Friday, April 08, 2016

The right to bare arms

Hi,

The Jones Crew are on holiday, as it's the last week of the Easter break. A quiet cottage somewhere in North Yorkshire, as way of a change. Through bad planning on my part, I'm away the week Chams is on, but there will be other meetings. Or, at least, so I tell myself. I try to ignore the ticking of the proverbial clock. Distraction techniques may be required.

The weather is on the turn, being spring, and as opaques are banished, and shops rev up to sell us variants on previous trends, so to do sleeves shorten for men and women. To this end, I've stopped shaving my arms. I'm lucky in that, compared to some gents, and even some ladies, my seen hair is pretty thin and not too dark. But, however, it's still there and it's taking a while for me to get used to the idea.

Depending on where you sit in the gender scale, this may strike you as odd. One group may think it's strange I stopped, while those in the birth gender group, may be wondering why I started.

I started about six, maybe seven years ago, on holiday. We were abroad, as the Ever Lovely Mrs J's folks had chipped in to help with the family holiday. With the mediterranean heat and regular suntan lotion, it just became easier to keep my arms smooth. Not that anyone noticed. I remember looking down at my no longer pasty arm and thinking that this felt how things should be. I felt that what was outside, matched how I felt inside. Sure, sometimes I feel a little awkward and fearful even, that someone's going to call me out on it. But, thankfully, that's never happened. There's been a few close calls and I think that's tipped me towards doing what I am now.

So why the stop? Wee Man is growing up and as he asks about changes to his body, I'm thinking the inevitable questions will come about body hair, and comparisons to me, his old man. While I don't like the look, I try not to worry about it and oddly, it's less stressful maintaining zero arm stubble.

I know, I never said being trans made any sense! :-)

I guess ideally, I'd either not care, or be in a place - or more accurately, a society and a relationship - where how I looked was less of an issue. But, we're far away from the ideal world and compromises sometimes have to be made... even self imposed ones. Perhaps, and looking inward, it's not about what society thinks, but it says more about my confidence, or rather lack of, to plough my own furrow, by going against the typical.

Still, on the flip side, it could be worse. There could be an expectation from society that I remain trim, smooth, made-up and 'on trend', or so it seems as a guy looking in to the female world. "Ain't nobody got time for that." ;-)

Take care,
Lynn

19 comments:

  1. This is a very interesting question and, as a father, I think you're making the right decision. It's little things like body hair that can certainly affect my level of dysphoria. I guess time will tell if it has any affect on you.

    For what it's worth, I have never shaved my arms. I do have more hair on my arms than the average woman, but it's still very light. I'm fortunate in that I have very little body hair, with the exception of just a little bit on my chest. I have shaved that, off and on, but really would like to try electrolysis to completely rid myself of it.

    Calie x

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    1. Yes, it's a strange situation, isn't it. Maybe rather than having no forearm hair, just having much finer, would be easier? That's one of those 'if wishes were horses' things tho :-)

      As to your comment about electrolysis, a few years ago, a number of trans friends were having laser treatment, to rid them, it at least reduce, beard and/or some body hair. Much as it was marginally tempting, it's not, or so I've been told, permanent and given the cost, even if I could justify the money, temporary doesn't cut it.

      What we really need, is an expert scientist to sort this problem out. :-D

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    2. As someone who's had laser treatment myself (on my face), I'd have to say the results (in my own case anyway) have been pretty good. While I've resigned myself to not being totally hair-free in the part of my body I had zapped repeatedly, there has been a marked and (so far anyway) permanent reduction in the amount of hair there, to the extent that I now find myself only having to shave every other day. The only downside I find to it all is that if I ever go bald, I won't be able to grow a beard to compensate, and sport the whole Rob Halford/Anton Szandor La Vey/Vladimir Ilyich Lenin look (which I have to admit can be quite appealing). :-)

      While I've never really considered facial hair to be for me, I've no problem with it on other guys. A brother of mine, for example, used to have a very nice beard (I was actually quite disappointed when he finally shaved it off), while my late father had a moustache for as long as I could remember (I sometimes used to think it made him look a bit like Saddam Hussein!). When he was struggling with the cancer that sadly ended up killing him, his mo even survived chemotherapy! The rest of his hair didn't, though, which was a shame, as he had a nice, full head of it even into his sixties. Funnily enough, seeing him bald wasn't the shock I thought it'd be - indeed, I was surprised how quickly I got used to it.

      Lots of guys I know through my local metal scene have facial hair too; indeed, there's one guy who does some very impressive stuff with his. He waxes his moustache so that he's got a sort of Salvador Dali thing going on with it, and he also adorns his beard with little beads. In addition, the last time I saw him, he'd shaved all of his hair off save for a patch on the back of his head that was in the shape of a hand! Pretty trippy!

