Saturday, 20 November 2010

Won't Someone Shave Me From Myself?

Facial hair is a vexing subject. With age comes facial hair. The whole subject annoys me on so many levels.

Virgil often misses a few hairs when he shaves. He explains that the electric shaver won't get the soft ones at the top of his cheeks but he can't be bothered to use a razor. Then he tells me that I usually have a few stray hairs like that on my face too.

It's true. Whiskers sprout relentlessly. I think of the Little Prince and his daily searches for the baobab seedlings that would overgrow his home planet if they could. 

But I cannot see the underside of my chin very well and the light in my rented bathroom is - of course - inadequate. Even at the bedroom window with a magnifying mirror and tweezers, the insipidness of London daylight often fails to disclose the hairs. It is usually in the mirror of a lift, car or restaurant loo that I realise I have grown half a moustache or am sporting an incipient mutton chop.

How does it make me feel? I don't know - a weird woman, a bit grubby and inept, as though I'd been walking around with blood on my trousers or laughing with food between my teeth. When I see old women with soft, hairy chins I feel protective.

Femininity is a facade, an impossibility. It's like painting the Forth Bridge.

This morning Virgil comes to talk to me in the bath and notes with some amusement that my legs are currently hairier than his. It's true. I don't feel like doing anything about it. My armpit hairs are a good inch long but that's on purpose. Shaved armpits look wrong to me, like something blind winking.

And my pussy: noted for its hirsuteness by some folk. I think, 'What the fuck?' I have had laser therapy to permanently remove my bikini line and a good inch or two off the top of my bush. It's a neat triangle when trimmed. In the last year or two, liking the feeling, I have started to epilate around my arsehole and as far forward along my labia as I can stand it. (Epilators, for the uninitiated, are quite hardcore.)

I fantasize sometimes about having a hairless pussy and once called Olga Mitova to book a full wax. She's renowned in London for her depilatory skills. Unfortunately another woman answered and explained that Olga was on holiday so she was standing in for her. I made my excuses and didn't call back. I also remember the ingrown hairs I suffered from before I discovered the Turkish ladies with their laser machine. What's sexy about a hairless mons that's covered in spots?

Hair is personal and political. When I try to analyze it I just confound myself.

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