I Am a Hairy Woman

I am a very hairy woman. When I was in primary school, the mean kids would call me werewolf when I exposed my arms. In high school, it was “DJ Gorilla” or “Unleash your beast”, the ongoing joke being that I was a man on account of how hairy I am.

Now, I’m not looking for sympathy. I have spent 24 years in this body and it’s hairy as shit and I’m OK with that. I wax, I bleach and I shave, but I’m not as upset about my hairiness as you’d think. Yes, that’s mostly because I’m lazy and can’t be bothered. Sometimes I will just let my moustache be there because I can’t force myself to go buy wax. This is obviously part of the “acceptance” phase of my relationship with my body hair. Again, I’d like to reiterate that said acceptance isn’t about reaching some higher level of zen or self love, it’s literally just about having too many other things that are far more worthy of my worry.

This wasn’t always the case: I spent most of my teen years horrified by what a hideous, hairy beast I was. The aforementioned name-calling really didn’t help. I would obsessively bleach and shave and wax before any occasion at which my body would be exposed (a pool party, for instance). I used to have my arms waxed regularly and I made my mom swear on my life that one day she would pay for me to have laser hair removal on my happy trail.

Being a hairy lady is hard, especially when unrealistic standards of beauty in the media would have you believing that every grown woman is as free of body hair as she was the day she slid out of the womb. Oh, how younger, less self-accepting me would’ve loved to have had the slick, hairless body of a Victoria’s Secret Angel! If you’re a hairy-ass lady, don’t sweat it (seriously sweat plus excessive body hair is not a fun recipe for BO)—There are worse things than being hairy. Being mean or racist or having incurable foot fungus, for example. Regardless, there are still struggles that go along with being a woman who is blessed with excessive body hair. Such as:

1. I’m not saying that only super hairy women understand hair removal (because, clearly, most women get it to a certain extent) but talk to a hairy girl about hair removal and it’s like talking to Neil deGrasse Tyson about the universe—girl will know more than you knew there was to know.

2. Nothing bums a hairy girl out more than having a hairy lower back. Maybe a happy trail on her tummy. My mother calls my hairy lower back my welcome mat which never ceases to gross me out. I had one ex-boyfriend who would stroke it, like it was his pet, which also made me feel wildly uncomfortable. It’s the thing I was most ridiculed for growing up. While I’ve never waxed it, I have contorted myself into some pretty weird positions trying to bleach it. Hairy girls will understand: it’s not that your back hair makes you feel gross or insecure, it’s that having it there makes you feel genuinely melancholy, because your back is like a dude’s back (or at least what you’ve been taught a “dude’s back” is supposed to look like, compared to what a “woman’s back” is “supposed” to look like, all of which is super unfair and weird and leads to you needlessly hating something on your body). And no matter what you do to it the fact is the genetic lottery gave you a merkin on what’s supposed to be a very sexy part of a woman’s body.

3. A hairy girl probably spent the majority of her formative years (the ones where the most bullying happened) fake tanning the crap out of herself based on the logic that if she somehow could bring the color of her skin closer to the color of her body hair, somehow the body hair would look less obvious. Note to hairy self-tanners from a former hairy self-tanner: this logic is extremely flawed.

4. The sad fact of being a hairy girl is that no matter how much you wax, bleach and shave yourself, you can’t avoid that 5 o’clock shadow. It’s there on your legs, right after a shave. The heads of thick black hairs waiting just under the surface of the skin. A couple of weeks after waxing, there they are again. Likewise, when bleached hair starts to grow out, especially on your longer arm hairs, the new growth looks even more prominent against the few bleached hairs that are left. The battle against body hair for a hairy woman is constant and deep down in your bowels you just know: it can’t be won. Which is why it’s especially nice that the battle against hating your body hair definitely can be won.

Finally, I went to high school with a girl who had to take a week off school because she burned her face trying to bleach the thick black hairs on it. This girl had pube-like sideburns, and when she finally recovered from her injury, the bleach, even though left on way longer than it should have been, only managed to turn the hairs orange, rather than the angelic, diaphanous white a hairy girl hopes for. I’ve definitely substituted my upper lip hair for a red bleach burn scab before, and even the most veteran bleacher can make a boo-boo. Bleach is like cocaine. Once you put a little under your nose, you convince yourself that a little bit more, then a little bit more, a little bit more, will make everything better—which usually works out about as well as when you do it with cocaine.

