women suffer because people like you feel the need to talk about how she should manage her appearance differently. You may not have said that in so many words but that is how y’all’s comments come across to (at least one) woman with facial hair.

    You are entitled to hate yourself, I guess, and to talk about it. You are not entitled, however, to call yourself a feminist and to police other women’s gender presentations. This post and most of the comments so far are policing gender.

    Just to be clear, I don’t think hairy people are better than relatively hairless ones. You can remove every last hair from your body for all I care. I do think it’s worth the time to take a long hard look at why you feel the need to do this and whether it is internalized sexism driving you.

    And also, having hair on your face does not make you less feminine. I know people will view you that way, but it’s all societal constructs and you can choose not to participate in this one if you so wish. I know super-femmey women who don’t remove any body or facial hair.

    • “You are not entitled, however, to call yourself a feminist”

      Finally! I was wondering when somebody was going to come out with rigid guidelines on what is or isn’t allowed as a feminist. Now I have an answer.

      • Glad I could help. To put it more simply: feminists are not allowed to tell other people how they should present their gender or lack of gender. It’s just antithetical. It’s like saying “I’m a vegan but I eat cheese.” no, i’m sorry. They’re mutually exclusive.

    • Erm, actually the reason I remove hair, especially on my legs, is that I love how smooth my legs and armpits feel after I’ve shaved them. It’s a texture thing, not a “you poor confused victim of the hegemony” thing.

  13. Blurry, we have different definitions of feminism. Fine. An important aspect of my feminism is social responsibility, so I do not believe it entitles me to do “what I want, when I want.” Did I imply that I care about what kind of underwear you choose or whether you’re submissive in bed? I celebrate femmes just like I celebrate everyone else. That’s what I meant by policing gender being incompatible with feminism: I won’t shame a woman because she chooses to shave her legs and her face, and I ask that she gives me the same courtesy.

    Just to get away from the “Feminist/Not Feminist” debate, let me be clear: complaining about other women’s facial hair is harmful to those women.

    • My issue with your post, Addy – is this:
      The comments were all self-directed when referring to the dislike or “hate” of facial hair. You either didn’t comprehend that or simply chose to not see this.

      I tend to think it is a comprehension issue since what you apparently got from my comment was that I am submissive sexually. Re-read.

      As far as the whole issue of what is normal and what is not, it is as varied as skin tone and hair color. However, all women know (or should) what is *normal* for themselves. If you have a certain amount of facial hair and you suddenly can braid your goatee – I’m guessing something is going on there.

      • The OP agreed with this statement from the article she quoted: “I hate it, both on myself and other women.” She then goes on to tell the story of how annoyed she was by a singular hair on a woman’s face and how she continues to think of that woman in relation to that hair. She implies that those of us who are hairy should care about what “weird OCD people” think of us. She refers to the condition (or the issue) as a “beastly mess.” You yourself, Blurry, used the word “disconcerting” to describe a woman’s facial hair growing out. She’s already shaving, trying to get rid of the hair, is that not enough for you? This woman must pay $300 a session for electrolosis so that you aren’t bothered by her presense? Yes, I have a hard time comprehending that.

        If I were to say, “I could never become fat-ew!-” would that be okay in a feminist space?

      • I would agree that “disconcerting;” I consider disconcerting to mean surprising or unusual, because it is surprising and unusual for a woman to have five-o-clock shadow. She wasn’t saying it was bad that this woman had fast-growing facial hair. But please don’t try to say that it is “usual,” as in, something that most people see every single day. There is nothing wrong with being honest and admitting that it is unusual, unless you take unusual to be a bad thing.

  14. I think part of what Addy was not very gracefully trying to say, might have been that it is how the ‘hate’ and ‘dislike’ of facial hair reflects upon women with such characteristics which is damaging.
    Sure, it may not be ‘normal’ for women to have discernible facial hair. But if you do, it really must be disheartening to read on a website like this (and to probably hear commentary on from people you interact with on a daily basis) that your differences appal them. Imagine that this difference wasn’t facial hair- imagine it was a person born with no legs. Would it be appropriate for others to comment on how the hate how the body looks with no legs, and how it disgusts them? Absolutely not. That would be considered ridiculously rude, and could obviously be very upsetting for someone to read if they were in such a situation. So why is it another (albeit far less debilitating) abnormally is okay to turn one’s nose up at?
    People aren’t always born exactly the same. I’m sure every one of us could pick out some sort of abnormality about their body, and would be quite distressed to read about how others found it disgusting. Wouldn’t it be preferable for everyone to collectively discuss and relate to the differences in our bodies, instead of trying to change them and cause shame in others?

    • I understand what you’re saying, Wicked.
      The whole point was that these were feelings that women here expressed about their personal hair issues – not someone else.

      When I brought up the woman that I once worked with, it wasn’t to say that she was inferior in any way, but that she actually suffered for having such a heavy beard. Perhaps I wasn’t as clear in my comment as I could have been.

      I’m a woman. I love everything about being a woman. I wouldn’t want to be a man. It is true that heavy facial hair is usually seen as a male characteristic, is it not? I like how I look and I would be unhappy if I ever developed a lot of facial hair. That is me. I’m not everyone, but it is my right to feel this way. Perhaps there are other women who would be happy if they were to sprout a ‘stache. Good for them – if they like it, I’m very happy for them.

      • Well the point is, they aren’t happy, because others are passing judgement on them, with comments like “I’m not ashamed to hate it, and I hate it on other women as well”. Of course it’s your right to feel however you feel about it, but in vocalising it in a public way (to an audience largely composed of women), it can cause others to be ashamed of what may not be normal for everyone, but is normal for their bodies.
        There are many traits that women and men can share in specific circumstances- like large muscles, masculine hands, big feet, small/non-existent breasts etc. But women shouldn’t be made to feel less feminine because of minor body traits- the female empowerment should be something from within, and it should be brought out by a sense of camaraderie and not hindered by condemnation.

  15. We all get judgements passed on us, each and every single day. We are all book covers being summarized to get a glimpse of what our content might be. It’s a fact of life. That doesn’t make it right, but it is what it is. It seems to me if one is secure enough in themselves, it doesn’t matter what other people think.

