Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Hairy Issue

Growing up, like many dark haired, pale skinned girls, I had a smattering of slightly noticeable hair on my upper lip. I didn't even think anything of it until one day in the fourth grade when my cousin started picking on me about it at the lunch table.

He chimed, "Sarah's got a mustache, Sarah's got a mustache!" From that moment forward, an extremely self-conscious fixation formed. Girls weren't supposed to have mustaches and even in fourth grade I knew that. I don't remember how, but I started bleaching the hair on my upper lip very early on. It smelled, it burned slightly and it didn't resolve the actual issue. I still had the hair on my upper lip, it was just an orangey-blonde.

A few years passed, I hit puberty, started high school and with that gained those 70 lbs. of fat. Unsurprisingly, that caused my endocrine system to go haywire. I was already hyper-sensitive to the hair on my upper lip, so you can imagine the dismay I felt when little coarse, wiry, black hairs started to appear on my chin and neck.  I was completely and utterly horrified. No amount of bleaching would make those little hairs any less visible. And once again, my extended family did nothing to help the matter.

I clearly recall sitting at the kitchen table with my grandfather and grandmother, only to have my grandfather make some inane and rude remark about the hair on my chin and my neck. I wanted nothing more than to slink away and cry. My unwelcome facial hair became the secondary target of my self-hatred.

I tweezed, I waxed and tried to keep it hidden. It never mattered though, even through the end of high school, and all of college, I felt like that was all people saw when they looked at me. Laser hair removal, at the time, wasn't an option. It was simply too expensive. It wasn't until a few years ago that I realized I could actually afford to have laser hair removal.  At first, I felt like it wouldn't be helpful for me. My unwanted hair problems stemmed directly from my screwed-up endocrine system. The only way to fix that was to lose weight and get healthy.

So I did.

Last year, I started saving up for my first set of laser treatments, saying that I'd start going as soon as I felt comfortable enough to afford the cost. I waited, and waited, and wished aloud that I could go sooner. Eric, being the smarty-pants that he is, heard my wishing and got me a gift certificate to the spa I'd chosen. Now, almost a year and a half later, the growth on my upper lip has been significantly decreased and I'm investing in the treatments for my chin and neck.

I know that I'm fortunate to be able to afford the laser hair treatments needed to remove the unwanted hair. For me though, every penny I've paid to remove it has been worth it. It's taking me one step closer towards being content with my body.