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Hair Removal is for Pussies

It's kind of odd how this New York Times article on teens battling unwanted facial hair pretty much sidesteps the whole question of ethnic identity (even as it spotlights an Indian girl). We Jews are a swarthy people. It's not … Read More

By / June 9, 2008

It's kind of odd how this New York Times article on teens battling unwanted facial hair pretty much sidesteps the whole question of ethnic identity (even as it spotlights an Indian girl). We Jews are a swarthy people. It's not hard to be the hottest girl at Jewish Day School: the sixth grader without the full moustache usually wins, hands down. Hair removal is part and parcel of the modern-day Jewish American experience.

It doesn't take a Liberal Arts degree to note that the expensive, humiliating, Sisyphean task of removing our naturally occurring, pretty much universal, and persistent-as-hell hair is something of an attempt to pass as (choose one):

  1. white
  2. pre-pubescent
  3. manufactured-by-Mattel
  4. all of the above

I'd be a huge, hairy hypocrite if I said teenage girls should just, like, roll with their hirsutism—if hair removal methods were drugs, I'd've been the motherfucking Keith Richards of Camp Ramah. But honestly: "excess" hair has pretty much come to mean everything but eyelashes. And that just 'aint right.

Every so often we encounter someone bold enough to own her shit (see: Jennifer Miller, self-proclaimed circus freak); on occasion you'll hear a half-assed defense of the full-brow via mention of Frida Kahlo. But where's the protest? Where's the outrage? Where's the ethnic pride? Where's the New-Jew/hipster/I-Have-Chin-Hair-Like-My-Grandma-And-I'm-Proud movement? Where are the "Hitler Can Kiss My Hairy Jewish Ass" T-shirts?

For the record, and only slightly off-topic, my mostly heterosexual research has shown that adult males who are bothered by standard human adult female body hair are, with no exceptions, abominable lays.

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