Thursday, April 24, 2008

facial hair disast...I mean, adventure

An encounter with a Bad Barber (seriously, who thinks creating a separation between head hair and facial hair is a good idea?) yesterday meant I had to shave off my lovely beard this morning. Naturally, I took the opportunity to have a little fun.

As you can see, I'd been getting rather shaggy!But alas, I let my friend give me a home haircut, and then had to go to the barber to fix the damage. He did okay in terms of damage control on the front and back, but I ask you- who walks out of a barber expecting to look like this??
Since I was shaving anyway, I tried out the goatee look first. I don't think it quite works when the moustache doesn't connect to the goatee part. I'm a ways off from Edward Norton yet. I am in general very pleased with my facial hair growth, but it's hard not to get impatient and desire More, Denser, Now! I realize my facial hair is only 2 years old, so it's got a ways to go...I just wish I had some pictures of other guys (trans and non-trans) and their respective facial hair at the ages of, say, 17, 21, 24 and 27. Just to give me a sense of how the natural progression works in other people, y'know?
So naturally, my next step was to get rid of everything but the 'stache. I had a brief (somewhat horrifying, I know) moment of "Hey, this is sort of cute/fun!" until Rochelle brought me back to earth with a pointed "Well, you're no Burt Reynolds." ha. Also, since I don't actually live in Williamsburg, I should probably avoid the hipster facial hair if at all possible.


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It was kind of fun experimenting with facial hair this morning, but I was pretty unhappy last night for a while. I'm probably more sensitive about my facial hair than most guys, since it took me a lot more hassle to get to a point where I can grow it. I couldn't believe how cavalierly the barber just buzzed that weird strip into my sideburns. Doesn't he realize what these suckers MEAN to me?

Which got me thinking about what my facial hair does mean to me. I love it for the texture and color, and how (in my opinion, anyway) it balances out my face and keeps me from looking so pubescent.

But it is also, of course, a very tangible symbol of my hard won and dearly valued masculinity, one which I rely upon for no small amount of male credibility. I realized that part of why I was so upset about the timing of this shaving necessity is that I'm scheduled to give a little talk next week about Being Trans, and I wanted the comfort and validity that my beard lends me.

I feel like having a beard gives me (as a trans person) credibility with non-trans people...it gives me cissexual privilege when it renders me immediately and intelligibly male, and I rely on that, consciously and not.

Plus, I'm giving this talk for a class at my old school, and I always want to look as different as possible when I return to such old stomping grounds, to lend emphasis to the fact that I've changed, and may no longer be addressed in old familiar ways.

Anyway. I'll be growing my stubble out again right quick, I imagine.

1 comment:

lunatopaz said...

i actually think that i said "you look kinda like burt reynolds." an important distinction, as i find you far handsomer than burt reynolds. my comment was to voice my opinion, placing your moustache firmly in the model of early-80's sexiness. which is great, you know, if you're into that kind of thing. or are a hipster living in williamsburg. we probably should have photographed the moustache with some of those shades of yours . . .