Yesterday I started my first round of electrolysis. I’ve been wanting to get the procedure done for years now, and last weekend I finally plucked up the courage to go to the salon and make myself an appointment. The 30 minute procedure – which I have to repeat at least once a week until the hairs stop growing – was uncomfortable, but not painful (truth be told, the only painful part of the entire thing was the cost). The area I had done doesn’t look too rashy anymore, but is still a little sore to the touch. This is one of the steps I am taking in order to try and gain back my self-confidence, after years of being a lonely, self-conscious shut-in.
I’ve had issues with unwanted facial hair since I was a teenager, and have tried to deal with it in various ways through plucking, hair removal creams, and waxing. I even attempted to accept it, which I did for a while whilst in university, but coming home to an image conscious father who made me very aware of how ‘ugly’ it made me totally decimated any progress I made in the past, and reset my new found self-acceptance right back to zero. I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say I felt like a freak in my own home.
Over the years the effect it had on my confidence and self-esteem got worse. In the end it was like I gave up trying to get rid of it, as it would grow back so fast it felt like I was being betrayed and defeated by my own body. I would pluck the worst of it every now and again, but overall I only bothered to get rid of it for certain occasions (like weddings, etc.). The rest of the time I just left it.
It bothered me, and I felt isolated, until I went on Tumblr and discovered a ton of hairy GNC women, who were proud to have rejected societal pressures such as makeup and shaving, and I didn’t feel so alone anymore, at least in the grand sense. It was like they were saying ‘fuck you’ to societal norms (which I love!), and it was a breath of fresh air compared to all that libfem ‘femininity = fun-time empowerment’ bullshit. I loved it. It made me feel like there were people out there who understood and accepted me the way I naturally am. In reality though, I was still living among people who put a premium on a looks, and weren’t shy about expressing their opinions. Still, discovering these wonderful women did make me feel better about my own situation, and certainly gave me food for thought when it came to the political power of women rejecting gender norms.
Which is why I am a little torn about my decision to permanently remove my facial hair;
On the one hand, I really believe this will make it easier for me to live and move on to a happier life, where I won’t be plagued by well meaning, yet confidence destroying comments from family members. On the other hand, I am now on my way to becoming one more gender conforming woman (which means one less gender non-conforming woman – score 1 for the patriarchy), and I won’t deny that a part of me is a bit disappointed in myself for deciding to do this, as it’s sort of like accepting that I’ve been defeated by the pressure to conform.
This got me thinking; where will this end. We all know that as women we are conditioned to feel more confident the more we conform to beauty standards, so where am I going to end up now that I’ve started down this path? Along with the electrolysis I’ve had a haircut this week too (for the first time in over 2 years!), I’ve also been thinking about feminising my wardrobe, and about the way I feel on the few occasions that I wear makeup (no surprise – it gives me more confidence). Will I end up being a femme lesbian? Would I like to be? I don’t know… I’m still trying to work it out, I suppose.
I can definitely see myself becoming more feminine, because I like the confidence that comes with it. And I think it would actually give me the confidence I need to approach women, as well as put my face out there to meet women via the internet, which, btw, is super daunting! I’ve been on two dating websites before now, and deactivated both accounts within an hour of signing up (Okcupid: ‘so-and-so liked your thing’ Me: *shits bricks, deactivates account, sets laptop on fire*). Scrolling through page after page of beautiful women (and not so beautiful – looking at you ‘Italiancouple69’ or whatever your name is! Does that happen a lot?) really makes me want to join, so one of my goals is to eventually get my mug on one of those websites and maybe even approach someone on there. Eventually.
Anyway, I guess I’ve gone on long enough. Over the next few months I’ll be posting updates on my attempts at feminising myself…
Until next time!