The Hairy Elephant in the Room: You Shouldn’t Be Embarrassed About Your Facial Hair

Photo courtesy of google images.By: Danielle Lyons

I totally have a beard. Seriously, I do. That feel’s weird to say, let alone type. It’s caused by Hirsutism. Sound unfamiliar? It’s new to me too. UCLA states, “Hirsutism in women is defined as excessive coarse hair appearing in a male-type pattern. It represents exposure of hair follicles.”  It can be caused by other conditions such as Insulin Resistance, Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, Cushing’s Disease and much more.  According to WebMD, 5% of women have hirsutism. However, I’ve encountered a lot of women that suffer from facial hair or excess body hair in general. For a condition that made me feel so alone, I was shocked and relieved to find comrades with the same issue.

One similarities I’ve noticed amongst women with hirsutism is the struggle of self-esteem. Most women don’t have to wake up to stubble or worry about their excessive body hair growth. I’m telling you, it’s not easy to manage. Like, dates for example. It sends me on an anxiety fueled hair removal frenzy. Armed with a razor, I’m like Conan the Barbarian preparing for battle. Nothing horrified me more than the thought of a date brushing against my stubble by accident. It’s a giant ordeal. According to Monash University, “Undesirable hairiness for a girl or woman can be a substantial cause of anxiety leading to low self-esteem and restrictions in lifestyle. For most women, unwanted facial hair generates the greatest anxiety.”

According to The Guardian, 40% of women have hair on their faces. Sure, some is more course or thick than others.  But that is a rather large number. The reactions I’ve gotten have generally been good. Some women confide that they have the same issue, or they know someone with it. Other women are just fascinated. I will admit, one or two people have been uncomfortable. But when raising awareness, you may not win them all.

Here’s the thing: Bodies are all so different. Any anyone worth keeping around, isn’t going to judge you or look at you any different. I forced myself to be more open about it because I was tired of being embarrassed. Slow but surely I started talking about it. And one day someone asked if they could feel my stubble. And you know what? The world didn’t end when I let them. They didn’t flinch or cringe. Without awareness, there isn’t much acceptance. Tina-Marie Beznec shared a photo of herself shaving to create awareness about Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. Hirsutism is often a symptom of this syndrome. In the caption she states, “Do you know how UNFEMININE this can make a woman feel?!? I’ve always been super self-conscious about it, but really just have to put this out there because I want create more awareness.”

Now, I’m not saying every sufferer has to post a photo or shout of from the rooftops. However, we owe it to ourselves to drop the shame. And we owe ourselves self-acceptance. S. E. Smith of XOjane states, “Women come in a lot of different flavors, and all of them are pretty great.” Next time you look in the mirror inspecting stray hairs or stubble, I hope you remember that you are beautiful, strong and wonderful. With or without the beard.

Young Black and Educated

By: Korrien Hopkins

Image courtesy of Flickr.

Image courtesy of Flickr.

Black women are doctors believe it or not.  They are lawyers, politicians, students, educators. But the question is why people are unaware of this?

According to Addicting Info, “From 1999–2000 to 2009–10, the percentage of degrees earned by females remained between approximately 60 and 62 percent for associate’s degrees and between 57 and 58 percent for bachelor’s degrees. In contrast, the percentages of both master’s and doctor’s degrees earned by females increased from 1999–2000 to 2009–10. Within each racial/ethnic group, women earned the majority of degrees at all levels in 2009–10. For example, among U.S. residents, Black females earned 68 percent of associate’s degrees, 66 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 71 percent of master’s degrees, and 65 percent of all doctor’s degrees awarded to Black students.”

Despite these statistics black women are consistently not given credit for their achievements. This week Dr. Tamika Cross, who is an OBGYN in Houston, posted on Facebook that last weekend while aboard a Delta flight she was rejected her offer to help a sick patient. Dr. Cross was then questioned whether she was really a doctor. Another doctor on board was allowed to help. Of course, this doctor was an older Caucasian male. While Dr. Cross is a young African American female.

Dr. Cross’ experience highlights a major problem we have in our society. This is one of both racism and sexism. There is the saying, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” This is what makes it even more important that black female doctors don’t remain under represented in society for the sake of upcoming generations. We tell our black children they can be anything they want to be: an engineer, a scientist, a surgeon and a doctor. The image of Black female doctors are even being presented to children on television.  Doc McStuffins is a show that has taken Disney by storm. It features an African American girl who although isn’t really a licensed she operates on her toy to her them get better. Both boys and girls of all races watch this show. This is teaching them diversity, race and gender equality. It is teaching the future generations. However, with mainstream America saying everyone has equal opportunity and, post-Obama, racism does not exist. We than read about what happened to Dr. Cross and it makes you question what it’s all about. It is important for other races and opposite genders to recognize inequality.


