The other day I was browsing the online sales to both pass the time and on the off chance that something we need might pop up. Maybe even snag a bargain Christmas outfit. Snag is a word you need to be careful typing using autocorrect. 🙂 I didn’t, however, see anything we really needed or that I wanted.
One thing that did catch my eye was an IPL machine. There’s been a few occasions when I’ve touched my face and, pretty obviously, felt stubble. That’s not unusual, ‘cos you know, I’m a bloke, at least physically. Mentally, oh let’s just not fall down that rabbit hole 😉
What’s troubling is that on a number of occasions, that feeling of beard has… bothered me. I’m not sure if it’s laziness that means I don’t shave each day or that there’s a deeper reason: one where of if I can ignore it, that makes it easier to skip over, and not be reminded of my maleness.
So, no, I’ve not bought said gadget. However, I very much felt the appeal of it. The idea of not having to shave my chest, to have finer arm hair, or indeed be able to remove my beard, certainly pushed a few buttons. Buttons I didn’t know I had and that could be pushed, either.
As someone with a fairly pale complexion, the thought – no, I’ll be honest here, the wish of being not milk bottle white and body hair only where I want it, is compelling. I could’ve written the words dream, fantasy or desire, but they have connotations that take us down a path that’s not accurate. Oddly, if a female friend said they liked having a healthy glow and/or didn’t have to faff about with razors or waxing, somehow that’s different. Internalised transphobia anyone? 🤔
What would be a better fit would be the vibe of my body being how I idealise it. That me at my best that’s only achievable in sped up reality shows, video games, or The Matrix 😉 Pretty sure none of those are realistic.
It is, however, just a passing day dream. Thinking about the reality, it’s not feasible. It’s not just the money, but the time required, and the gap between reality to marketing guff. All of that around hair removal and, of course, my skin tone remains as it is.
Yet, the lure remains. Perhaps I’ve absorbed the advertising images of just the right amount of tan and hair where it should be. You’d think advertisers would focus on us trans folk more. I mean, many of us have two wardrobes, two sets of bathing products, and seem as easily targeted for nudging as cis folk. Maybe I should stop now 🙂
Perhaps I should follow the advice of body neutrality, where I become okay with what I have. I don’t need to love my body and maybe I’m not quite at that point where I can. While I’m mostly okay about weight, height, tone, and condition, I think realistically, aiming to just accept would be an achievable goal. Certainly more likely than the dream self I’ve cooked up.
But, hey, that’s how we sell stuff right? 😉