Have you heard of this? I read about it this morning in the newspapers and rued the insane amounts of arm and leg ransom I had paid for laser hair removal to make the face fuzz free (which sadly hasn’t lasted, and am back to being a woman who moonlights as a werewolf, and does a pretty good howl too when she lands at the fridge with 3 am binge urges and discovers she has run out of icecream). What is Hairy Awarey, you ask? It is based on the same principle that Julia Roberts used when she raised one slim arm, clad in sleek designer gown, on red carpet, and revealed a mass of dense, black underarm hair, much to our collective virtual gasp of horror. Or Salma Hayek who grew out her eyebrows and her upper lip for her role as Frida Kahlo in Frida.
The article tells me that across the Internet, there is a two month movement initiated by feminist activist in Bristol named Jessica Burton, asking women to go natural. This is accompanied by a photograph of Jessica with a mouche, looking like an adolescent boy with the first beginnings of fuzz. I look at her and wince. And turn my eyes away from the photograph. She has some logic backing her theory. She says that enough of us give up defoliating ourselves, the sight will become so normal that the stigma of being hairy will disappear.
And then there is a comedian named Shazia Mirza who grew her body hair for a period of seven months for a BBC documentary. She is a brave woman. I would have lived under a shroud.
I’ve always battled with excess hair growth. It started when, in my teens, I was paranoid about being overweight, and dropped kilos and with it my periods for six months, setting the stage for a lifetime of battles with PCOD and the subsequent infertility, and stories tragic enough for you to reach and honk into that tissue. And I’m not even getting started on the calcium deficiency bit, and the horror lecture I got about my bones becoming of chalk like density and liable to crack on the slightest impact, rather like Samuel L Jackson in that movie with Bruce Willis, where he has every bone in his body broken and therefore is justified in plotting evil acts of murder or something like that.
Anyway, as is usual, I digress. The moot point here was about stopping exfoliation. Which is a tempting prospect given that much of my weekend is devoted to the unpleasant task of getting the eyebrows, the face, the upper lip, the chin, the arms, the underarms and the legs fuzz free.
The week this ritual is not carried out, I spend the week in full sleeves and long pants, and with the hair pleasantly a halo around my face, hoping that it draws attention away from the hair on hypergrowth down the sides of the face, and a mouche so dominant, I could wax its tips and curl it up a la Dali. I can just imagine the spouse passing out at the sight of me, and our moustaches and stubble will interlock when we kiss. Ewww! Ewww! Ewww!
There is something drastically wrong here. For centuries women have been exfoliating their facial and body hair. We have been conditioned to believe that any display of hair apart from that on the scalp is in bad taste. And we must do all that is required to ensure one stays smooth and fuzz free. For me, this includes the very troublesome bit of getting the damn face threaded on a weekly basis or else risk the child asking me when I was planning to shave myself, thank you so much PCOD, you really whacked my self esteem. Men have hair on their face. Women are allowed eyebrows and eyelashes. Thats all.
Would I give this trend a shot? I dont think so. I am a coward. I would like to see my face beneath all the hair. I am the sort who gets palpitations if I leave for a vacation without the tweezers and the roll of thread in my cosmetics case. I have been known to haunt duty free shops in airports trying to find a tweezer on the rare occasions I have forgotten. With age, I get better, I scatter the handbag and the luggage with a couple of spare tweezers and thread bundles to ensure I am never in a situation where I have to make a public appearance with unsightly facial foliage.
What about the rest of you? Would you have courage enough to go Hairy Awarey? And I wonder what Ms Burton’s boyfriend have to say about this if she does have one. That, my dears, would be a reaction I would be very very interested to know.