not by the hair on my chinny chin chin.

so i’ve been letting the hair on my chin grow out for the last several months, after realizing i’d been subconsciously plucking it for many more.  when i decided to let it grow, i was living mostly in the context of intentional communities, and so the cultural shock factor was not as profound as it is in the rest of the world.  it gave me a grace period to grow comfortable with my miniature beard and then to fully celebrate it.  it doesn’t grow all the way together at the bottom of my chin, just two little tufts on the side. there are some dark hairs in it, but mostly they’re light.  so that it’s definitely a stand out characteristic, but not so bold as it could be.

today as i walked along in the sunshine, eating through a kiwi, singing to myself and licking the sticky juices from my fingers, i was stopped by a couple of men waiting for the bus.  they asked me about my chin hair, made approving noises and nobly offered, if i couldn’t find one, to be my date.  i told them i did alright and, after alexander appreciated me again for “being myself,” i kept walking.  only to be stopped at the very next bus shelter, where a woman–who seconds before had been enthusiastically making out–asked me if my chin hair was real, which i thought was an interesting question, since it seems to assume that i would go to the effort of wearing a fake and incomplete beard.

i’ve had other men assume that my chin hair means i’m a lesbian.  i’ve had 80 year old women come right up to me and touch it.  my dad thinks i only grow it out for the shock factor.  but it’s not all that simple.  of course, i love the shock factor, but it’s not actually enough to keep it for me.  it started as an experiment in body image, could i incorporate this part of myself without shame or embarrassment?  and then it did actually evolve into something i liked about myself.  i find that i play with it, consciously and subconsciously, that i pull at it when i’m thinking or as a nervous tic.  sure, sometimes i still notice it in the mirror or become anxious when i’m entering a situation where i think it will be particularly off putting.  but mostly i forget its unusual.  until someone reminds me, kindly or not so kindly.

recently a friend of mine asked me if i would trim it.  i was a little taken aback, because i’d never imagined doing such a thing.  like all of the hair on my body i was happy to let it grow wildly as it wished.  and i guess i’ve never imagined myself trimming a beard.  maybe i’ll try it, but for now i’ll just stroke it down and consider myself groomed.

oh, and i love when people just come up and touch it.  without asking or hesitation.  just in case you wanted to know!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. paxus
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 09:37:50

    i love these little hairs for many of these same reasons. The shock factor is one of them “why would such an attractive woman let these unsightly hairs grow out?” why indeed?

    i love it because it assaults the classical notions of beauty.

    i love them because i can chew on them when we are kissing and you giggle.

    i love them because of your relation with them, how you hold them and think about them and talk with people about them and are both innocent and defiant about them

    Reply

  2. Tim Smith
    Jul 01, 2011 @ 04:21:29

    I am a male that simply finds female facial hair extremely attractive an I applaud you for your statement of self awareness and being.

    There are some guys out here that find this gorgeous!!!!

    Reply

    • Sara Tansey
      Jul 01, 2011 @ 12:50:09

      Thanks Tim! This continues to be one of the blog posts that gets random traffic from folks running searches on female chin hair. My story is that lots of insecure women make searches and (i just ran one) find lots of literature that tells them how to get rid of their “excess” and “unwanted” hair. That reinforces the self hatred or perception that women are only supposed to have certain body hair. I hope more women find this blog and your comment. I want more women to be celebrating their body hair!

      And please know that I am always super appreciative of the boys who step up and say they love it. It’s refreshing.

      Reply

  3. explorer197020
    Jul 01, 2011 @ 14:30:44

    I think it is glorious the condfidence that you have!!! Are there any other photos of you out there?

    Reply

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