Sitting here in the sugar-coma haze of the post-Christmas gluttony, the last thing I want to ponder is the upcoming swim suit season. At this point in my year, I can barely fit in my “fat pants” let alone think about baring myself to the elements and the sight of others. But, one must plan ahead, and the time of yearly resolutions is nearly upon us. So, I shudder and bring up the topics we would really rather not think about: unwanted facial hair and swimsuits.
Let me begin by admitting my genetic failings. I am a chubby brunette and I am not hairless. There are “hairy-er” people out there, but who cares when one is more hairy than desired? But my hair is capricious. Let me elaborate.
I have two eyebrows only through much effort. I pluck, tweeze, curse loudly, beg, et cetera daily. If not, I wake up and find someone’s caterpillar has escaped captivity and is crawling about my face. Except, my eyebrows are basically missing from where they should be – like above my outer eyes. What the hell? What chromosomal arrangement was getting busy aligning itself and said, “Hey, I know. Let’s meet in the middle where there is no need for us to be?” I mean, if I had a third eye, this would be a bang-up idea. But I don’t. So, having a monobrow is really of no use. The dang things are supposed to be dust catchers, right? Who knew the bridge of my nose needed such protection?
I’ve thought of having my brows waxed, but there are two things holding me back. The pain and the pain. Let’s start with the first. Tweezing is a bit of a “hair-raiser” so to speak, but it’s only one hair at a time. Deep breathing, an ice pack, and a stiff drink and you’re good to go. Rip ’em all out at one time seems like an opportunity to wet one’s pants. And of course, you have to be willing to let the hair grow out long enough to be “grabbed” by the wax. (This is my understanding of the process as I have never endured a waxing other than poetic – let me know if I am wrong about all this and I’ll be making an appointment faster than you can say smooth!)
If I were to actually contemplate letting my eyebrow hairs grow for more than five minutes, I would go insane by the painful level of self-consciousness my hairy self would take me. I would be trapped in the house, fearing that the UPS man would come and notice my new growth. Remember, I’m a brunette, right? It would look like I was one of those idiots who falls asleep at a frat party and “friends” wrote on me with a marker. I don’t like to think of myself as vain, but my ego just can’t do this. So, I’ve never waxed my brows, and I just keep tweezing, tweezing, tweezing. There are male-pattern-baldness suffers who would kill for my follicles, I swear.
Okay, onto a subject more painful than ripping out your hair by the roots: swimsuits. If you are 40 and the mother of three, plus only 5’2″, there is no good way to approach this subject. First, you have to actually buy one (since the drawer full of them that no longer fit is not really an option). Buying a new swimsuit necessitates two things. You either have to purchase one without trying it on, or you have to get naked in a poorly lit cubicle of hell.
Men, you have no idea. Your swimsuit shopping experience goes like this: walk up to a rack of suits, pick out the one with the correct letter: S, M, L, XL (if you need more X’s, perhaps you should wait a bit before wearing a swimsuit in public…..). You put the suit in the cart or basket, and you check out. The only dilemma you face is what to wear with the suit – black socks? t-shirt? Hawaiian shirt? velour track jacket? Whatever. Some men find themselves choosing between “European” or “American” style suits, but most just choose whichever suit can be placed most quickly in the shopping cart. And really, it is all good, right? Well, at least in theory.
For women, it’s just a bit different. Let me elaborate.
First, you have to get up enough courage to actually go to the store with the express purpose of ruining your day. Unless you are still in preschool, one doesn’t just blithely grab a suit off the rack and head out to the beach. And for the females who do, well they still have the body they had in preschool. So, there are the decisions that must be made: one-piece, two-piece, tankini, bikini, thong (shudder), or granny-suit. (You know, it has one of those little skirt thingies…I have three of these numbers, but only in black, because you know how black is slimming, right?)
Once you actually decide which suit is going to look the least horrific on your particular physique, you then get to go try it on – you’d better take three or four sizes into the cubical of hell, because you do not want to have to disrobe, witness yourself in all your glory, and then re-robe while sobbing only to have to go and grab suits with different numbers emblazoned upon their tags.
So, you finally find a suit that isn’t in some day-glow color that fairly screams, “Look over here at ME!” Then, you find one that doesn’t create an image of yourself with the adjective “sausage” most easily attached to it. Then, you deliberate if you can actually move in the suit without exposing all your girlie parts to the world, and just how much hair will have to be removed for society’s standards, and then, gulp, reality hits you.
You have to actually purchase the damn thing. Most swim suits these days cost more than you can feed a family of 5 on…and I’m not talking just forcing them to eat processed cheese products on durham wheat products. $64 for an agent of torture? Egad.
So, being a woman and being hairy are pretty much painful topics for me. If only I didn’t care. But I do. But I must sign off – I just noticed a stray eyebrow hair that needs to be yanked out.