Better pluck next time How to pick up gorillas
|By Amy Alkon|
Q: I was extremely offended by your response to the woman whose female friend has a mustache. Your only suggesting ways to get her to remove it was very anti-feminist. I have female friends with facial hair. Instead of waxing it, they say, “Screw American standards of beauty. I’m beautiful just the way I am.” Your response could’ve included that option. My girlfriends with facial hair have no problem getting dates with men, and that’s because they’re confidant and beautiful. Just please don’t perpetuate misogynistic crap.
— Ain’t No Problem With A Little Hair
A: If I hated women, I’d tell those looking to date men to grow a big hairy hedge above their lip. Then they’d appeal to the .00001 percent of the American male population who think nothing’s sexier than leaning over to the girl they’re dating and whispering, “I think I should tell you…there’s a little piece of food caught in your mustache.”
Oh, what a terrible thing, promoting “American standards of beauty.” Footbinding? Clitoridectomy? Naw, plucking tiny hairs above a woman’s lip. Quick! Somebody start an international human rights organization! (Maybe something spelling out the acronym MORONIC.)
“Sorry, can’t go to the Darfur rally. We’re marching for a woman’s right to lip fur.” All together now: “HELL NO! WE WON’T MOW!” While I see the occasional strip of fur bumming a ride on a woman’s lip, you claim to know a veritable parade of women from Mustachia. Methinks you’re telling a fibby — for what you think is a good cause: keeping women feministically correct, and never mind that they’ll likely end up miserable and dateless. Fibby number two? That being a chick with a Fu Manchu is no impediment to getting dates. Right. There are men who’ll date a woman with a stache: the visually impaired, the wildly desperate, and college-boy feminists. The latter aren’t so much into girls with mustaches as they’re into being the guy who’s cool with girls with mustaches.
On a positive note, being a woman with a fur-trimmed lip does solve that age-old problem of getting men to stop addressing conversation to one’s breasts. Take poor Stephanie Mills, the Greenpeace spokeslady who went on TV in Australia. Unfortunately, the loudest thing on screen was her mustache. Even the host couldn’t help himself: “There is a mustache on a lady!” Miller had much to say about victims of nuclear testing, but she might as well have been farting out “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”
Now, I’m all for a woman with a mustache making the same money as a man with a mustache. Unfortunately, Congress can’t amend the laws of attraction. A mustache is a really clear male sex characteristic. Women with facial hair tend to have higher testosterone or be aging out of their child-bearing years, while men are hardwired to go for young, feminine-featured women. Suggesting women who want boyfriends go proudly unpruned is like telling men with moobs to rub glitter on their mancleavage and strut it in low-cut tops.
Rather amazingly, you’re suggesting women empower themselves by looking just like men. The reality is, a woman needs a mustache like a fish on a bicycle needs a man. Sure, a woman’s place is wherever she wants it to be, but if she’d like male company, she’d best avoid looking like Gandhi, Saddam, Charles Manson, or one of the Village People, and snarling through her stache: “We haven’t come a long way, and don’t call me baby!”
How to pick up gorillas
Q: I’m a white guy with a black beard — growing out of my back. I know many women are grossed out by really hairy guys. Are there measures you recommend for back-hair removal?
A: When a woman sees you naked, you want her focused on jumping your bones, not on hiring somebody to jump you with a riding lawn mower. There are back shavers that look like big squeegees (the Razorba and the Mangroomer). But, if you have coarse hair, you could end up with razor-sharp stubble — making being naked with you like spooning a lemon zester. Back waxing requires constant maintenance (in your case, probably moving into a spa), plus front waxing to match. The look you should aim for is somewhere between gay male stripper and Borat: think fur reduction over total fur removal. Laser treatment, which works best on those with light skin and dark hair, is probably your ideal bet for long-term back-hair thinning — lasting months or a year, or very possibly, permanently. You’ll still have some growth back there, but from a woman’s perspective, there’s feeling a little body hair and there’s feeling like Dian Fossey making the first peaceful contact with a mountain gorilla.
© 2010 Amy Alkon, all rights reserved.