Updated: Jul 6, 2020
I have been carrying an immense amount of anger for quite some time.
And I have an immense amount of hair, all over my body.
It has always been this way.
I was an outcast from a young age, both for the way I looked and the way I expressed my anger. I had grown up in an environment where yelling and throwing things was common, so I learned those behaviors quickly. I got in trouble a lot in school for this. Violence was normal to me, until school made it clear to me that it was not. Being hairy was also normal to me, until my Caucasian peers made me painfully aware that it was not.
I was ten years old when my mom took me to get laser removal on my mustache. I was too scared to go through with it, and ended up shaving, plucking, or waxing it off for the next 20 years.
In my pre-adolescence I learned that if I could shave my entire body, hands and arms included, heavily style my hair, and paint a doll’s face onto my own face, then occasionally I might be accepted by my peers. If I could “be positive” and “fake it till I make it”, I could set aside the ongoing traumas in my personal life and the world at large and achieve some level of success.
This worked… to an extent.
I became obsessed with external beauty in my teen years. In my quest to be accepted, I saw no alternative but to completely objectify myself, emulating the only people I related to as role models: the tragically glamorous Satine from Moulin Rouge, the charmingly ditzy Elle Woods from Legally Blond, supermodels that I read about in Vogue. My role models were fair-skinned, light-haired, and uninterested in much beyond beauty.
In my 20s I vacillated wildly between extreme control; shaving everything, working in objectifying industries, buying wholly into beauty consumerism, and complete abandon; dreadlocking my hair, growing everything out, giving away my belongings, becoming a hippie farmer. I struggled to learn my own mind, worked for years to understand my thoughts and emotions, my desires and my traumas.
Great news: I gained a lot of peace and clarity in all that searching. I am working with my rage and learning to access that power in a completely new and different way. More on that later. I have learned to (somewhat) efficiently remove (some of) my hair when I feel like it, and to not be disgusted by the hair when it’s there.
I have come an incredibly long way.
But you know what y’all?
I still have a lot of rage. It's perfectly valid. It makes sense, given the conditions.
And I still have a lot of hair.
It's actually quite beautiful in its own wild way, when I choose to frame it that way.
The more I fight these things, the stronger they come. So here’s to allowing and accepting as a means for change. As a part of this practice, I took some cranky, hairy quarantine selfies. Enjoy.
May we accept who we are in our entirety, and be kind to ourselves.
May we extend that acceptance and lovingkindness out to all beings.
May we be fierce when needed. May we channel our anger efficiently to heal the sources of our pain and create radical shifts in oppressive structures.
May we stop giving any fucks about what people think. Time to let it go.
Life is beautiful and it is worth living.
You are beautiful and you are worth loving.
Take care and be well.