    • “That doesn’t make it right, but it is what it is”
      Think of all the progress in the world that would have never come to be if we had simply shrugged all of the wrongs of the world with “but it is what it is”.
      Is that how you would respond to racism? Sexism? Human rights violations?
      Absolutely not (or so I should hope!).
      If we are dissatisfied with the way some portion of society behaves, then we change it. And this can apply to negative commentary on another’s appearance just as it has to so many other civil liberties in the past.

      • No, of course not. We’re talking facial hair here, not acts of violence, racism, sexism, etc. I just don’t think the like or dis-like of facial hair should have anything to do with deciding if someone is a feminist or not. I think there are far more important issues to agree and disagree on.

        • I never mentioned feminism, actually.
          My point is that these casual negative comments have actual affect on real people. Our concept of what is shameful about our bodies is completely composed of what others think- and this is not only important, but it is attached to all sort of historical movements. Changing the way that we outwardly react to the physicality of others could have an major impact of the way women develop their self-esteem, and that is not at all trivial.

  16. If you all really think your comments were only in reference to your own selves and personal opinions and have no negative impact on other people, let’s substitute “fat” for “hairy” and see if they would still be acceptable in a feminist space:

    From the OP: “I could never [become fat]—ew!—”

    From Erin: “I’m just not a very [fat] person. But I would like to keep it that way.
    Honestly, though; clinical depression from [being fat]? Am I being insensitive, or is that just ridiculously self-conscious to the point of idiocy?”

    Also Erin: “I may think it is gross on myself if I [were fat], but I came out as a [skinny person], so I can’t really say. I don’t like [fat] guys, either, so maybe it’s just personal preference.”

    From SentWest: “I’m not ashamed to hate [fat], and I hate it on other women as well.”

    From Shannon: “I do find [fat], REAL [fat] on women to be somewhat distracting. Just like I think hairy moles are distracting, on anyone. It just seems like something is wrong – like you mentioned, there are medical problems it could signify.”

    From Blurry: “If I [were that fat], I am vain enough to admit that it would seriously depress me.”

    Also Blurry: “I like how I look and I would be unhappy if I ever [became fat].”

    I really hope you all get this and watch your words more carefully in the future. Substitute “use a wheelchair” for “fat” in the above examples. How about “dark skin”? I appreciate that you are aware of your vanity, but how could you possibly know what it’s like to be something you’re not? How dare you talk about how horrible it would be to have a trait that many of us live with (and love) every day?

    • Look dollface, I have facial hair, and I dislike it, and I remove it, just because I do. Because I choose to. You choose to not remove it? Fine by you. I choose to remove it, because that is how I want to look. How, I, MYSELF, want my body to be like. So bloody stop dictating what being a feminist must be like, because when you come here attacking your fellow women on their own aesthetic choices you are not entitled anymore to be heard. Over and out.

      • Look, you can remove your own hair. I am not entitled to criticize that. My mom works for the government. She didn’t used to shave her legs; now she does because she wants to wear skirts and not get shit from coworkers. I get that. I really really do. You have your reasons for looking the way you do; I have mine.

        The difference is that I did not sit here and talk about how “depressed” I would be if I looked the way other people did, or use words like “ew!” or “gross” to describe the way other people naturally look. You didn’t do that either, so I don’t have a problem with the way you described yourself and the way you manage your hair. Other people were hurtful and offensive to me. I am not reacting against women removing their own hair, but against women being bothered by the fact that other women choose not to, and women talking about how glad they are that they are naturally not that hairy. Those statements are hurtful to me.

    • Actually, fat works just as well as body hair, and it bothers me as little. (and yes, i am still fat from the baby i had three years ago. workin’ on it, though.) Dark skin is something you’re born with, and nobody who is in a wheelchair wouldn’t get out of one if they could.

      • ‘Zactly.

        There is always someone lurking in the wings – just itching for a fight. They purely love the chance to be offended.

        P.S. Where is Joey? It is his turn to take the recyclables out to the curb.
        Lazy git.

      • You are not everybody who uses a wheelchair so you have no basis to assume what they would or would not do. Your comments show a serious lack of understanding and empathy in regards to people with disabilities.

        • Actually, I have quite a few friends in wheelchairs, and they fucking hate it. Every damned one of them wants the use of their legs.

        • Where in the hell did you come up with that? I think I can now understand where your responses are coming from. Let’s use some common sense now.

        • I was mostly bed bound for 7 months of my life, I could walk for about 5 minutes when my legs would go dead and I would collapse so I have a point of view on this, I would never wish it on anyone it is a massive burden.

    • Seriously, Addy? The fact that I don’t have facial hair is the equivalent of me being superior and skinny? And the fact that I don’t like facial hair on my guy is not personal preference, but rather me being a nature-hating bitch? I understand now!

      And did you miss the part of the real world that mentions that being fat is usually unhealthy? You cannot compare something that may cause health problems (heart attack, early death) to something that is entirely aesthetic.

      • Fat does not equal unhealthy. Part of the Fat Acceptance Movement is “health at any size.” I won’t go far into this bc it’s off-topic, but I urge you to learn more about fat acceptance. A lot of those studies that show a correlation between fat and disease are bullshit. Please follow the links I posted elsewhere on this thread. It’s worth learning about.

        Yes, your comments about being happy to be hairless are equivalent to a person acting superior because they are naturally skinny. I don’t believe you meant it that way, but that’s how it comes across.

      • I actually brought up the fact that I’m fairly hairless to express that I haven’t experienced what women who do have dark facial hair feel in terms of societal rejection or the stress of maintenance. The maintenance seems unpleasant and I don’t really want a mustache, hence my happiness at inheriting the genes that I did. It was brought up to express that I don’t understand because I can’t, not “haha, dumb Latinas with their dark hair and their racial inferiority and fattiness.”

        God, we can’t say anything around you, can we. I think we may be reaching the uppermost reaches of PC.

      • Umm…
        Addy?
        YOU brought up the Fat Acceptance Movement – no one else. While this may make for an interesting discussion on another posting, this one is purely about hair. You are entitled to how you feel on this subject, just as the rest of us are.

        Interesting. Do you read articles on derailing or is it a natural talent?

  17. Wow. I don’t really think that anyone wants to be, or loves, being hairy, or fat or handi-capped or any other condition which may be incompatible with health and well-being. Self-acceptance is important for sure, we all have things we’d like to change about our physical self or personality. To each his own, for sure, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. And I don’t consider a dislike of hairiness to hurt anyone, anymore than having a dislike of my limp, mousey brown hair. This is getting WAY too super sensitive and getting down into the nitty gritty about what is and isn’t feminism, and frankly, I feel this attitude is what hurts feminism and gives it a “bad name”. Come down off your soap box and live and let live.