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    3. Glad to hear that being zapped ('frikkin laser beams') has worked for you. My beard is 90s slacker, not enough to be beardy, but enough to require a shave. Still, I don't get 11 o'clock stubble like one of my mates did. What a pain that'd be eh?

      Sorry to hear about your Dad. His tache sounded legendary.

      Ah, that thing with the waxed 'tache, that's just showing off :-) A work mate grew a beard you could lose a badger in - the UK metric of beard density ;-) - which was very well groomed.

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  2. I don't like having hairy arms and even less so on the back of my wrists, but shaving stubble is, if anything,even worse and more unsightly, so I epilate. I wear long sleeve shirts at work, sweaters at home, but actually I don't think L even notices. It's more obvious when I've done my legs, especially when it's been a while.

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    1. Yeah, wrists and the back of the hands. Ugh. Thing with epilation is having to wait for the hair to be looking enough. Works a treat tho! If you're in long sleeves, how do you cope with the summer

      PS: have you closed your blog? I couldn't access it the other day.

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    2. I've not closed the blog but it's dormant since Susie hasn't had an opportunity to play since last October and I don't see much chance in the foreseeable future. So the arm thing at the moment is purely personal.

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    3. Thanks for letting me know. I hope the dry spell breaks soon.

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  4. So it must be a Spring is coming / Easterbholiday / summers nearly here thing, but I've been thinking just the same about baring arms. But my comment is regarding mutant hair growth. You know the one, you've shaved your arms and then a few days later there's this huge whopper sticking out 10 times longer and blacker than anything else around it. Or you've trimmed your monobrow into something resembling a little less like the late Dennis Healey's Spitting Image puppet and then bamm, this ten foot aberration appears from nowhere looming over your face. Or is it just me?

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    1. It would be mean to say 'yes', so I won't ;-) I feel your pain in terms of occasional follicle unruliness. What is it about some hair cells. Have they been sipping Dr Jekyll's formula? :-)

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  5. Just to say: You've inspired me to write a post about body hair :)

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    1. Excellent. I'll look forward to that.

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    2. Ooo, so it is! (Runs off to read... and then comments ;-) )

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  6. I used to remove the hair on my arms too - the thing that was actually the impetus for me to do that in my own case was getting some studio photos taken of myself dressed as a fairy and covered in silver body paint (it's a bit of a long and strange story!). Thankfully, I had the foresight to realize that hairy arms and body paint probably wouldn't mix, so had my arms waxed a week or two in advance of the photgraphy session (something for which the artist painting me ended up being most grateful!). I kept up the habit for quite a few years afterward (hell, maybe even a decade or more!), before eventually giving up on it. I think I did so because I stopped getting somebody else to remove my hair by waxing, and just started using an epilator at home instead (it was cheaper, and actually ended up being more convenient too). Trying to epilate my own arms just seemed like too much trouble, and I'd never really had much of a problem with the hair growing there anyway (thankfully, I've not been cursed with gorilla arms), so, yeah, it ended up being no big deal to just leave them alone. Not sure if it's something anyone notices, one way or the other, though I know a few people have noticed over the years that I don't have hair on my legs. Amusingly enough, one of these individuals was a young girl (she couldn't have been any older than 12) who said to me, "Do you shave your legs?" Ah kids and their complete lack of inhibitions, you've gotta love it!

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    1. "...it's a bit of a long and strange story!"

      In the nicest possibly way, I'd expect no less! :-D Again, if you started to write them up, I know if read.

      Ah, waxing. Or more accurately, 'argh, waxing' :-) I did have my chest done, but found an epilator just as quick, as without needing to book, it just made things easier.

      As to young folk with no filter, yup. They just call 'em, like they see 'em. Occasionally, it's gloriously inappropriate.

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  7. It struck me that an alternative title for this post on hair removal could have been, "but I am an smooth man", from Genesis 27, via Alan Bennett in Beyond the Fringe.
    It also seems to be something of a topic de jour on a couple of other blogs now that spring is here.
    Does anyone have advice on how to remove back hair when you have to do it on your own? Razor on a selfie stick?

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    1. I'm afraid I'm not down with the kids, when it comes to biblical quotes, so I'll have to take your word on it ;-) The Jones house are godless unbelievers, but don't tell anyone. :-)

      As to a back, I've heard of a long handled razor and mirror may help. Failing that, a visit to a salon for a wax may keep the dreaded pelt away for a while. Getting a good back scrubber to reduce ingrowing hairs might be prudent too.

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