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  • Writer's pictureBen Pechey

Splitting Hairs

Hair is very personal, and to each of us has a different meaning. We have certain abilities to control it, maintain it, and enhance it. The hair on my head brings me pure joy and is something that has been with me in a similar format for the last decade.

The hair on my face and body is a very different story.

I love that so many people can love and embrace their body hair. There are so many amazing icons that embrace the hair on their body, Alok Vaid-Menon, Deni Todorovič, Radam Ridwan to name a few. For me they show that hair is huge part of identity, and the cultural significance it has.

For me, on my body, it creates a huge disconnect. The way I feel is really thrown by the hair on my body, and face. My gender identity is a certainty until I see the hair. I would love to be able to look at my body and love what I see, but for me it isn’t how I want to look.

It can be very disorientating. It suggests that my visual identity is somehow a mirage. My reflection can feel rooted in a lie. Body hair on me feels so alien, so masculine, so far removed from who I am as a person. Removing it helps, but it doesn’t ever really solve the problem - as hair just grows back!

The removal process - whether you shave, wax or use hair removal cream - is also very uncomfortable. The smoothness is wonderful, but it lasts for a very short time.

It is why you never really see much flesh from me, I don’t enjoy the way it looks. It is something that over time has become more of a hangup for me, and I am looking for ways through this. I am exploring the options of laser, which turns out to be expensive and time consuming - but maybe worth it? Only time will tell!

I would like to stress that hairlessness does not equal femininity.Which is poignant, as I am not looking to achieve femininity, I am just trying to make my bag of bones feel like home. I felt like it was a good thing to share with you because I know my outer appearance is one of confidence, but this is the one thing that makes me feel off about my body.

I want to stress in the same way that it is 100% wonderful to love and embrace your body hair, that it is also okay to not feel amazing about it. We’re all human, and this is part of how we express ourselves, and I wanted to share how I feel with you today, so thank you for being here with me…

Shot by Rachel Pechey


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