As it happens, her current topic on her blog, Midriff Muse, is body hair, a subject near and dear to our Yibawean heart and attached UNpopulated follicles. Terry battles a surfeit of black hairs that keep cropping up, in spite of her careful maintenance, Her battle to be bald, at least in certain areas of her body - and that's a start! - intrigues us.
Below is a reprint of her latest post on Midriff Muse. If you like her writing she has a fine book which you can obtain through her website:
Midlife Musings #2008z - Going to Greater Lengths
Okay, I am going to be expounding on the topic of hair again. The fact is that my midriff and my body hair are my two biggest growth industries, so they provide a lot of material. What follows here was written as an addendum to the “Exceeding Hairline” piece. And since I have previously connected hair and politics, let me just say here and now that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has made it very difficult for me to wear my hair with my customary “sweeping bang” style without feeling a little silly.
Without further ado…
Exceeding Hairline Extensions
The bathroom in our little 1950’s Ranch Home Master Suite has a shower stall that is so enclosed, getting into it is like stepping into a vertical coffin only with less room for a body and it has about as much light as a bomb shelter, so the aerobics of shaving body hair elude me when I am in there. In these middle years, I have resorted to standing at the sink and shaving by the light over the mirror to defoliate my armpits. I have in previous writing discussed the difficulty of achieving a clean shave in the armpit area at this time of life. It becomes increasingly impossible because the skin now hangs so loose that it pleats itself when I run the razor over it, enfolding much of the hair into the flesh making it impossible for the blade to reach it. Do you remember when the first home office paper shredders came out and you got one so you could shred all the personal information that you used to just throw in the trash and you thought that you were really on top of things and taking care of business and then a couple of years later you learned that your shredder was only slicing everything vertically and that to really have your documents perfectly shredded enough to protect your identity that you needed to get a new one that shredded both vertically and crosswise? The same thing is true when it comes to shaving the armpits on my new body model. It requires a number of strokes in every possible direction followed by a thorough inspection, especially now that the border of the hairline is creeping down into the breastage area. If one of these creepers gets missed, it doesn’t take long for a 1 or 2 inch single hair length to appear over the top of the bra cup and become visible when wearing a tank top or a sleeveless anything. I don’t know what I would do without a teenage son in my life to point these matters out to me. (In fact, he has filed a grievance with the BDFMB – Better Dressing for Moms Bureau – that I should never be allowed to wear any garment with sleeves shorter than elbow length or with a neckline lower than a turtleneck.)
The method used for shaving under my arms does not work for shaving my legs; an entirely different posture is required. I accomplish this particular maintenance by placing a towel on the lowered toilet lid, and my rear upon that, and lastly, another towel on the floor where I place my feet. The proximity to the sink allows me to soap my legs and wet and rinse my razor with minimal reaching around and the seated position gives me a head start on bending down to start the shaving stroke at my ankle. It would not be exaggerating or punning in any way to describe the amount of space between the toilet and the sink as “butting up against each other”, thus the maneuverability factor is very low. Thankfully there does not seem to be much hair to shave off the legs anymore. And that is a good thing because, even though I know I have not grown any taller, my legs still keep getting farther and farther away somehow. This whole thing of becoming a person of much greater substance as one grows older is vastly overrated. And thank goodness there’s less to shave on the legs, because the advantage is not even proportionate to the difficulty of doing so, and the now “requisite” thorough inspection post shave of the entire acreage would be absolutely impossible if the leg hair still grew in all the places it used to. Besides which, I need to reserve energy for new inspection areas. It has become necessary these days to conduct a routine scouting mission for early detection of all border defectors everywhere: not just the armpit and legs, but above, around, to the side, and underneath the eyebrows, as well as, perform an entire face scan due to the dandelion-like propagation of dark hairs all over the those surfaces. My little black hairs have no respect for my boundaries. All of a sudden – right in the middle of the cheek – one springs out, seemingly before my eyes. I purposely keep a separate pair of tweezers gummed up with a little hair removal wax to pluck these vagrants because I have found that they can be like little mirages, disappearing right as I close in around them and I find myself pulling an empty tweezers. Then as soon as I set the tweezers down, they say “nah, nah, boo, boo”, and pop right up again. So having that little gumminess on the end of the instrument seems to catch them off guard and they are trapped in a firm grip and I can pull them out before they can even react. These are small victories that I like to celebrate. One person’s minor efficiency can be another person’s tremendous time-saver, as anyone who has ever whiled away valuable hours clamping at little hair mirages will tell you.
And by the way, where have my eyelashes gone? – to all the rest of my face? I wonder! Even in my prime years, I never had long, luscious eyelashes; I never could make use of an eyelash curler because the shortness of my eyelashes caused it to pinch the skin of my eyelids. Thankfully, that particular beauty flaw was offset by my bustline. These days, however, the ample cleavage is full of middle age droop and is a real backsore, if you know what I mean, and adding insult to injury is the fact that my short, sparse eyelashes are half of their former length and thickness. In more robust times, a little mascara would work a little magic, but like so many things that have snuck up on me these recent decades, I noticed one day that the mascara wasn’t having an effect any more. At first, I thought I just needed to get some fresh mascara and when that didn’t make a dent, the reality slowly permeated my fog – oh! – there are no eyelashes for it to attach itself to – just these little stubs of bristle – Come ooonnnn! – Really? – that too? – Is there no end? It’s a good thing I haven’t got a huge amount of vanity about my looks, the blessing of middle age being that one lacks the energy to self traumatize overly much.
So having said what I needed to say here, I’m going to put some facial wax in the microwave and set about clearing the brush from my chin and try to look as respectable as I can for the day. I suspect there are a few others things worthy of my time and attention too.
January 8th, 2009 Tags: Body Image, Facial Hair, hair removal, hair removal wax, midlife hair growth, midriff, Politics, Rod Blagojevich, teenage son Category: Body Image, Midlife Musings, Politics Comments (3)