Question: Whats tour thoughts on hairy women?

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Pressure and Expectations 

As a woman I find or feel I have a lot of pressure and expectations put on me without a vote in the process.

It’s like I’m expected to get married, I’m expected to give head, I’m expected to have kids, expected to do so so many things, I’m not sure I want to do. When do I get a say in what I want to do, instead of having the pressure(s) of expectations thrust upon me.

I’m 23 soon to be 24, and you know sometimes I don’t feel like giving head, and marriage… OMG, really, I can’t freak’n pop popcorn without burning it–never less being a wife.

I just want to do what I want to do. I want to walk around in sweats with no bra and/or makeup, and watch Orange is the New Black or whatever, and not feel pressured to do anything. I want to flat out say NO, without feeling inconsiderate or sitting for hours wondering if my text response was rude. I just want to be me.

As a child women are drunkened with the “this is how you should behave,” attributes–however, I feel somewhere along the generations, someone forgot to tell/teach me/women its ok to be who you are. Its ok.

Now I’m not saying I dont want the family thing, because I do–not now, not just yet. I want to live with out feeling I got to do X,Y, and Z. I want to say I have to pee without feeling trashy. Oh another thing I want to do… I want to tell or say excuse me (within 2 seconds) to the person standing in the middle of the isle at the grocery store.

OMG OMG this may seem strange but guys do it all the time. But me, no I freak’n stand there like forever without saying anything, because I don’t want to seem rude.

But guys like my dad or brothers, man they will say excuse me, keep it moving and its done.

Question: Do you feel woman have unwanted Pressure and Expectations?

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SurveyStud: In the App Store

Venting…

I remember the first time I tried to describe the physical sensation of menstrual cramps to my dad. His face twisting into a horrified grimace.

Yes. Yes, it can be. And many of us deal with it every month. But unless you’re our SO or close friend, you’ll probably never know about it. Because we still manage to get sh*t done.

There are a lot of similar struggles that women experience all the time — some silly and small, some alarmingly big — that many men might not be aware of or understand. For example we’re always expected to look nice. And to look happy and have a pleasant demeanor. Seriously, sometimes we want to go outside with frizzy hair and no makeup and sweatpants and not talk to or smile at anyone. I also hate white I go to sleep on white sheets, with a white pillow, and wake up with sheets that look like a 1st grader just colored all over them… uggggghhhh.

OMG what about thinking about your safety ALL the time… Where you walk, how dark it is, where you park, who is in your general vicinity at all times. Parking at the mall? Don’t park near a van! Want to stay late studying? Better have someone walk you to your car. It’s exhausting honestly.

See guys dont have these type of thoughts and or problems.

Then you have the petty stuff i.e… painting your nails with the non-dominant hand–how about going-upstairs boobs. Sleeping face down boobs. Hello I’m going to hurt for no reason today boobs. Boob bra knot boobs. We’ve fallen out and going to do our own thing today boobs.

Don’t judge me, I’m venting…

If I happen to run a few errands or God forbid go to school or work without makeup on and I run into someone I know, I get ‘hey are you okay? You look sick.’ And then when I do wear makeup and I look all cute and presentable, I’ll hear, ‘yeah guys definitely like the natural look better.’

Then there’s the stress of an unexpected period, but then also the stress of an unexpected not-period.

Then theres shaving my kneecaps. Twenty-three years of practice and I’m still awful at it.

Finally because I don’t want to bore you with my problems, but ANYTHING and everything you do with the opposite sex can ([and] probably will at some point) be interpreted as being a tease or leading him on.

I could go on-and-on. Sorry, thanks for reading 🙂

Question: What’s something you want to vent about but for whatever reason have not let it out?

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SurveyStud: In the App Store

Kissing A Guy With Bad Breath

Looking back at a specific relationship, I am a little surprised I was down for the sh*t breath for so long. I think that had we not been cool and pretty good friends before we tried dating for a while, I probably would’ve nipped that in the bud early. But it’s amazing what you’re willing to look past when you genuinely like someone.

I’m writing this is because during a brainstorming meeting my boss (Amy Goldenberg, Consumer Research Analyst, SurveyStud,inc) said she wanted someone to explain the psychology behind being able to date someone with tart breath (to put it mildly) and never tell them about it. Before I knew, it I was opening my big mouth announcing, “Oh I did that.”