    • Jess, you are wrong. There is a growing Fat Acceptance Movement and Disability Rights Movement, which seek to combat the very attitude you just exhibited. FWD (Feminists with Disabilities) is one good resource where you can educate yourself about issues people with disabilities face: http://disabledfeminists.com/ Melissa McEwan of Shakesville explains a little about being fat and happy here: http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2007/01/weighty-matters.html

      There is nothing wrong with being hairy, or fat, or having a disability. I’m frankly really surprised and disheartened that this needs to be said. Those of us who have these characteristics only have a hard time because people like you assume that we are somehow inferior for having them (we couldn’t possibly be happy or love ourselves). Your comment shows that you think it is objectively better to have less body/facial hair, to be thin, and to be currently abled. Please educate yourself about these issue before you do more damage to people who already have plenty of shit to deal with on a day-to-day basis. You can start by Googling Fat Acceptance and Disability Rights.

      • “people like you assume that we are somehow inferior for having them”

        Project much? Who the hell said you were inferior?
        Is facial hair attractive? Nope. Neither is fat, most of the time.
        Get the fuck over yourself, you special little snowflake.

        • Facial hair and fat may not be attractive to you, nor according to the conventional beauty standards. This does not mean that people cannot love themselves if they are fat and/or hairy. Not in spite of being fat and/or hairy, but because they are fat and/or hairy. I was replying to an assertion that someone cannot love being hairy or fat, which is simply untrue. If someone thinks a person cannot love an attribute of themselves (ie hair or fat), that implies to me that the person thinks that attribute is inferior. Am I wrong?

        • Who said you couldn’t love yourself unless you’re conventionally attractive? Who said that? Nofreakinbody, that’s who. Certainly not Jess. She said she “doesn’t think anybody loves being hairy, fat or crippled.” She didn’t say she didn’t think anybody who was any of those things couldn’t love themselves. I don’t love the fact that I’m a super mega bitch most of the time, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love myself.
          You have issues, chica. You really do.

  18. To Wicked, I’m sorry the comment about feminism goes back to some of Addy’s comments not yours. I can’t argue with you about physicality and self esteem, but I think this internet thread fall into a slightly different category. I am sure if Addy had been the 1st to comment and say she had facial hair and that she wore it proudly, the comments would have gone in a different direction. And she would have received some “atta girl” comments. But what I believe most commenters were doing is voicing their thoughts on their dislike for their own facial hair issues, which is a far cry from seeing someone in person and verbalizing their dislike of that person’s facial hair. That would undoubtedly be meant to hurt that person. I don’t think that was anyone’s intent here.

    • If what you say is true, I would accept an apology. I haven’t seen one yet.

      If I were in public voicing how glad I am to be White, and how depressed I would be if I were, say, Latina instead, would that be okay? Is it only wrong if a Latina woman overhears me? “Ohhh but I didn’t meeeean it that way” doesn’t go very far unless it’s accompanied by an apology and a promise to do better in the future.

      I do not suffer as much grief at the hands of others as a result of being hairy as many people do as a result of being fat, or not White, or having a disability. I do not mean to equate my experience with those experiences. I just hope that people on here who have spoken very insensitively will understand why their words are hurtful and will choose them more carefully in the future. Part of why I’m being persistent in this is that I have a really hard time with self-identified feminists who seem utterly ignorant in regards to how their words affect other people. This is a bigger issue than facial hair.

  19. You want an apology from me? Although I have made no reference to a like or dislike of facial hair, here ya go. I am sorry.

    However, I am also sorry you have such a giant chip on your shoulder and that, at the moment at least, you are acting like a martyr.

    I am, as many, many people are, capable of loving a person with an attribute, physical or otherwise, that I myself might not want to have OR do have and deal with differently. I don’t care if you have facial hair, hell I don’t care if you can french fucking braid it, IF I liked you, it wouldn’t matter.

  20. Get a grip, Addy.

    Some things just can’t be helped when it comes to physical issues. We all know this. I struggle with keeping fit (not thin, just fit) every day of my life. I consider myself fortunate to be able to stay within a normal weight range. I also know that I WOULD be very unhappy if I were morbidly obese – see the emphasis here is on *morbid* – which means death. I would move heaven and earth to lose weight to be healthy. However, at the end of the day – there are some people who are genetically predisposed towards the heavy end of the scale. There is little that they can do to change that. No one should judge anyone else for personal appearance issues.

    This includes YOU.
    If I say I would hate being mustached – I mean it. If you can handle facial hair – good for you. It shows a comfort level that is unusual.

    Accept it. Or not.

    I don’t give a flying fuck, nor do I care if you’re offended.

  21. I do have facial hair due to a hormone imbalance, and I’m terribly self-conscious about it. Sometimes I don’t even let my boyfriend kiss me on the cheek or the neck, and I know for a fact he doesn’t even notice, bless his socks. I am getting laser (electrolysis) treatment on my face and neck, besides the hormonal treatment needed, and between laser sessions I shave, because last time I used Veet it gave me a horrid rash. I know loads of girls who have facial hair, and all of them remove it, it is quite common in Spain because people tend to be fair-skinned but have rather dark hair, so it stands out even more.

  22. Addy, I don’t think anyone here has been disrespectful in any way. People are sharing their feelings nothing more. How are we to have a conversation about topics WITHOUT voicing our feelings about such topics? Just because one person feels a certain way about a sensitive topic doesn’t make that person right or wrong. Nor is it judging someone else. I might not like a style of clothing someone wears. Does that make me wrong. I may not like facial hair, does that make my feelings wrong?I may dislike skinny people, I may dislike big boobs, I may dislike small boobs. I can go on and on. It’s just my personal feelings, neither right or wrong. It’s how I feel.

    The other alternative is to say what you think someone wants to hear, whether you believe what you say or not. How could anybody have true honest realationships with people.

    No one is attacking women with facial hair. (substitute any word, fat, skinny, tall, short, ) No one is saying one is right and one is wrong. Embrace yourself for what you are, and don’t judge your yourself by what others feel.

