…PCOS runs in my family. My (late) sister had it, so did my mother and her mother. I have it. In the last couple months, I discovered burlesque performer, Little Bear. Her love of her beard, her pride and comfort in her image speaks to me, someone who struggles with how they look. At 34 years old, I have a blonde-sable-silvery soft patch of fur gracing my temples and coming down along past my ears just short of my mandibles. I also have some hair beginning on the underside of my chin, that my mother also had, but plucked. For many reasons both cultural and spiritual, the wolf has been a potent personal symbol for me. Deep in my wolf heart, when I am drifting off to sleep, is the one time of day I feel peaceful and safe in the skin I otherwise feel shame in. I do so look forward to reading about Little Bear’s work as a performer, and a PCOS advocate….
Excuse me, sir, my beard is up HERE.
So, I’ve been putting this story off.
It’s no surprise. It’s the story. It’s the first thing – of some form – that strangers and acquaintances (good friends can already quote this fable in their sleep) ask upon seeing me.
Plus, everyone wanted to know my “ah ha!” moment. “The Moment” when I flipped off the switch of shame. And until recently, I couldn’t recall one. Until recently. So here it is: the story of my beard – the how, where, when, and why?
As I referenced in The Boar of Babylon, being fuzzy in my family is par for the course. So when at 12 my mom was dragging me to the salon on Deer Park Avenue to wax my unibrow? Natch. Applying Jolens bleach to my upper lip at 13? Natch. Shaving above the knee by 14? Natch.
But by 15 those…
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