10 Things Women with Hirsutism Want You to Know
1. No one knows about the condition.
Although it affects 5-10% of women, hardly anyone knows or talks about it. So many of us struggle with this hairy problem, yet it seems like everyone’s fighting their battle alone. Why is it so hard for us to talk about our excess hair? Why the embarrassment? Why the stigma?
2. Being diagnosed was one of the best and worst days of my life.
When my doctor told me I had hirsutism, my heart stopped. I finally knew what caused all the hair all over my body. I finally knew that it wasn’t just me, that it was actually a medial condition. However I also knew that it was gonna be a journey living with hirsutism. A journey that likely wasn’t going to be a vacation.
3. It affects every aspect of my life.
I can’t spontaneously go swimming, wear shorts or go on a date on short notice. And yes, I’ve cancelled on people because I couldn’t find the time to shave or wax. I freak out when my boyfriend comes too close, or touches my chin when we kiss. I can’t relax as I’m always worried he’ll feel my stubbles. I always make an effort to get up before him, so I can “fix” my facial hair. I plan my days around my hair removal routine. Leaving my house without a razor makes me feel anxious.
4. I shave my chin every day. Sometimes twice.
All the shaving. Every day. And still it doesn’t seem to help. I get stubbles all the time. When I speak to someone, I wonder if they stare at my chin, if they notice. When someone gets close to me, my reaction is to back off. I just feel so insecure.
5. … and leaving the house without a layer of foundation is not an option.
I haven’t told anyone about my condition. Not my family. Not my boyfriend. Not my friends. It’s like this huge secret. I sometimes wonder if they know and just don’t say anything. They probably do.
6. I spend so much time and money managing my hair.
It’s like a part-time job or the shittiest hobby ever. Shaving, waxing, IPL (nope. didn’t work), waxing again. It’s painful, it takes SO much time, but no matter what I do, I will never have other girl’s smooth legs and feel comfortable in a bathing suits or shorts in the summer.
7. … and it’s just not fair.
It’s a lot of effort for me to just feel “ok”. I can’t remember the last time I felt really pretty. Mere “maintenance” is exhausting. Not feeling gross is already a success to me. Why me????
I feel guilty, because body hair is such a first world problem and yet it’s such a big deal to me.
I know, that others have it worse than me and I feel guilty for being so depressed about something as objectively unimportant as body hair. I know that. And yet I feel like my body hair runs my life and it’s just so depressing.
8. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll have kids.
Many women with hirsutism also have PCOS, which can make it difficult to have a baby. While I may not want that right now, I might want it someday. Will it work? I don’t know.
9. Having hirsutism doesn’t make me less of a woman.
The symptoms of hirsutism are brutal and often make me feel less of a woman. While I know that this is bullshit, I can’t help but feel that way sometimes. It’s that little voice in my head that I can’t seem to silence.