Today I got into a rather ugly discussion with someone on Facebook over an article posted by LGBT News of a woman who decided to stop shaving her facial hair, which is the result of PCOS, and embrace her beard. Her boyfriend fully supports her and is happy that she has finally found strength and confidence in being who she is. This struck a cord with me because I suffer from having facial hair and often have to shave it once or twice a day to hide it. It’s hard for me to talk about, I wouldn’t dare speak a word of it until recently. I haven’t been diagnosed with PCOS, but I have all of the symptoms in it.
The argument started with a Transgender woman, of all people, who called her a disgusting monster. I have spent the better part of three hours arguing with this woman who absolutely believes that me supporting her having a beard makes me a monster for supporting her being disgusting. I cannot grasp how someone who faces discrimination every day could possibly not see how happy the woman in the article is and that she is loved dearly. All she sees is a woman with hair on her face. It hurt, but as we continued to argue, I stopped caring because this woman is just a sad human being who is apparently so unhappy with herself that she feels this burning need to tear down everyone else around her that doesn’t resemble what she thinks a woman should look like.
Deep down, I’m in serious pain because every day I struggle to look at myself and while a lot of has to do with mental and emotional disorders, it also has a lot do with having struggled with facial hair since I was in middle school, as I hit puberty early. I succumbed to the bullying after a group of boys cornered me after school and threw rocks at me because I had sideburns and a budding mustache. I shaved for the first time that night and it just made me feel worse. After that moment, I have had to struggle with hiding the evidence of my shaving and sometimes it just makes it worse with irritated skin. If I go out without makeup, I keep my head down and my hair hiding the sides of my face. I keep tweezers on me at all times. If I wear makeup, I try so hard to hide the shadow lingering on my face and if I see it showing, I have a crippling anxiety attack. It’s been my deepest secret and shame that I only just recently told my best friend about. I can never accept myself as being anything remotely positive because of it and this transgender woman made it worse for me.
I’m trying so hard to brush off those comments and seem every bit as cool as I was when I dismissed her calling me a “cunt” and a “monster”, but I’m sitting at my laptop with tears running down my face and a lump forming in my throat because even a transgender woman can’t accept that cisgender women struggle with facial hair and for many, laser removal is not practical as many have extremely sensitive skin (I do) and even things that say they are meant for sensitive skin tend to cause breakouts. Not to mention how expensive those treatments are.
I need to end this here because I can feel the bile rising through my throat and my hands are shaking. I need to get my daughter to bed and I’ll most likely play video games afterwards to blow off some steam.