    • *raises hand*
      I was totally disrespectful. But only after I becoming annoyed by Addy taking everything super personally and telling me what I’m “allowed” to do as a feminist. It had nothing to do with facial hair, though.
      It was totally based on her annoying personality, so I feel good about it.

    • Vchilds, maybe your boob example will be less charged than the others i’ve used. Okay, I have really small breasts. Say I were really glad I had small breasts and not big ones (that’s not true- I love myself the way I am but i’ve never had big ones so I don’t know what that’s like). Say I were sitting in a public place talking about how glad I am to have small breasts because I don’t have to wear a bra, and how I’d be really “depressed” and “unhappy” with myself if I had big ones. Say I claimed that no one could “love” having large breasts. Do you see how this could be hurtful to someone with large breasts who overheard the conversation? She could perhaps brush it off, and, as you say, embrace herself for who she is. I hope we can all learn to do this when faced with people criticizing the way we naturally look. But can you see how, faced not just with overhearing that one conversation, but seeing advertisements every day that tell her how to make her breasts appear smaller, having been told since elementary school that she is “gross” for having such large breasts, and how glad small-breasted people are because they are not like her… Can you imagine the obstacles in the way of “embracing” oneself under those conditions?

      In a feminist space, no less, running into these obstacles. Yes, we are entitled to our own preferences in regards to our personal appearance and what we seek in a partner. But shouldn’t we also try to be aware of how broadcasting those preferences might impact someone who isn’t “fortunate” enough to share them?

      • It’s funny you should mention that example. I have huge tits, and I did overhear a conversation just like that.
        My response was, “It would be awesome to wear a shirt without a bra.”

        • But do you expect everyone to have the same response? Can you see how that conversation, within the broader cultural context I laid out, could be hurtful to others, even if it is not hurtful to you personally?

      • My self esteem is not a fragile little flower. I do not wilt under the critical gaze of the world. Nor do I expect the world to try super extra hard to be sensitive to any issue I might possibly have. And neither should you. Because it’s unrealistic.
        I’m fat, my tits are huge, I’m super bitchy, and I love myself enough not to care when somebody is talking shit about fat, tit heavy bitches.
        Do yourself a favor and get the fuck over it.

        (p.s. when i was in kindergarden, i used to tease the girl next to me about eating jelly and butter sandwiches because it made her cry. i did it just because she was so sensitive that bringing up her favorite choice of sandwich made her cry. her older cousin threatened to kick my ass and so i stopped.
        there’s a life lesson for you:
        if you don’t have an older cousin who can kick my ass, quit being a whiny little bitch or i’ll make you cry)

  23. Addy. Great example…boobs. I’ve had breast cancer so guess what? One of my boobs is probably 2 times smaller than the other. I also have a scar that goes from the middle of my nipple to under my arm. It is also discolored from the radiation.

    What to know how many times I’ve heard women say. “OMG, if I ever lost my breasts I would want to die. I will be less of a women if I ever lose my breasts. How can anybody love a body with such hideous scars and mutulation.” (this is usually from young women).

    Do my feelings get hurt. Hell No. Do I think less of myself. Hell No. Do I think my body is hideous? Hell No, In fact it looks pretty damn good for a 52 year old women. Hell, for that matter any women. Back to my first reply. Under NO circumstances should you ever, and I mean ever judge yourself based on what someone says.

    Also…..Why would you give any random person the POWER over your self esteem?

    Yes, I understand what you are saying, but what we are strongly suggestioning IS you need to work on this issue before you let it destroy yourself.

    pSST….Alzaetia. I know you were pissed about Addy’s response not her!

  24. Addy…what I Could find hurtful is if someone attacked me about my boob….and I say Could. For example, If after 17 years my hubby who is my best friend turned to me and said….Your breasts are damn right repulsive after your surgery. I feel like throwing up everytime I see them. I would at first probably cry, then beat the shit out of him!

    If someone I knew said Ewww…..that looks ugly. I wouldn’t think a thing about it. That person has nothing to do with my self esteem. (not that my husband does, but I would find that hurtful.)

    • Vchilds, I really admire your self-confidence and ability to brush off awful things that people say. Hopefully by the time I am 52 I will have learned that skill as well as you have.

      I actually do love my hairy self. It’s taken a lot of work to get to the point where I can walk away from a conversation like this and not cry or run to the razor. A lot of these comments have been really hurtful to me, but I have gained the self-esteem over the last few years to not be seriously damaged by them.

      I agree that we should all work towards feeling so good about ourselves that others’ words don’t hurt us. The reality is that many of us (perhaps young people especially) aren’t at that point yet. I certainly wasn’t that strong at 10 years old, when I started shaving my legs, or at 12, when I plucked my eyebrows to near-oblivion, or at 20, when I let two different boyfriends (within the course of the year) tell me that they would break up with me if I stopped shaving my legs. My partner now loves my body hair. If he didn’t, I’d dump him for someone else. I’m proud of myself for learning that strength. I’m also very concerned about younger people especially who may not have learned to love themselves and who may hate who they naturally are because others feel the need to talk in their presense and how they aren’t “normal” or “natural” for their gender.

      • I’m sorry, could you just clear this up for me: do you suffer from excessive facial hair which is difficult to control or do you just let your body hair (as in legs/pits etc) grow out? Because while both can be taken care of rather easily these days, having facial hair is more difficult to deal with. You just said you don’t shave your legs and then you also mention wanting to run for the razor after reading things like this. If you are saying that you make the decision to not remove your hair out of dedication of self-imposed feminist utilitarianism then that is very noble of you, but it is very much a choice. If you then are unhappy with your hair and want to shave it off as soon as others make general remarks about hair, then it seems that choice isn’t working to well for you. If you have facial hair which is too difficult to get rid of or that you like, then I just really don’t understand what the problem is- if it is too difficult then it is almost as if you were saying “if I could then I would”, but if you like it.. again, there is no conflict. Personally, I think it is just as bad to shave your hair simply to satisfy an idea of patriarch-imposed standards as it is to not shave it to satisfy a standard of being an “ideal feminist”.

        • On the scale of how much body/facial hair female-bodied folks have, I’m probably on the high end, though not the extreme. It’s not that dark, but there’s a lot of it and it’s looong. My legs have more hair than my partner’s do (he’s male-bodied) and actually, more than any guy or girl i’ve dated. I could braid my armpit hair if I wanted.

