Remember the title song from the musical Hair?
Gimme back my hair, long beautiful hair…
Curly…cubic…underarm and pubic…
Gimme moles with hair…Hair! Shoulder hair grows longer…Hair!
Here Andy, there Rooney, eyebrows goin’ looney-tooney…
Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair…
Okay, I tweaked the lyrics a smidge to represent our expanded struggles with hair. It all began for me at eighth grade graduation when I got hugs and a razor. Just thinking of that sturdy, double-sided stainless steel beauty brings a tear to my eye. I am woman, hear me SHAVE!
Overnight, hair from my armpits packed its bags and beat a path to my eyebrows.
And I did—underarms, legs, and I merrily plucked my young eyebrows. The term “bikini line” didn’t exist because the waxing fetish hadn’t yet begun. Swimming suits covered more, with designs that often squared off our upper thighs. Back then, female legs didn’t have to look eight feet long.
During the hippie movement, many of us stopped shaving our legs. For some women, hairiness signaled a brave rebellion against society’s capricious norms. For me, courage was wearing a white blouse while eating pizza. I trashed my razor because I was (gasp!) following the herd. Lo! Hot coals of shame are heaped upon my countenance! Oh, wait…I forgot…a psychic said that in a previous life I was a Holstein. So, whatever.
Ever since then, my hair still pokes through my pantyhose because I multi-task insecurity with laziness. (You’ll find this noted on my résumé, under Personal.) These qualities remain undiminished by psychotherapy, inspirational posters, and foul algae supplements.
People, people! I cometh as a prophet amongst you, heed my words! HAIR IS AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR! It is fickle and unbelievably passive-aggressive. Hair lets us play at calling the shots, all the while snickering under its breath. Those ringing noises diagnosed as chronic tinnitus? Sweetheart, that’s the sound of follicle laughter.
Smooth or hairy, it ain’t really our call, chickies, because with changing hormones hair kicks our asses! Hair pulls up stakes like a traveling circus, and then, surprise!! It sets up camp in places guaranteed to make you think of your creepy Uncle Al. Overnight, hair from my armpits packed its bags and beat a path to my eyebrows. Believe me, I know which hairs are new there because they don’t even try to fit in with the rest of the gang. No, they’re the wiry silver bozos standing on end and waving like they’re on a f*ckin’ cruise ship. Goodamn, where’s a tweezer when you need one?
Now my leg hair is skipping town, which was okay until I saw the block party it’s having at the corners of my upper lip! Oh well, I’ve braided those two spots, and I’m hoping they’ll pass as dimples.
Need an eyelash curler? Take mine. I don’t need it anymore because so many of my lashes have gone AWOL. But I notice they’ve found a new home.