Why Is Having Facial Hair Considered As An Embarrassing Personal Problem?
Put up your hand if you’ve ever been: scolded for daring to wear a sleeveless shirt with hairy underarms, laughed at for having facial hair, or pressured to spend hours plucking facial hair. I feel you, girl.
Being born Indian means that we are usually very hairy and yes, that includes on our facial features too. From upper lip mustache and uncontrollably thick eyebrows, I guess I should call it a blessing since some people are born without any eyebrows (like our videographer), but I can’t deny that it makes me feel a little manly and unattractive every now and then.
Believe me, I’ve experimented with so many things to remove my facial hair, from shaving and threading to facial cream remover, only to have them grow back in two days! Sigh. I wonder, why is it frowned upon for us to keep our facial hair?
It all started with the Greeks
Apparently, the Greeks considered pubic hair uncivilized (that’s why Greek statues of women never have pubic hair) and Egyptian women are known to plucked all of their body hair. Then, in 1871, famous naturalist/biologist Charles Darwin stated that body hair was a remnant of our days as hairy apes, and that less hairy women are more sexually attractive.
Since women had no desire to look like apes but rather wanted to be attractive, Darwin’s thoughts planted the seeds that began the war against female body hair.
In 1941, adverts started to promote the idea that hair on women was “unclean,” “ugly,” and “masculine,” while hairlessness was “attractive” and “charming.” In fact, female body hair had successfully become a taboo by 1980s as 80% women included some kind of hair removal into their beauty routines.
A stupid social norm?
The biologically boundary lines on the body hair between masculinity and femininity are much blurred than seen. Women know that removing facial hair is a stupid social norm but most of us will feel the pressure to remove them, simply because it somehow defines our femininity.
However, in recent times, more women are embracing these bushes, although we may tend to have a problem when it’s going to be shown to the public. This applies to all areas of body hair (not just the face).
Gotta give it up to those who bravely went against society’s beauty standards such as Frida Kahlo, the artist who refused to removed the hair on her upper lip and unibrows, as well as Nova Galaxia, Shelly Riner, Elfira Loy and many more.
Honestly, I do find women with facial hair beautiful and there’s no reason for us to feel ashamed of it — but I will admit that I am still insecure and uneasy about mine.Facial hair, underarm hair, leg hair. Whatever body hair you’ve got, despite what Darwin and ads make you think, your body hair is amazing. Embrace it, girl! Who knows, you could even be a trendsetter.
Also, watch what’s it like to walk in Friday Kahlo shoes.