          On my face, this manifests as fairly thick, somewhat dark eyebrows and a somewhat scruffy appearance on my upper-lip area. I used to think I had a serious “problem” mustache, but I also used to think my hands were really hairy; then I let my arm hair grow out and now I can hardly tell there’s hair on my hands at all. So, one of the interesting things i’ve learned as a result of growing my hair out is that it’s all relative. I have female friends who don’t shave their legs and think they are really hairy and noticeable. Then we’ll put our legs side-by-side and you can barely tell they have hair at all compared to mine.

          I stopped shaving because I hate shaving. I could only do it once or maybe twice a week; more than that and my legs or underarms would be covered in little ichy red bumps. I tried every cream, gel, razor, bleach, whatever that I could get my hands on and nothing made the process less painful or less time-consuming. I can’t afford laser treatments and even if I could I am uneasy about doing anything permanent to my body.

          So, I stopped. I have friends who shave everything every day in the shower. It’s no trouble for them. They don’t get painful bumps. They like being smooth. That’s cool with me. I happen to love being hairy. The wind feels really cool in my leg hair. I don’t obsess over (or even notice) the hair on my stomach like I used to, or the stuff on my face. It’s all part of a big hairy mess and I like it.

          Thanks for asking.

  25. “Hopefully by the time I am 52 I will have learned that skill as well as you have.” Addy, Hopefully you will develop that skill well before, your life will be so much happier. I do understand what you are saying, I really do. At first I was figuring that you were a young-un, but then realized that maybe not, a lot of women go through their entire lives with such issues. To this day my spelling is horrible. I’ve graduated college with a degree in accounting, give me numbers anyday, but spelling words is not one of my strong suits. If I took personally, all of the comments on public forums about my spelling….I’d be in the closet crying everyday.

    One of the great things about forums like this, is the ability to share experiences, strengths and hopes. I am still learning at my age, I hope to always keep an open mind and learn from generations before me and after me.

    Funny about the hair stuff. I had long long black hair on my legs. I mean from ankle to pubic area. My mom wouldn’t let me shave my legs in elementary school and believe me, I was teased and hated it. Knee socks and knee length dresses were in style then, so I shaved my knees and thighs so I wouldn’t get teased in school. Picture it in your head. Finally my mom found out and I caught hell…but I was able to shave my legs after that. This happened in 5 grade and I remember it vividly.

    • RAWR, reading a post one word at a time makes my poor hydrocodoned brain ache (I just had my wisdom teeth out). The way things thread here, tsk tsk.
      So you like your hair, you could remove it, but no product you tried really worked for you and your life is easier when you let it grow out- but you like it grown out *personally* anyway. Realistically, you could find something which worked if you wanted. It isn’t like you have super invincible hair. But you don’t want to, because you like it…. so I really don’t get the problem. It is a non-issue for you. If your problem is that other women dislike hair on themselves, then that is equivalent to you liking hair on yourself- neither is wrong or right, simply personal preference. A woman saying they cannot imagine being hairy is the same as you saying that you could not be able to imagine having to shave all the time, get bumps, and not have your hair. They are the same. So what is with the piss poor attitude? Sorry if I’m sounding mean or confusing or … anything- these drugs for the pain make me feel loopy o.o

      • The equivalent to this conversation from my perspective would be if I were announcing how fortunate I am to be hairy naturally, how depressed I would be if I were naturally less hairy, and how distracting and disconcerting it is for me to see women who don’t have much hair. That would be insensitive, because I would be criticizing other people’s natural bodily state. That’s still a little different of a situation, however, because facial hair on women is already criticized widely in the media and in mainstream society. So the people here who were criticizing the way people like me naturally look are not only voicing their personal opinion, they are heaping insult on top of what people like me already have to deal with in everyday life.

        It doesn’t matter that I *could* get rid of the hair on my face if I chose to conform to beauty ideals. It’s my normal, natural state, and it should not be up for criticism, especially in a feminist space.

  26. “I now see the act of growing out body hair as an important step towards breaking down the gender binary.” With all due respect, I feel statements like these are what give feminists such a negative image. Give me something important to break down gender binary, not body hair for god’s sake.

    • I didn’t mean to imply that it’s the most important way to challenge the gender binary, nor that it should be important for everyone. It’s been important for me for a number of reasons, some of which I went into in the comment section of that post I linked to.
      Sorry if it sounded like I think it should be important for everyone or that everyone should do as I have done. I don’t believe that, and i’ve tried to be clear about that here. I don’t want to police anyone’s gender presentation, either by telling them they’re too femme or not femme enough or femme in the wrong way. I love the whole range of possibilities that people find to express their gender.

  27. I need a single mom for marriage, any country. i am black, average height, goodlooking, Godfearing, and humble..i am interested in a single woman, i am a forklift driver, ready for marriage, i am willing to relocate.. contact me on lawkem7 at yahoo dot com

  28. Addy please stfu about this already. You are going against societal norms, grow a stronger backbone. Or move to France, I hear they have a healthy appreciation for natural hair on ladies…

    • People are addressing me directly and asking me questions and i’m responding.

      Moving to France wouldn’t solve the problem of people on the internet saying fucked up things, would it? I haven’t been treated as disrespectfully in person as I have on this thread since elementary school. I actually don’t think I’ve ever been told to stfu or been called a “whiney little bitch” until now.

  29. Well.. I’ll start this by saying i’m mexican therefore i’m very hairy. And don’t get all mad i’m not saying all mexicans are hairy, i’m just saying most of us are. And it’s not only annoying to get rid of, but also living in a different country where people are mostly white and pretty “straight forward” to not call them something bad….. It makes it such a pain in the ass, and with time i have became obsessed with not having any hair anywhere (well except for my cookie, i don’t shave that because it hurts like a mother fucker when the hair grow back… TMI.. i know.. i’m sorry) And it hurts to do this all the time, i have tried every hair remover out there (the lotions i mean) and they all burn my skin every single time. I still use them, just because i prefer to have a burnt face than to have my in law family making comments like “wow you’re a monkey” or “holy shit you should shave the back of your neck, women don’t have hair like that it’s disgusting” (meaning that i’ve got a lot of hair, and it grows halfway down to my neck) It hurts my feelings and it makes me feel pretty less of a woman, therefore i don’t go over a week without burning my face with Nair and shaving the rest of my body because God forbid they see me with hair, and i don’t enjoy their stupid comments either, so… I feel like i have to, like i have no choice but to get rid of it. And don’t get me wrong, i don’t like it, but it’s just such a pain in the ass to never be able to say fuck it, and not do it for a week to not be in pain… So yeah..

