My friend calls them "overnight auntie hairs."
Ladies, you know. Men, you probably don't know.
Or maybe you do know but you are polite enough to not speak of it. Maybe the future of the human race's desire to procreate is wrapped up in preserving this secret. Maybe outing women like this will be the catalyst to the End Times. Maybe I'm the fashion antichrist.
Overnight auntie hairs are a fact of adulthood for women, so don't go and pretend I'm grosser than you, just because I admit it and you hide behind the bathroom door with tweezers. OAHs are these horrible, black thicker-than-normal hairs that sprout from a woman's chin -- usually just one at a time, and they don't incrementally grow. Oh, no. They shoot up 1-inch long in a matter of seconds. You go to bed with a face o' porcelain. You awake to a daddy longlegs clawing its way out of your jaw pores.
This is why so many women keep tweezers in their car console and/or purse. Watch women at stop lights and parking lots when they're finally alone in their car. You'll see. We're basically removing our beards, follicle by follicle. (OAHs lean toward the sun like sunflowers, which makes the car ideal grooming grounds.)
Katie Rubin, a "spiritual comedian," recently aired a Youtube video titled "Hair Removal Prompts Deep Awareness For Human Female."
Rubin, a stand-up comedian from Los Angeles, recently appeared at The Dairy Center in Boulder for her show, "Something Different." (She's gone now but you can watch her comedic awesomeness at youtube.com/user/klrubin.)
Her hair removal bit (aptly recorded while driving in the car) centers on her internal debate as she's on her way to get her eyebrows waxed, and how to rectify that decision with the old voice in her head that strongly resisted changing her appearance.
As she mocks in her video, "I'm not going to pluck my eyebrows for men or for America because blerg, blerg, blerg, I don't need you, blerg, blerg."
But it turns out, Rubin admits, she likes removing the hairs from her face parts because it makes her feel streamlined and cute and zippy.
And now, she says, she realizes her self-esteem is internally validated (by her pure existence; we are all equally worthy), but part of living a life with esteem is participating in society. The "marketplace."
"I can get super internally focused and be like, 'All that matters is what I think, and I don't have to be anything for anyone else,'" she says, "and in a way, there's a shutting out of my awareness of my impact on others, if I shut that out."
Complete, holistic self-esteem embodies the expression of your gifts and talents -- in the marketplace, she says.
This made me think about my daily battle with auntie hairs and how my choice to shower after exercising and put on mascara in the morning can be an important component of our connection to others -- a bridge to unity and, therefore, wholeness.
We know that a large chunk of communication is physical. Could "playing into" the social norms of beauty show our respect, concern and awareness of the society we live in? And defying it insinuate a disconnect or denial? Calm your twitching, hippies and just play with me for a sec.
On one hand, there are many dangerous and unhealthy social pressures related to "beauty," but does it put up a wall between us and others when we lump even the harmless beauty standards in with that?
We are spirits (or minds, or whatever you want to call the thing that hangs out inside our bodies), but we live and connect with others through our home in physical form.
Like a house. Living a peaceful life means you put care into the inside and outside of your house. If you have great curb appeal but are a hoarder, you aren't living in peace. And likewise, it doesn't matter how clean your living room is if you have 16 rusty cars on your front lawn. And doing so is disrespectful of other people's space and pursuit of peace.
Is ignoring or defying society's acceptable spectrum of physical expression kind of like throwing up a middle finger to your neighborhood's HOA? Sure, the rules might be kind of stupid sometimes and even unnecessary, but they are designed for the greater good, mainly a cohesiveness that makes the neighborhood feel unified and related. (Note: You can decorate the inside of your house however you want. Go wild.)
In that, are fashion trends and style standards one way that we feel like a "family?"
Fashion at its core is tribal expression. Think about the historical different forms of body modification and clothing worn by different tribes. Back then, the "tribe" was just smaller -- and the fashion was often considered spiritual and very important to set social boundaries: I belong here, these are my values, I care about these people.
If I don't pluck my eyebrows, am I telling modern America that I don't belong here or want to be connected with others? Is that why some Americans are so uncomfortable when they see women with hairy armpits? On some primal level, do we feel threatened? Pulled apart?
Don't get me wrong. It is fun to experiment with being a black sheep, and we all need our own "weirdness" and self-expression to be individuals and to honor our uniqueness. Our interior truth. And consciously shifting style standards is part of evolution. God knows we evolved out of the Aqua Net Age for good reason.
But to be whole, we need to recognize our whole package, and that includes an external connection, too. Balancing your individuality with nonverbal communication. That means I need to get my she-stache waxed. And I feel better when I do. Not only because it feels cleaner and I feel more organized and put-together, but because it removes a road block of connection with others; they can listen to my words, not be distracted by my femme manchu.
We create unnecessary roadblocks that can have deep impacts by denying the physical standards of the tribe we live in.
Don't believe me? Hide my tweezers for a month and see if you can hear a word I'm saying.
On second thought, please don't do that. I'd rather you just disagree.
But like it or not, if you're a tweezer-hiding kind of gal, chances are I might be too distracted to fully absorb your dispute.