Before I discovered the wonderful effects of laser hair removal, I had a mustache. Not the cute, peach fuzz, blonde kind but a regular ol', dark-haired mustache. I’m Puerto Rican and I inherited the hairy gene from my dad’s side of the family. All of my aunts are professionals (first and foremost), petite, pretty, fair-skinned and a little fuzzy.
Throughout my childhood, from puberty on rather, I always felt insecure about my additional body hair. At the age of 11, I begged my mom to let me shave my legs. It was late spring and all the other girls in my school were starting to wear shorts…without tights underneath. I remember being in gym class and one of my friends asked why I was wearing tights since it was so hot outside. I told her that I was cold but the truth was that I was covering my insanely hairy legs. That night I begged my mom again to let me shave my legs. We made a bet; if at my upcoming dentist’s appointment I was cavity-free then I’d be allowed to shave. I won the bet and we went straight to the pharmacy to buy my own razors and shaving cream. I’m pretty sure my mom was counting on some cavities but hey, a bet’s a bet.
In high school, I started venturing out, which in my case meant going to the city. I remember browsing a bookstore downtown on Broadway. I was looking at the art books when I came across a familiar face. I had seen this woman’s face before in various paintings. But what connected me to her was her mustache. It was Frida Kahlo. I browsed the pages of this book and saw all of her paintings, especially her self-portraits, each portrait illustrating her body hair. This started my long love affair of everything Frida Kahlo. She instantly became my hero.
As I read about Frida, from that book and countless others I’ve collected over the years, I learned that she didn’t shy away from her flaws (obviously). She celebrated them and she chose to do it in a “take it or leave it” sort of way. She could’ve easily left out her mustache in her self-portraits but instead she chose to paint her reality, something she constantly prided herself in. Frida had no shortage of admirers (both men and women) and lived a creative, bohemian life on her own terms. And the world loved her for it.
While for the most part my laser treatment has been effective, I've stopped caring so much about the state of my facial hair. I met my husband pre-laser treatment, he married me still. Throughout both of my pregnancies I experienced more fuzz than usual (in all sorts of crazy areas) and I can tell you that it was definitely the least of my problems. Maybe it’s a part of getting older, but I can honestly say that I’m over it, or like the kids like to say nowadays, IDNGAF. I’m thankful for getting to know the mustachioed woman but when I look at images of Frida now, all I see is a beautiful woman.