    • Wow, I hate your in-laws. They sound like terrible people with their heads stuffed up their arses.

      I don’t see why you should have to get rid of all that hair, especially on the back of your neck. Why the hell are they so fascinated with your neck anyway? It’s ridiculous.

    • This comes down to my example on the breasts. One thing if my husband would say something mean, another if a random stranger says it.

    • My father is Cuban, and probably the hairiest person I have ever met. I have thick dark hair on my head and very pale pale skin. Thankfully most of the peach fuzz which is on my body (just like everyone else) is blonde. However, my arm hair gets darker than I prefer in the middle of the winter when I’m not in the sun enough. I have a lot of dark hair and the palest shade of skin… so honestly, I call bullshit on people who say they can’t remove their hair. Even worse, my skin is very sensitive and my hair is thick! Big whoop. It takes like no time to get rid of the hair on my legs. And neck hair and hair where sideburns go is totally normal. It is all relative to how much it shows up against your skin, the amount of hair is less important really. The thing is that having hugely contrasting colors or having an excessive amount of hair on women is MEANT to turn us off- because it is indicative of hormonal issues.

  30. Well, have fun being mama grizzlies or whatever other version of faux feminism you ascribe to that allows you to talk shit about other women and giggle over it. Just don’t expect not to get called out on it from time to time.

    I had forgotten how I initially learned of this site: that atrocious post a while ago in which the author unleashed her personal rage against Olivia Munn. She poses on her own website in a bikini! The whore! Now I see you all have moved on to criticizing Barbara Walters’ voice and talking about how “trashy” Miley Cyrus is. Apparently feminism is now a guise that women can adopt to feel superior to other women and talk shit about them–with no repercussions! Because feminism is all about doing whatever the fuck we please, amirite? Anyone who speaks up and challenges us is “oversensitive” and a “whiny little bitch” and a troll.

    There is a wave (or two) that came after the second one. Most feminists have moved past this crap. There is such a thing as “intersectionality.” There are people out there shaking things up for real in the name of feminism.

      • I do hold a low opinion of several people with vaginas, but I reserve that judgement for those who willfully cause harm to others or encourage hate among others. I don’t think having a certain voice or dressing a certain way or being a sex worker (see: the mocking of Ashley Dupre in another post) should bring scorn, especially from people who call themselves feminists. We have enough to deal with from the patriarchy; we don’t need to create more drama and pain by mocking each other.

        We need to hold each other accountable. That’s why I participate in these discussions. It sucks to see women bashing each other under the banner of feminism. We can criticize each other’s words and actions without resorting to personal attacks.

        • That’s where we differ. The only reason to “attack” somebody is if they personally offend you.
          By the way, I don’t think telling somebody they’re behaving stupidly is an “attack” as much as it is an observation.
          And I will never, ever abstain from telling a woman how I feel about her merely because she’s a woman. That would be anti-feminist.

  31. Addy, I wasn’t kidding when I said you are a martyr. Read the below paragraphs – they are describing you to a T. Then run along and inflict your insecurities on some other commenters on some other website.

    The martyr is one who employs self-sacrifice and victimization as a way of avoiding to take responsibility for their life. They are prepared, however, to take responsibility for everyone else’s life.

    They consider themselves a light to the world, a shining example of how a good and selfless person should behave. They honestly believe they are a model of virtue. They also believe that their goodness will eventually “rub off” on others. If they are abused and mistreated, they will suffer such indignities, because eventually their tormenter will see the error of their ways, and recognize what a special human being they are hurting.

    • Martyr?
      Interesting.

      I have this mental picture of Addy sitting in an oh-so-trendy coffee shop, listening to “world music”, drinking only fair trade coffee and eating whole grain, organic muffins while bemoaning the world situation with her intellectual friends. I’m not even going to get into her recycled tire sandals and organic cotton skirt.

      She worries about the rest of us plebeians – we truly are not enlightened enough, not intelligent enough. She does so fondly, of course.

      In words containing no less than 3 syllables.

      It’s a tough job, this dismantling of the sexual binary and stuff. Throw in some “intersectionality” and you’re fucking exhausted at the end of the day.

      Hell, it wears me out just reading about it.

      Thank you so much for showing us all how dumb we are and how little we know about feminism, Addy!

      And to think that I thought the marches, sit ins, and voters drives, etc that I participated in during the 70′s had meaning.

      Happy now, Addy? Your superiority is duly noted.

      Now, go play outside, it is a beautiful day.

      • Oooh Blurry, I like your description! You’re pretty close: The coffee shop is less “trendy” and more neighborhood/cozy, the coffee is not fair trade (but locally roasted!), Bonnie Raitt is on, I had a peanut butter and honey sandwich for breakfast (whole grain bread!), and I’m wearing long plaid grandpa-style shorts and canvas slip-on shoes, both from a thrift store. Most of what you mentioned is expensive and I’m in a next-to-no money situation, so adjusting for that, you’re pretty good. (You forgot my nose piercing- septum, not nostril).

        My turn! I picture Blurry as my mom, but with a bit of a temper.

        “Intersectionality” sure does have a lot of syllables, but that doesn’t make it less useful as a concept. I would never try to make another person feel dumb. I really hope I didn’t do that here, and I’m sorry if I did. I have dedicated a lot of time (as in, years) to reading blogs written by women who are fat and happy, by people of color and those with disabilities, by genderqueer people, etc, and to participating in discussion groups that focus on privilege and oppression. As a result of this work I probably am more knowledgeable about certain areas of feminist thought than other people with privilege who haven’t made as much of an effort to broaden their perspectives. I don’t know how much work you all have done in this regard, but comments like “I don’t really think that anyone wants to be, or loves, being hairy, or fat or handi-capped or any other condition which may be incompatible with health and well-being.” (from Jess) are pretty indicative that there’s a lot to learn about people who are hairy, fat, and/or “handi-capped.” I am absolutely positive that you, Blurry, are more knowledgeable than I am about other areas of feminist thought.

    • Indigo, some of that does apply to me. I don’t try to avoid taking responsibility for my own life, though, and I don’t think I’m more special than anyone else. I’m working towards being a model of virtue but I’m not there yet. But I fail to understand how, confronted by someone who may very well have insecurities, who might be sensitive about an issue, who might have a “chip on [their] shoulder,” that an appropriate response is to call that person names, attack them personally, purposely try to offend them and make them cry, etc.

