Mara Altman is hot and hairy. And we mean that in the best ethnic-girl-to-ethnic-girl/ “who is your waxer?” kind of way. Today, the author of Bearded Lady, a Kindle Single chronicling her battle with body hair tells us why she wrote about her struggle with the fish hook hard hairs we call unwanted. Mara’s also written articles for First Things, New York Magazine and The New York Times, adjuncts at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and her first book, Thanks For Coming, was published by Harper Collins and was optioned by HBO… so she’s hot, hairy, and brainy. Read on;
I had the idea to write about my body hair about a year and a half ago, but I didn’t have the ovaries to actually attempt the piece until about three months ago.
Every time I thought about divulging my hairiness – and all the zillions of ways I’ve tried to eradicate it, some methods of which left scars – I became nauseous, felt I might even need a spew bucket. I just felt so much shame about having hair in the ‘wrong places’, like it made me less of a woman.
Because of that, I’d managed to keep my hair a secret from everyone. No one knew about my errant hairs. My unslightly nipple weeds. My malicious chin strays. The man I’m marrying in two months didn’t even know about the ongoing war – tweezers cocked and ready – occurring behind the closed bathroom door.
Hair was steadily taking over my worldview. I noticed that when I’d look at toddler, instead of seeing a cute little human, I just got jealous that she didn’t have to worry about her mustache…yet. I finally decided that despite the discomfort, it was time to confront the fear. I didn’t want to spend my life in hiding.
The story I wrote looks at the body hair irony: To be a complete woman, why did I feel like I had to get rid of a part of myself? Bearded Lady is about coming to terms with my body hair and being honest with myself. My hope is that my story makes other females feel less shame and embarrassment for what is probably one of the biggest shared secrets among womankind.
Do you have body and facial hair? How do you deal with it? Ignore, embrace, fight, or shave?
Tags: Bearded Lady, body hair, brainy and hairy, Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, female facial hair, First Things, hot and hairy, Mara Altman, New York Magazine, Thanks For Coming, The New York Times, unwanted body hair