There’s this thing that men, women and everyone do where they like to make unsolicited comments on your personal appearance. I was prey to this at an early age. While my sister had nicknames like Pretzel and Sticks, my relatives thought to cleverly offset these with my nicknames of Pork Chop and Garfield. Then somehow they are genuinely surprised that I had a weird relationship with food and had a brief love, hate, vomit affair with an eating disorder in my mid 20s.
In much the same way, it’s common for men in the club to pass judgement on our appearance. “It’s just so nice to see a woman with real curves these days.” Note to such men, no matter how you phrase it, few Australian women like to be told they have put on weight, are curvy, or voluptuous. Down here on lonely island we run behind the booty loving times of the USA and UK. It’s hard to keep up with the rest of the world when you’re clutching onto a snack pack of celery sticks, sprinting on minimal calories with bow legs cause you’re trying to maintain your box gap at a pace.
Back in the day when I would allow the men to speak their minds, I’d have bets placed on what the status of my pubic hair would be. Bald like a prepubescent girl? Landing strip? Untrimmed? Some creative topiary perhaps? The latter would always be the witticism of the group imbecile with a laugh like the stupid hyena from The Lion King. Not knowing the term “topiary” it would usually be expressed more along the lines of, “Yeah! I bet fifty bucks she has her bush cut into the shape of a fucking rooster or something. Cock on ‘er box! LOL. Like on Edward Scissorhands. ROFL. Edward VAGINAhands. LOL. Why was that faggot crying if he got to trim bushes all the time?? (more LOLing and ROFLing)” Yes, yes. We get it dickhead. Excellent use of a double entendre “bushes”. Clever. This is what we, as dancers deal with on a regular basis. Some girls are so professional that they can even make themselves giggle with conviction. I cannot.
To turn the tables, I’d like to address the not so recent trend of the fluffy beard. The beard so big, long, puffy and lustrous that it has the consistency of freshly spun fairy floss at a state fair. Untrimmed. Requiring the launch of beard oil products into the Anglo world. Caressing the space around it as it drifts in the breeze, seemingly with a body and mind of its own. Enjoying the tickling sensation of sweat gathering at the tip of the tuft, dripping to the ground below. Every time I see one, I can only think of a hairy armpit in my face at a festival, and a vagina on someone’s face. An untrimmed, 1980’s vagina coat.
Before I ever kissed someone with a big, bushy beard, I’d always imagined what that would feel like. Then I did kiss someone with a big, bushy beard and I found that I’d imagined with great accuracy, how gross it would be. The beard part. Not the mouth, lips, tongue part. Just the fluffy face pubes, like a million flies on my face, grazing their little wings just inside my nostrils. The man was beautiful, gentle charisma, funny as fuck, was my hero with a perfect nose, blue eyes bursting like sunbeams, sweetest soul and built like a tattoo covered giant in a cowboy hat…with a vagina face. I’d like to say that I’m patiently waiting for the trend to shrivel up and die, as patiently as a mother who hopes it’s just a craze as she observes her 13 year old son has just started smoking weed and listening to limp bizkit…. But I’m not. Patient that is. I’m so bloody over it. I am a single woman dealing with the stark reality that 95% of men fall into at least one of the following categories: boring, couldn’t handle a dinner party with me and my friends, can’t handle my job even though they say they have “no judgement”, have beards, have dad bods. Seeing a potentially cute face trying to claw it’s way to stardom through the obstructive curtains of a fluffy beard is such a waste. Makes me feel like a guy at a peep show who’s gold coins never up the game. In so many cases I can see the cute eyes poking out over the puff of vagina face, the suggestion of plump kissable lips, a cheeky smile (dimples perhaps???), but unlike many women considering a labiaplasty, the lips of the man never quite protrude from the bush with 100% transparency out into the open air.
Every time I notice myself having these hateful thoughts, maliciously imagining myself taking to this or that face with a can of shaving cream and a razor, I feel slightly ashamed. I’m embarrassed because years later, I have discovered common ground between myself and the hyena from the Lion King pissing his pants laughing over the Cock on a Box. Schlepping my way around judging this and that, minus laughter, add forlorn whimper. Fingers crossed it’s only a few months before you all look back at your beards in photographs and wonder “What was I thinking? My strong jawline is hidden. My perfect cheekbones…hidden. My eyes….look promising but overshadowed by the ramshackle garden of pubes on my face.”
This is my Christmas wish. That all beards be reduced to rough stubble or shaved entirely. It’s shallow and selfish I know. But I can’t help it.