      I pointed out that there is a racial component to this debate (which I think is supported by Tako, who said, “Well.. I’ll start this by saying i’m mexican therefore i’m very hairy.” and Gigi, who said, “My father is Cuban, and probably the hairiest person I have ever met.”) and I was told to “kindly unstick [my] head from [my] ass.” Instead of addressing the substance of my assertions, most of you went straight to personal attacks. That, to me, is pretty troubling.

      • WHOA there addy! Do *not* use my words to support something which I did not say. My post was clearly to dispel any type of racial pandering. Yes some white people might have less hair or lighter hair- but so do some darker people! Italians and greeks are hairy! Are they dark? Are they white? I hate, hate, hate it when people try to divide others up like that. Some people are hairy. Some people are not. We can choose to remove that hair. We can choose to not remove that hair. We also can make statements about why we personally choose to do one or the other. What we can not do is be hypocritical and determine that those who state why they choose to remove their hair are being insensitive while those who voice their reasons for keeping their hair are perfectly fine no matter what they say. It is small minded. You clearly have no problem playing the victim, and you seem to want to be the most empathetic person ever, but you are not at all looking at what has been said objectively.

      • Annnnd you’re still playing the victim, while taking no responsibility for your actions. You come on this site and continue to admonish people and yet you see nothing wrong with it. You are all to willing to throw around your opinions but cry wolf when someone else offers theirs. You say things that are inflammitory and then are shocked when they inflame someone. Other than calling you a Martyr (which in my lowly offensive opinion, is exactly what you are) I haven’t not resorted to name calling.

  32. Pingback: Zelda Lily Zingers: The Best of the Week’s Comments – Zelda Lily, Feminism in a Bra

  33. I’m actually really liking the discussion that Addy has incited. It’s nice to get someone who has a vastly different view of feminism than most of us to, if only because it’s something different. Not sure I agree with the comments telling her to go away.

      • I never demanded an apology. I said, “If what you say is true, I would accept an apology. I haven’t seen one yet.” in response to Indigo’s comment regarding how the conversation might have been different had I been the first to comment and people had, I guess, been aware that someone who is hairy might read their words and be hurt by them. I think it’s appropriate to apologize when one hurts another person, even inadvertently.

  34. Erin, For the most part I agree with you. It can be very difficult to have a debate over the web without facial expressions and body language to help support the emotions behind the posts. It is so easy to become offended without knowing how a person means to be taken.

    Unless new things are thrown into the discussion, after a while it’s like beating a dead horse though. As I said before, I understand Addy’s view on the hair topic, I just don’t agree with it. And unless she tells me to go to hell, I have no problem with her posts. I can either read them and get her view on the subject, or not read them.

  35. Alzaetia, I don’t suggest that we treat women more gently than men or anyone else in this regard. It would be equally problematic to have a post by a feminist that discusses how gross it is for men to have hair on their backs or so forth (the part of this post about young men getting grey hairs made me pretty sad). People look different. We have different amounts of hair and we age differently. It sucks to read that the way your body naturally works is “gross” or “disconcerting” or “not normal” according to other feminists. I think The Wicked 7 explained this well. Women already have to deal with more scrutiny of their bodies on a day-to-day basis, so it justs hurts a little more coming from a woman than it would, for me, coming from a man.

    • I guess there was a misunderstanding there. I thought you were saying I shouldn’t tell you to fuck off because you’re a woman.

      Are you saying you think a woman discussing her own body hair in a negative light is a “personal attack” on a woman who chooses not to groom her own body hair?

      • No, a woman discussing her own body hair in a negative light is not a personal attack. Way up there in the thread, Mireee talks about how she is “terribly self-conscious” about her facial hair, how she navigates the issue around her boyfriend, different methods she’s used or will use to get rid of it, and what other girls she knows do about their own hair. None of that makes me, as a person who also has facial hair, feel shitty.

        I just think it’s a good idea to be considerate about how complaining about certain features that we “hate” on other people (or talking about how glad we are that we aren’t _____) might hurt people who are listening to us. The Wicked 7 put it well:

        “Of course it’s your right to feel however you feel about it, but in vocalising it in a public way (to an audience largely composed of women), it can cause others to be ashamed of what may not be normal for everyone, but is normal for their bodies.
        There are many traits that women and men can share in specific circumstances- like large muscles, masculine hands, big feet, small/non-existent breasts etc. But women shouldn’t be made to feel less feminine because of minor body traits…”

  36. true feminists dont talk to other women this way! ive rarely met a man with as much hatred for women as the poster ‘erin’ has displayed in the numerous venomous posts on this page.

    this blog is hurting your cause.

    • Hey now, I was waaay more venomous than Erin was.
      And it’s because I hate whiny people who choose a certain course of action and then get terribly offended when somebody declares that they could never imagine being happy doing it themselves.
      I judge all humans equally, regardless of genitalia. BECAUSE I’m a feminist.

    • Damn, I can’t truly express how stupid I think you are without confirming your point. Actually, I don’t care if you have a vagina or a cock, you need to reread before labeling people as venomous. If you had any reading comprehension, you would find that I don’t give a fuck if women have hair.

  37. Wow…….. Is it over? Is it safe to come out yet? You guys are scary! Um… I shave. My mom does not, and she has a kinda fluffy white neck-beard. I love her, I think she would be prettier if she shaved, I’m not going to tell her that because I don’t want to hurt her feelings. I know I’d hate it if someone noticed the little bits of scruff on MY chin.

    That being said, I only shave the parts of my body I expect people to be SEEING, such as below my knees, my pits, and my chin. I’m too lazy to do everything else.

    I AM LAZY! Not all women.
    I DISLIKE MY HAIR! But if I saw a hairy woman on the street I’d keep my mouth shut out of respect.
    I AM ONLY SAYING I DON’T FIND FACIAL HAIR ON OTHER WOMEN TO BE APPEALING BECAUSE THE QUESTION WAS ASKED (or implied, I dunno). If you don’t want to hear that, read something else. There are plenty of other topics in this blog.

    • “If you don’t want to hear that, read something else.”

