December 6th, 2020
In middle school, bullied for body hair.
Matched hair, eyes, contrasted fair skin, a shroud
I wear everywhere. Was so scared
to shave above the knee. Was told no one
should look there anyway. Was whispered of
so many days in locker rooms by some
with blonde peach fuzz which was what love
looked like, at this time, to me, Florida
yellow/tan uniformity. Was called
a fiend, witch from another place, not of
the beach I breach, a plaited pouting pall
their boyfriends chased, animal they want to taste,
shadow to hide inside this golden place.
I was doing my eyebrows today which are a constant problem. I’m not that great at it but if I neglect, which I sometimes do, I start to look like my father whose eyebrows seem like small pet perched on the top of his head at times. They’re cute on him, a thing that men worry about less than women. Certainly my father doesn’t worry about them at all.
Like my youthful face, I get my face almost entirely from my father. Including the eyebrows. I have dark hair, not quite as dark as I dye it but the little hairs that pop up around me and my bushy eyebrows they have always been very dark. It feels good now to match all my hairs. 🙂
This may be one of my most personally embarrassing annotations and poems. I have felt such shame for my dark hair and pale skin. It set me apart even as a girl in the sunshine state of Florida where tans and blondes with peach fuzz saw me marked by a difference I couldn’t control. Couldn’t even shave about the knee because my parents were very religious and thought I shouldn’t be showing skin above the knee anyway. Shaving seemed an invitation to looks and touching and none of that was permitted to me.
But at school,I felt my looks marked me as different, the dark hair and eyes and fair skin and the dark body hair — I was called names by girls often. My difference seemed attractive though to boys though in a secret, menacing way that scared me. I felt marked for a different kind of attention that I was aware of but intimidated by. I was an abused, innocent girl. I already felt so different than everyone. I wanted so to be able to blend and I never could. Even now, I still don’t blend. I try in ways but I also care less which is a blessing for a hirsute little girl like me.