Growing Up Hairy

I am a pure bred Armenian and for those who don’t know, Armenians are stereotyped as being “hairy”. Most ethnic stereotypes are grossly exaggerated. In my case, however, its somewhat spot on.

My mother said I was born with hair on my legs. My aunt always tells the story of the day I was born when they looked at my plump legs and said “Yep, she’s going to be a hairy one”. I didn’t become aware of my overgrowth until the 4th or 5th grade when a very observant peer pointed it out to me and the class that I had a mustache and looked like a monkey. Oh kids, how cruel they can be. As if going through puberty and desire to fit in wasn’t hard enough, I was now coined as the hairy girl (not a boy’s first choice to ask to the dance). In a sea of fair skinned blond girls, there I was, oily olive skin, hair the color of asphalt, a uni-brow and mustache that made some of the boys jealous.

I did what anyone else in my place would have done, I went home crying, developed an extreme insecurity and begged my mother to let me shave. My mother, being a veteran hairy person herself, said that under no condition could I shave. She said that shaving will turn my already bushy legs into a hair brush. The only way to successfully rid this fuzz was to wax. She vowed that waxing lasted longer and in time would make the hair grow less and less. Her argument was convincing and not knowing what waxing was I happily agreed. Most American mom’s can remember their daughter’s 1st ballet recital or 1st dance. My mother, on the other hand, will never forget my 1st waxing session. If anyone heard me that day they probably would have called DYFS. With each pull of the strip, however, I just kept thinking of how great it will be to be hair-free and just bore the pain. It was this day that a crusader was born.

Since the age of 10, I have been fighting hair like a fierce soldier. Through the battle, I have tried every product and method known to infomercials and man. From slathering hair melting creams to using small pieces of sand paper which is supposed to remove the hair (and a layer of skin) to the ever popular Epilady (which I still use by the way). Some of these methods were successful, some, not so much. At the ripe age of 13, I gave up ice skating lessons to start electrolysis. For several years, a ½ hr a week, I visited an electrologist who stuck a needle in each of my pores on my upper lip and sent an electric current to kill the hair follicle (sounds fun!). An effective yet pain staking and expensive method but the only permanent method available back then.

I am a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason” and I think were it not for my hair, I would have never met my best friend. When I entered high school, my mom signed me up for the youth group at church so that I can meet other fellow Armenians. One day at the church bazaar, a girl who was part of the group approached me and said “I hear you go for electrolysis – what’s it like?” From that day forward grew a remarkable friendship. I was finally able to vocalize my insecurities and between exchanged notes about our experiences we realized we had more in common than dark hair. Most best friends might remember their 1st sleep over or 1st time they got drunk together but my BF and I remember our 1st laser electrolysis appointment which was the day that changed our lives. Now, 22 years later, I can say that I achieved victory: I am mostly hair free (thanks to the almighty laser and my mother for not letting me shave), mostly insecurity free and my quest to end hair led me to a wonderful person who I love like a sister.

*Please note that I do not endorse or encourage any method of hair removal since different people respond to different methods.  I would be happy to answer any questions on hair removal based on my own experience*


Cougar Tales said...

I am so sorry for what you had to go through as a little hairy tyke! On the other hand, I do appreciate you turning me on to laser hair removal! :-) Just a few more sessions till I am hair-free.
- Cougs @

The Cove Secret is Out.

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