      This is an honest question: If someone says something that bothers you, in person or on the internet, do you think the best thing to do is just ignore it and leave? Where would any social justice movement be if we all just kept our mouths shut about offensive and oppressive things that people say and do?

      People here seem to have disliked my tone, found me annoying, etc. I didn’t initiate this conversation in the way that would have been the most conducive to healthy discussion. But should I really have not said anything at all? It’s not like people were discussing why they love Justin Bieber and I felt the need to tell them why they’re wrong. In that situation I probably should just go somewhere else if I don’t want to hear it.

      Body hair, and perhaps facial hair especially, is an intensely personal topic that a lot of women feel really strongly about one way or the other, and for good reason. I don’t think it’s acceptable to have a (nominally) feminist space where women can complain about a certain natural body feature and not expect to get called out on it.

      • You have every right to say that something bothers you.
        You didn’t do that.
        You said that we weren’t allowed to call ourselves feminists because we said unflattering things about our own facial/body hair.

        • I said “feminists are not allowed to tell other people how they should present their gender or lack of gender” which is nothing at all like saying you can’t talk about your own facial/body hair. This is just one example of how several of you were talking shit about other women, not just yourselves:

          “And I’m glad that Bindel mentioned hating facial hair on other women as well, since I thought maybe I was just a horrible person. I sat at a meeting not too long ago next to a woman with a hair on her face that had to be an inch and a half long. I wanted to pull it out. I wanted to tell her to pull it out. Instead, I did nothing, but it’s a crying shame that, whenever I see this very nice lady, my first thought will always be, “Big black hair!””

  38. I’ve actually had to suck it up and start shaving…it’s pretty terrible. I have found a great product though that makes it a bit better…everyone should try it…Comando Aloe Shave Gel…their site is http://www.comandoshave.com…I used to have to shave a lot more often before I started using it..overall, it’s not THAT bad. Just the luck of the draw I was given.

  39. Addy, she didn’t tell the woman to shave that “Big black hair!” did she? No? Then what’s the problem? All she said was she found it unattractive. Would you find someone with excessive acne attractive? If yes, good for you. I wouldn’t. If no, then why does it matter if you tell someone, as long as you don’t try to tackle the person and slather them with acne cream? I haven’t read about anyone specifically telling you that you MUST shave your body, unless I missed something when I read nearly every post on this page, and I don’t think I did. Most of these ladies don’t like their body or facial hair, and they don’t find it appealing on others. You like yours and possibly other people’s. Both you AND they are free to share your opinion, and the only thing you’re doing wrong here is declaring that two feminists can’t have differing opinions about what is pretty much an unimportant topic. Wouldn’t your strengths be better served debating the Quiverfull movement? Or stopping Sarah Palin before it’s too late? This just isn’t worth getting worked up about! NO ONE IS GOING TO COME TO YOUR HOME AND SHAVE YOU!

    • Is it really that hard to grasp that one’s words can have a negative effect on other people? Is this disputable? Yes, of course we are all “free to share our opinions,” but does that mean we always should, even when it causes harm to others? Is it just because I’m from the South that I think it’s better to be polite and considerate of other people? No matter what the topic is: facial hair on women, acne, weight, height, breast size, hair color, skin color… it sucks to hear other people talk about how glad they are that they don’t look like you, and how, when they see people who look like you, it really bothers them. Maybe you all are just so secure in yourselves that nothing any other person says could possibly bother you, but even if that’s the case, have some compassion for others who aren’t at that point.

      This is basic human decency and compassion that we’re talking about. No, you all aren’t threatening to show up at my house and shave me. But implying that I am less of a woman because I happen to grow more hair than you do is kinda worse, to me. (From Blurry: “I’m a woman. I love everything about being a woman. I wouldn’t want to be a man. It is true that heavy facial hair is usually seen as a male characteristic, is it not?”) And yeah, I’m attracted to people who happen to have acne. I’m not so shallow that I would rule someone out as a dating possibility because they happen to not have “ideal” skin. Goodness gracious.

      • I didn’t say a person had to have ideal skin. I said acne isn’t attractive to most people. A lot of people still date people who have it, and yet I don’t know anybody who wants to have zits, because they think they’re sexy. (You CAN find zit-porn on the internet, of course, but you can find any kind of porn here.) …. People who are bothered by people saying what they find unattractive can, and mostly DO, just click the buttons that take them away and show them a page they like better. You are NOT less of a woman because you have hair. You are NOT a second class woman. What you ARE is a very controlling person if you think we shouldn’t be allowed to discuss what we find unattractive on a mostly anonymous internet forum. Frankly, it’s going to happen, you’re always going to find someone who disagrees with you on something and isn’t afraid to say it. You can sit there and yell at them for days and days, or you can learn when you’re not going to change people and just walk away.

  40. Pingback: Study Proves That an Ideal Female Body Exists … But Does it Matter? – Zelda Lily, Feminism in a Bra

  41. I like your vantage point. My reading has shown your points to be true, then again, I have also read the opposite from different sites like this one. Do you have any recommendations for finding more quality information on natural health or related topics? I would definitely appreciate it!

  42. There is this belief that is pervasive throughout our culture and many others that the human body in it’s natural state is beautiful. I for one do Not share this belief. I find that our bodies are generally quite repulsive and smelly. In a nutshell, I am one of those folks who refuses to accept humanity they way it “naturally” is. The most I will do is to not try to dictate what others do with their bodies when it comes to hair below their eyebrows. However, I have every right to reject others if I don’t find them attractive and I intend to use that right when it comes to women with hair below the brows. If you like having hairy legs, armpits, and facial hair I will not have sex with you. PERIOD. If that makes me a pawn of the patriarchy, so be it. Because no one is going to change my mind on this by trying to make me feel guilty.

  43. There are way too many comments here, I probably only read about a quarter of them. I’m not going to get into this whole feminist debate or whatever it is going on. I for one don’t really care if a woman has body hair or not. As long as it doesn’t prick me when we’re all over each other. So in other words, either shave/wax consistently or don’t at all. I don’t mind a few hairs on a woman’s face, a full grown woman is bound to have some. However, to correct someone who said no one really knows what “normal” is and that ethnic and racial backgrounds may be hairier than others. At no point in time was there a community with it’s female masses walking around with full beards. If you have excessive facial hair it’s more than likely from hormonal imbalance but it’s always going to be a medical problem in which you should consult your doctor.

  44. You’ve made some really good points there. I checked on the web to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

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