How to end Shame and Stress about Facial Hair or any Body Issue!
ShoomKloom Editorial Staff
Embrace and love your body, it is the most amazing thing you will ever own…
Do you have facial hairs and feel ashamed of them? Is there a part of your body you dislike and want to change?
Some of us experience body shame which is an extreme form of negative body image. Maybe you believe that you can’t love your body or that you are not worthy to be loved just the way you are.
Here is my story of feeling ashamed of having facial hairs and finding my way to be at peace with myself, facial hair and my body.
This blog can be a support for anyone dealing with body shame and body issues.
The Power of a Hair! What was so Upsetting about my Facial Hairs?
I have blamed my facial hairs for 20 years. I felt ashamed and thought I was not feminine enough. I plucked hairs in ‘secret’, in the bathroom, toilet or in bed, praying my partner or friends would never find out. While plucking; I complained about everything that was wrong with me.
In my mind, these hairs meant I was:
- Not good enough
- Not beautiful enough
- Not sexy enough
- Not feminine enough.
My body just didn’t live up to the smooth socially expected standards. The idea that someone (especially a man) would touch my chin and feel a coarse hair, horrified me.
It took me years before I gathered my courage and bypassed my embarrassment to talk with girlfriends about facial hairs. I was surprised to find out how many were busy with the same thing. I then started to tell boyfriends and the truth was that this was not an issue for them. It was clear that I had made a problem out of these hairs and their meaning.
What was upsetting was the idea about what these hairs meant about me!
What was Really Going on in my Head? Why did These Hairs Have so Much Power Over Me?
When waking up, I would immediately feel my chin. It was my first action of the day; followed by plucking each coarse hair which appeared. These hairs were constantly on my mind; together with not feeling good enough!
In 2015 through a self investigation process of my beliefs, I started to see how self-obsessed I was and busy with my small me-world. How I was missing the point in wanting to be happy with the choices I was making. It became so clear to me how I was stressing myself and wasting time with my focus on these hairs. I was completely identified with the thoughts of what these hairs meant about me.
I needed to unravel my thought patterns and misidentifications! I learned the following:
1. Seeing the Reality of Thoughts and Feelings.
I was used to believing each thought that I had to be true and I realised that when I don’t add my usual narrative to a thought or a feeling, a new world opens up!
I meet someone I like and think: ‘Oh, I hope none of my facial hairs are visible’. Here is a brief moment of embarrassment about my facial hairs. But in not adding extra thoughts to this initial feeling thought; this embarrassment actually dissolves. Because it needs my attention, effort and story-telling to survive and have an impact on me. If I don’t give that attention, the thought has no meaning or substance and is just a simple thought that comes and goes.
Try it out for yourself when you hit an embarrassing moment. What happens when you don’t add extra thoughts to what is going on?
2. The Way we Talk to Ourselves, is What is Hurting us.
I realised that the way I talk to myself can be:
- extremely harsh
- super demanding
- very judgemental
Scenario: A colleague says that you should put make-up on the spot on your chin. Than you start in your head: ‘What an asshole, how dare s/he say that, s/he doesn’t know anything, just always criticizing. S/he has a problem, not me! I do hate this spot as well, why do I have spots and now I have a headache. S/he had a spot on the forehead last week, so what is this that about…’ and we go on in our head adding more weight to that initial thought of someone else!
My inner critic can go on relentlessly (even long after a disturbing event).
This has nothing to do anymore with someone else’s comment. Also when someone tells me they love me; my critic can easily jump in action to prove they don’t really mean it. In this way whatever someone says, it is my choice what I do with it.
So yes, our own interpretations are hurting us. And that is the good news, because then we can choose differently!
Can you see that as long as you listen to your inner critic, there will always be something wrong?
3. Learning to Not Take Everything Personally.
I was so used to taking any criticism and comment about me personally (in my case this meant believing there was something wrong with me) that I was always on guard, hoping to avoid anything bad from happening. I was thinking: ‘Please don’t mention anything about my facial hairs!’ I was triggered very easily by what people said like:
– Someone telling me that I have a moustache
– My 5 year old niece asking if I had a beard
– A lover commenting on feeling some prickly hairs while kissing me
I felt offended and hurt, believing that these hairs meant that there was something wrong with me. What I heard was that the other person confirmed there was something wrong with me. Yet it was my own interpretation that was hurting me.
Now if someone tells me that I have facial hairs; I can shrug my shoulders. It is easy to just say: yes I have facial hairs. And it is also easy to take care of the hairs and be kind to myself. What do facial hairs actually have to do with me?
Imagine how you would feel if you don’t take these comments personally.
4. Replacing Complaints with Gratitude.
I realized that I was not being grateful for what I have. Actually I would often say that I was grateful because it sounded good but in reality I was ungrateful and complaining about what I didn’t have. Complaining about not having:
- hair free skin
- my own house
- more money
- a relationship when I was single
- freedom when I was in a relationship
I came to recognize that there is more to me and life than my facial hairs on my chin and upper lip. I learned to be kind and caring with myself. To shift my focus from a few hairs to all of me and life. This might sound very obvious to you, but we all have an area in life where we get stuck in a drama and lose our perspective!
We all have these amazing bodies. They come in different shapes, sizes, color and ability. Most of us have a healthy body that walks, talks, hears and sees by itself. Some of us have certain disabilities. But is it ever worth to be agonising about facial hair, about wanting to look different (to the point of considering plastic surgery for that perceived ideal beauty idea)? Of course some body conditions need medical care and (plastic) surgery.
The question I needed to ask myself was: ‘What do I value?’
Practice thanking your body for all it gives you. What happens when you are truly grateful for everything that your body gives you?
How I Reclaimed my Power and Came to Know: ‘ I Am Not My Facial Hair!’
BUT what is different is that what I feel or think about them is no longer bothering me. I know to not hook into the thoughts and feelings of shame. I am no longer lost in an emotional drama. And in case someone notices my facial hair, I can meet that moment of embarrassment (if that is what arises) and come to a place of ease without it ruining the rest of my day.
For me, the hairs are no longer a problem. They no longer define who I am or what I think and believe about myself.
I know that the hairs:
– don’t mean anything about me
– don’t make me wrong, bad or better
– don’t make me unattractive, less sexy or unfeminine
They are just there as part of the amazing body I have. And I can easily take care of them. I am grateful for the body I have: I can see, walk, talk, laugh, hear, smell and sense. My body is such a joy. I know to appreciate the body instead of being busy with what I don’t have or dwelling in shame because of some hairs on my chin.
Truth is that the female body comes with hairs and often with excessive facial hairs. It can have a medical reason which might need attention. But it never means that there is something wrong with you. And with my preference to not show my facial hairs, I am grateful to have so many options of hair removal available to me.
So if you struggle with how you feel about your body or with having facial hairs and want to stop stressing, check us out on www.shoomkloom.com.