moustache

No, this is not another one of my ‘word’ posts. Though, come to think of it, I have spelled moustache a little differently than the American spelling (mustache). I suppose that’s for two reasons. I really want to play up and draw out the word – MOOOstache. And secondly, I’m being true to the origin and spelling – French, which was derived from the Italian moustacio. [Apparently you can’t take the language out of the girl.]

So, where was I? Oh yes. Moustache. And now for the confession. I have one. Yep it’s true. I have a dreaded moustache. But why dreaded? Simple answer: societal pressure. What I really want to know is: what’s so wrong with having one?

It’s so very light in colour that it really doesn’t stand out. You kind of have to look for it, much in the same way you have to look to see my eyebrows. What makes my moustache so interesting is the lack of facially-related hair I have. Those eyebrows? They are so sparse, I’d hardly call them that. My eyelashes are also rather on the invisible side and so short that adding any mascara just makes my eyes look small. And then there’s the sideburns, as in no sideburns. I have no facial hair in front of ears. That wispy look that many women pull off in front of their ears? Not happening. Ever.

So why do I have a moustache? I suspect it has more to do with my abrupt menopause at an early age than my hairiness, which I’ve just proven is not the case.

Tina Fey said ‘remove body hair only when necessary’. I’ve lived by that for a long, long time. If I have one regret is that I allowed outside pressure to influence my decision to shave my legs. That hair WAS fine and very light. Now it’s not so fine and not so light. But I stopped shaving my legs regularly long ago. Which does mean that I do ‘shave’ them—usually twice a year: spring and fall, and with an electric razor. And thanks to cancer, I have hairy pits. I can’t shave my left underarm for fear of creating an irritation or infection that throws my lymph system into overdrive and exacerbates my lymphedema. I’m hardly going to shave one and not the other. But again, thanks to my fair-coloured hair, it’s not a stark standout when I wear something sleeveless.

Wait. I used the word “thanks”—as in I am thankful that my fair-coloured hair allows me to make this choice. Sigh. That’s not what I meant. I could have easily deleted that sentence or even restructured it with different words. I am leaving it there to provoke discussion. Personally, I’m kind of tired of society perceptions dictating what people do or do not. Yes, being fair haired does make it less noticeable, but make no mistake, it IS still noticeable.

I remember once that an acquaintance didn’t want to wax her very noticeable, brown moustache. She’d had some interesting reactions on her legs with waxing and since her skin was so sensitive, you and I can both imagine what kind of burn she’d have along her upper lip. She didn’t want to shave it because she was afraid to lose the softness of it. So she bleached it. The mistake was not adding a colour to it to offset the stark white of those bleached hairs. Instead of masking her moustache, it only served to accent it.

All in all, that example shows exactly too much thinking. Isn’t there more important things to worry about?

After having gone through cancer, I am so much more aware of what goes in and on my body. That applies to what I do or do not do to my body. Body hair is one of those things.

Go ahead. Point it out. Comment on it. Make fun of me. I may blush. I may be a bit embarrassed because, hey, society does still dictate what is socially acceptable. Here’s the important thing: I’m older and wiser. It won’t hurt. And it won’t change my mind.

Oṃ śānti śānti śānti

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