In my defense, I was 20, I had known the guy nearly all my life, and we didn’t date that long. Still, the joke to end all jokes on him was that his breath smelled like some sort of horrid combination of rust and metal. And there I was putting my tongue all up in and through the danger zone. Gag me. Literally.

Any time I was about to meet up with Yuck Mouth (YM,) there was anxiety in my stomach, worrying just what level of stank his mouth was going to reek of that day.

In all seriousness, gum was my lifesaver. I’m never one to leave home without it anyway, but I made sure to double up when I knew we’d be hanging out. And just in case any of you are finding yourself in the unfortunate position of slobbing a yuck mouth, know that the flavor must absolutely be wintergreen, green mint, winter mint, peppermint, or anything in that category. Messing around with that wildberry, bubble mint mess with have feeling like you just stuck your tongue in a field of strawberries that mother nature defecated on. Learn from me, don’t do it to yourself.

Being careful not to stand too close when talking also helped. Like with anything else, the longer you think about something the less likely you are to do it. If I would have been up in his face for too much time before we had one of our cheesy makeout sessions, I’m pretty sure I would have eventually ran the other way and pulled one of those curfew copouts or fake phone calls to get myself up out of that sticky spot. But when the odor doesn’t overcome you until right about the time that you’re ready to start exchanging pecks, those teenage hormones are already in overdrive and you figure eff it. What doesn’t make me throw up, only makes my stomach stronger.

As for why I didn’t tell YM about the atrociousness spilling from his oral orifices. Simple: I wouldn’t be telling him anything he didn’t already know or that would make a difference. The thing is, gum was like a band-aid over his breath. Heck, toothpaste was a bandage over that putrocity (yeah, I made that up). I was convinced my summer fling/friend thing had a serious case of halitosis and what I knew for sure, like Oprah says, is that simply saying “your breath smells” didn’t even cover the half and was surely not going to remedy that ailment

Question: Is it appropriate to tell someone their breath is tart?

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SurveyStud: In the App Store

The Ex

I like designer bags but I don’t necessarily like baggage. Not the “ex” kind of baggage. At my age, it’s more likely than not that anyone I would date/end up with has baggage. It’s a term I don’t like because when you find the right guy, his baggage doesn’t seem so much like “baggage” as it does a “pretty package.”

For example, before I met the man I’m now dating, I made it perfectly clear to any man I went out with that I come as a package. If you date me, you’re also, for lack of better description, dating my kid. Meaning, you have to get along with her, she has to like you, and you almost certainly will be my second priority.

When you have a kid, it’s easier to date someone else who has a kid or even children. They usually understand if you have to bail at the last minute because your child is sick, they like children (because they already have them), and they understand why a child can turn from an angel into a sobbing heap on the floor within 10 seconds.

But what I’ve never quite understood is the baggage that is known as “the ex.” Rather, I understand it; I just don’t like to deal with it.

One of my exes had an ex-wife who acted as if she were still his wife. They had no children and it was hard for me to fathom why this woman would still want to go out of her way to decorate his place, ask him to drive her to the airport, and buy him flowers. There is nothing worse than an ex who doesn’t realize she is an ex (at least for the person dating the man/woman.)

The man I’m dating now has gorgeous, kind and sweet children. I thought God was looking down on me, finally, when I fell in love. Plus, his ex lives a 40-minute drive away, is not in my social circle, and we didn’t have any friends in common.

But of course, I was a little naïve. I recently found out that this ex is following my every move on Facebook — which is fine, but, it makes me uncomfortable, especially when exes of the man I am dating, or the men I have dated, check me out. My boyfriend and I are serious, to the point where we both would like to be included in every aspect of each other’s lives. This includes school plays (which he attended with me when my daughter was recently in one) to birthday parties. One of his children has an upcoming birthday party. As we slowly blend our families together, I don’t want there to be any drama.

My ex’s ex-wife (the one with no children) actually wanted to meet and hang out with me. My response was, “Why?” But if I do plan on being a stepmom with my new man, I do understand why I may have to meet my boyfriend’s ex-wife. Do I want to do this? No. Do I think if we can get along at least politely it will be best for the children? Absolutely. Does she have to like me? No.

