So I was generally pretty good about putting on sunblock while cycling for a week. Partway through the week, I look in the mirror at the youth hostel I’m at for the night and feel like the otherwise fairly light-colored hair above my upper lip is darker. I enumerate possibilities:
-missed that part for sunblock (unlikely, I think I remember putting sunblock there)
-put on too much sunblock there, making that part of my face whiter as the rest of my face was getting dark; the contrast makes the upper lip hair look darker
-(but wouldn’t the upper-lip-hair get bleached from the sun, if anything, the way head-hair does?)
-body started producing more testosterone in the riding, causing upper lip hair to be more visible (a little fast? dunno. bodies change fast when biking all day.)
-relative solitude caused me to see things differently though perhaps nothing about the hair on my face changed.
1) I was on a swim team for part of high school. I remember women in it laying down, putting their head in other women’s laps, with the other woman bent over, plucking out eyebrow hairs with tweezers. The tweezer-keepers sometimes hassled other woman to let them at their eyebrows as well.
2) A high school friend’s mom had laser surgeried (surgery-ed?) her eyebrows away and had new ones tattooed on. Years later, in Chicago, I saw someone who looked a lot like her and began wondering what she was doing at the 55th Street Green Line CTA stop… and then realized it wasn’t her, because this woman I saw had eyebrows made of hair.
I was bicycling in Bretagne, France a few weeks ago, legs and underarms unshaved and exposed by bike shorts and cycling top. One afternoon, a youngish-middle-aged man, also on bicycle, starts chatting with me, and it turns out we’re going in the same direction, towards the same town. Which is great, because he (is ridiculously nice and) likes chatting enough that he suggests we cycle there together, which is great both because he was good company and because then I didn’t need to look at my maps, which I was doing almost compulsively at that point in the ride. (it is then even more great because he offers to give me a tour of all the good views of the sea in the town we’re riding to, which otherwise I wouldn’t have found, or even looked for.)
At some point, I notice that he has shaved legs. On the one hand, I know that he doesn’t think of himself as a competitive cyclist (a few of his friends were doing the race they talk about there, Paris-Brest-Paris, he wasn’t; he joked about Le Tour, which had left spray paint traces on the pavement from when it had passed through Bretagne), so he wouldn’t shave to save a few seconds (or however much time). On the other hand, he’s wearing bicycle garb (including the shoes) and doing a 50 kilometer (30 mile) ride in the morning, just to “get some air” before he starts work in the afternoon. So he could be shaving because he identifies with cycling (socially, practically, aesthetically). Or he could be shaving for any number of other reasons— maybe his wife wants him to? maybe he wants to? I’m pretty sure the majority of French men don’t shave their legs, but maybe it’s not as uncommon as in the ‘states.
Of course, I thought all this then, and wished that the world was such that it didn’t feel like such a terrible idea to ask him about it.
this is: created in response to being verbally attacked for having unremoved body hair and/or this is Inspired By an attack by someone generally close to me for having not removed my body hair and/or this is an attempt to create a virtual safe space? and/or this was originally created with the idea of saying, simply, “we exist!”, where we are not prepubescent, not barbie-dolls, and/or this was originally created with female-bodied human people in mind but quickly blossomed (sprouted?) to include female non-human people (a spider!) and non-female human people (and obviously non-female non-humans could be the next step) in its discussions and hopefully postings and/or this is an attempt to create non-virtual safe spaces, too, obviously, create greater acceptances of diversities in bodies? yes let’s. enough with that sentence.
aside: currently playing with themes; we’ll see how this one goes (I kind of want a serif font).