I know, I’ve already blogged about Movember.
I’m a sucker for a gent with a good crop of facial hair any time of year, but with Movember in full swing, the bounty of beard and ‘stache displays are more than this furry-face-loving lady can handle. I can’t help it; I’m with Kesha on this one. "I like your beard."
And I know. I’ve already given you the obligatory mustache picture, but my hair-brained mind cannot help but wonder – are any chicks literally embracing Movember? Are there any women growing out their mustaches (gasp!) all November long?
Apparently, there is one – as profiled by the Huffington Post.
But, other than the thoroughly awesome Sarah O’Neill, and a few others before her – let’s be real.
A plethora of women "struggle" with facial hair. (Please read the quotes around the word "struggle" aloud while partaking in the exaggerated finger gestures symbolizing quotes and accompany that with a strong throat clearing.)
Female facial hair growth can be attributed to genetics or as in O’Neill’s case – hormonal issues like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Waxing, laser, razor and depilatory industries can testify to the whacks, slices and flashes of light women will subject themselves to in order to be hair free.
(Razors are not a great option for female facial fur due to 5 o’clock shadow being considered a gender specific, non-sexy side effect of the blade. Shadow on Jon Hamm, Ryan Gosling or George Clooney – the consensus is pretty much – yum. Scruff on Cindy Crawford, Gisele or Raquel Welch – questionable.)
Movemeber celebrates the growing of facial hair all November long in support of creating awareness for men’s health issues. These issues include prostate and testicular cancer and mental illness, which reach beyond those directly affected. These are serious conditions that touch those close to the affected man (which includes men and women!) so, why shouldn’t everyone get in the spirit?
Although the Movember organization has created "Mo Sistahs" to embrace women that want to get involved, female participation is limited to more of a supporting role because unfortunately, society has decided that the "Bearded Lady" must be relegated to a sideshow act instead of being displayed front and center, awarded the pop cultural prize recognition of a magazine cover. Fringe (as in margin/extreme) and alternative beauty has started to make its way into the mainstream, but somehow there’s a very hard line drawn at female facial fringe (as in fuzz).
For me, personally – my face is the only place on my body that was spared dark, coarse body hair, sans the rogue hormonal hairs that threaten to take up chin real estate every so often and that I deal with promptly.
You may be asking, well why don’t you be an example and let those grow out? I guess I am a slave to convention at the moment. And, esthetically speaking – I also feel that a stray hair or two just looks out of place – kind of like one or two gray hairs on your head, whereas a cluster that form a streak are badass.
Plus, a scraggly, sparse beard even on dude just doesn’t say sexy like a ZZ Top or biblical display of beardness.
As an esthetician, (licensed, professional remover of hair) I have seen a variety of female facial hair patterns that beg to question just how "uncommon" it is that us ladies consider a hairy upper lip or whiskery chin "abnormal" and something that must be dealt with without mercy.
The reality is that it is not abnormal or uncommon. Female facial hair is totally prevalent and quite the norm. But, beauty standards and personal preference compel women to tear, sear and shave it all off the moment a strand starts to peek through the epidermis.
In contrast, a pubescent boy finds a single sprout and celebrates his right of passage into manhood. The ability for a male to grow and display a full facial crop is a marker of "manliness" in turn. Is this something women seeking power should earmark?
Maybe women should rock the furry look to further our quest for equality?
Regrettably, to date, female facial hair just has not made it as a socially accepted, mark of beauty, status or power. My search for a culture that reveres female facial hair only turned up that in Sikh culture, the removal of any hair is discouraged.
I sincerely applaud Ms. O’Neill for her brave, rare and truly selfless act for a great cause. It just seems that for now, even in Movember, facial hair a la "Duck Dynasty" is still a "Boys Only" club.
And of course, ladies don’t limit the removal of hair to the face and neither do a new generation of men. We’ve already had that conversation, too, but it’s inspired me to celebrate Movember in my own way.
I’m not shaving my legs for the rest of the month.
Now, as I’ve been hypocritically lasered this will be a small, sparse gesture of personal support for a super cause, but hey, it’s something and it’s a sacrifice for me, as I am one of those girls who shaves their legs for themselves because it’s my personal hygienic preference to be hair-free.
But, it’s the thought that counts, so here’s to Movember!
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