But if my ex was/is dating another woman who could possibly be my daughter’s stepmother, I would for sure want to meet her, at least once, to make sure that my daughter is safe. My daughter, her safety and her happiness, will always be my first priority, just as I’m sure that’s my boyfriend’s ex-wife priority.

Question: If you have any ex-partner/parent advice… I’d really like to hear your thoughts.

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SurveyStud: In the App Store

Saggy Breasts

As a 20 something I would have never thought saggy boobs represent some sort of canonistic experience for women of all ages regardless of social-economics, and or demographics. See unless you saw me naked, you would never guess I have saggy boobs. Yes I said it. I have saggy boobs.

It’s like one morning I woke up, rolled on my back and my boobs just didn’t follow with the rest of my body. I’m not kidding, when I lie down, 80 percent of my breasts fall into my armpit. It’s really cute.

At the ripe age of 23, they’re completely deflated. I thought boob sag would only come after pregnancy, but I was wrong. Gravity is a law. My body has abided.

Sometimes I wonder what I did to gravity to deserve this boob sag. Sometimes I’ll lift them up, look in the mirror and gawk at how much of my body they cover up. My upper ribs are constantly in the shadow of my under-boob.

When I hit puberty, my ta-tas were a size D. I even had stretch marks in high school because my chest was #blessed. But at around age 20, my overwhelming D-cups deflated to modest C-cups.

Another thing I noticed my boob sag is my biggest insecurity when it comes to hooking up. They look great when they’re tucked up into a bra, but once that comes off, they’re just going to flop out. It’s like opening a bag of chips only to find more air than chips.

Then there’s the gym… OMG!!! Has anyone else gone to the gym, attempted to do some crunches and all of the sudden notice half your boob is leaking out the side of your sports bra? Just me? OK.

If you have saggy boobs, sports bras work their magic by reinforcing everything, but your boobs just get flattened against your chest in the most unflattering way. They do this droopy, separation thing as you run on the treadmill. It’s just not cute.

No matter what bra cup size you have, you probably struggle to find bathing suits that fit well. I laugh when I look at string bikinis because they’re just something I’ll never be able to wear. Ever since I grew these damn things, bikini tops have been my worst enemy. Either I’m busting out of them, forming an attractive quad boob (when they spill out the top) or there’s no support whatsoever. That’s when I contemplate just avoiding beaches altogether.

My cleavage used to be difficult to cover up. Now, I can only create Victoria’s Secret-worthy cleavage when there’s a gravity-defying push-up bra involved.

So I wrote all of this to say, you are not the only woman to deal with boob sag.

Question: Have you ever experienced boob sag?

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SurveyStud: In the App Store

Is Barack Obama the Face of America

When you look in the mirror do you see an image staring back at you that reflects your ideal image of beauty? Take a moment to describe the ideal woman’s physical features. What color skin tone does she have? How much does she weigh? What do her eyes look like? What does she wear when she goes out on the town? How is her hair styled?

Now take another moment to figure out the answer to this question: Where did your idea of beauty come from?

Because think about it, even though Donald Trump is now President of The United States, the world still sees Barrack Obama as President–so if the woman you described as ideal does not look like the woman you see in the mirror, chances are along your life journey you were bamboozled by someone’s impression of what a woman or beauty should look like.

Now don’t be upset. In our quest to decipher our purpose and mission in life we often adopt the beliefs and expectations of those around us in order to gauge whether we are living life correctly.

Suppose you were taught at an early age that you were expected to finish high school, go to college, get married, have children and retire by age 55. Those seem like reasonable life expectations don’t they? Well, how do you know that those expectations were the right path for YOU?

Now go back to the woman you described as your ideal image of beauty. Chances are you’ve met her before and it caused you great distress. Where did you meet her? Was she the woman who stole your first boyfriend? Was she the little sister who came along and stole all of the attention away from you when you were a child? Was she the most popular girl in high school? Was she the woman all the boys drooled over as she crooned pop music on television? Was she the girl who won all the awards at school without ever trying?

The point I am making is simple. If the ideal woman you imagined does not look like you, somewhere along the line you compared yourself to another woman and felt that you fell short. Somewhere along your life journey, you decided that there was another woman in existence who had something special that you did not. Somewhere along your life path, you listened to opinions about what is right and wrong and you decided not to decide for yourself.

Question: When is the last time you said to yourself… “I look good.”

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SurveyStud: In the App Store