The other day I climbed into bed wearing my sexy combo of Barbara Cartland pink leggings, and lilac fluffy, bobbled vest, plus non-matching socks and a dab of toothpaste on my chin (there was a zit on the way which The Girl had kindly pointed out: “Mummy you’ve got a spot. If you get lots of spots it means you’re ill.”) As I fell into bed, Husband looked up from his i-Thing which features a dancing Santa telling him it’s only 39 ‘sleeps’ till Christmas and said: “Jesus you’re hairy!”
I was very upset and clambered immediately onto my feminist high horse. Why should I wax and prune mid-winter . . . I wasn’t that hairy . . European women blah blah blah. Remember that fuss about Julia Roberts showing up to some film premiere with hairy pits? “I was just saying you’re hairy” Husband said with that infuriatingly smug/innocent tone of voice he’s got down to a tee. Bastard. (That’s the last time I’ll affect a sympathetic tone when he’s moaning about hair sprouting out of his nose like a free range welcome mat.)
The thing is, I mind. I don’t like being overtly hairy. I know I shouldn’t, but I do.
I go to the gym twice a week and lift weights so there is now a pleasing definition to my upper arms, and my stomach muscles can now do their job and support my back. So I’m in reasonably good shape. But it’s just not enhanced by er natural foliage. And now I can see it everywhere! How can my leg, underarm and lady garden hair be so dark? And stubbly? Why is there a large hair growing out of my belly button? Worst of all, why is there a (cue Disney cackle) witch hair spiralling out of a tiny mole on my cheek?
I took myself off to the local salon, got slathered in wax and had it all ripped off. Anyone who says it hurts worse than childbirth has clearly never had children. It stings a bit but I was reading a fascinating ten page interview with Geri Halliwell explaining ‘how fame no longer feeds her soul.’ And lo! I looked down at my now wonderfully smooth and gleaming legs, and thought, hmmm, do I feel like a passive tool of the patriarchy? Nope. Just nice and smooth. Then I went home and took that witch hair to task too. I smothered it in Extra Gentle Depilatory cream, only how gentle can something be if it burns off hair? The witch hair was gone when I wiped the stuff off, but in its place was an ugly red mark. (“Mummy you’ve got another spot!” said The Girl very helpfully).
Oh and the exercise? I was exhausted this morning, turned up late to my exercise class and sulkily flung my arms and legs about, ignoring my very fit teacher’s exhortations to “Get Those Knees Up!” What’s the point of that anyway if you’re like me and have to wear 200 layers of clothing just to keep warm? There was a cartoon in a paper yesterday of a woman going into a sports shop, with a pile of running shoes, dumbbells and a skipping rope. She says to the owner: “Can I exchange all this for a big baggy tee shirt?” I sympathise.