Opera with a Dash of Feminism

By Logan Snook

Fun fact…I am an opera singer. I get to sing beautiful, passionate music, express dramatic, powerful text, and depict many characters who are objectified by men. Feminism and female empowerment is maybe not the most prevalent theme in operas. One of the difficulties with being in opera today is handling the antiquated role of women in the theater. Female singers play their fair share powerless women, or women controlled by their male counterparts. Not the best message to send, right? What makes it worse is when the male roles just don’t know when to back off.Carmen

How about some examples. Let’s take a look at the opera Carmen. We like to think of Carmen as a strong, independent woman who is owned by no man, but in the end, it is a man who is her demise. Basically, Don José, a soldier, falls in love with Carmen, a gypsy. She tells him over and over again that she will not be tied down. When she falls in love with a bull-fighter, he is overtaken with jealousy, and stabs Carmen to death outside the bull-ring.

In her first aria, Carmen explicitly tells José that her love cannot be tamed. This conversation becomes a theme between the two of them throughout the opera, but does José ever listen? Definitely not. Does he continue to pursue her, even though she has expressed her disinterest? He sure does. So, what would have happened if José had respected Carmen’s sentiments in the first place? Luckily, Reddit/r/Feminism has already taken care of that for us:


I’m really not into monogamy. I will sing a whole song detailing this explicitly.

Don José:

I think you’re really hot and I want to run away with you.


Well, we can have lots of passionate sex for a while, but again–I don’t do long term relationships. Didn’t you hear all the singing in Act I?

Don José:

You know, maybe our relationship goals aren’t compatible.


No s**t, Sherlock. Bye.


Wow. Well that was effective. Thanks to Satiricali, 5 standard-repertory operas, ranging from 113-230 year-old, are brought to the 21st century through feminism! Let’s take a look at one more.

Madama Butterfly is centered on a 15-year-old Japanese geisha, Cio-Cio-San Madama_Butterfly(Butterfly), who is set up in an arranged marriage to wed American naval officer, Pinkerton. Pinkerton views the marriage as a temporary situation, knowing after he serves in Japan he will return home and marry American woman. Cio-Cio-San and Pinkerton wed, and he leaves his new bride shortly after their marriage. Cio-Cio-San has his son, and waits for his return for 3-years. He finally returns, bringing with him his American bride. After agreeing to give her son up to Pinkerton and his new wife, Cio-Cio-San, rather than living a life of shame, decides to die in honor and stabs herself.

AWFUL storyline for a feminist. Let’s see what it looks like with “Feminism” added:



I love you and I want to marry you.


Are you aware that I’m 15 years old right now?!


Yeah, I’m especially attracted to how innocent and delicate and exotic you are. Oh, and by the way I have to leave the country right after we have sex a few times.


That sounds highly suspicious, not to mention incredibly creepy. Get the f*** out of my house, you imperialist bigamist pedophile.


Ahhh…that’s better.

Luckily, modern opera is flourishing and addressing the issue of women’s roles on the stage. Strong and influential women are on the trend, while helpless and dependent is on the way out (and thankfully, dominating male roles are slowly becoming less favorable). I say keep that trend coming! Personally, if someone wants to write an opera about Simone de Beauvoir, give me a call.

Want to read the other operas made shorter through Feminism? Go here!

Why making science “cute” doesn’t cut it

By Thea Voutiritsas


Twitter user RebeccaDV

There has been a recent effort from multiple major companies to promote women in STEM, and while the idea is great, the execution has been poor. As we’ve seen from EDF’s #prettycurious campaign, making science cutesy doesn’t equal making it accessible. IBM tweeted this video over the weekend along with

“Calling all #womenintech! Join the #HackAHairDryer experiment to reengineer what matters in #science.”

Despite their good intentions, IBM’s campaign implies that science will be best marketed to women through beauty products. Here’s the thing: women don’t need to be tricked into doing science. If we want to disassemble stigmas as math and science as unfeminine, we have to stop equating femininity to beauty. We don’t need to “dress up” science, but maybe we can dress down our beauty-centered expectations of femininity.

Are the Bond Girls more than Sexual Fluff?

By Thea VoutiristsasMonica Belluci

The notoriously sexist James Bond franchise will be premiering its newest installment, Spectre, in less than two weeks. Normally, I wouldn’t care much for the gun-toting, martini-drinking, 007, but this year something is different. The latest Bond girl, Monica Bellucci, will be the oldest leading lady of the series to date. At 51, the Italian actress and fashion model is a whopping four years older than her costar, Daniel Craig. Sure, she plays a widow (because how could a woman ever reach 51 without having been married?), but at least her character will be a breath of fresh air compared to Craig’s leading ladies of the past. In Skyfall (2012), Casino Royale (2006), and Quantum of Solace (2008) his female cast-mates were an average of 10 years younger than he is.

Alongside the closing age gap, the bond films have portrayed women as the sexual predators, Bond being their prey. He is, more often than not, the one submitting to the desires of the women. Not only are the Bond women some of the first to openly like sex just as much as their men counterparts do, but they have talents outside of the bedroom. The ladies are even shown flying planes, diffusing bombs, and speaking an upwards of 10 languages. They also participate in sparkling, witty banter with Bond, making their intellect just as sexy as their outfits. Not to mention, the franchise sexualizes Bond almost as much as his costars, dressing him in teeny shorts as he emerges from the ocean, or in just a towel post-shower. How could we blame the Bond girls for falling for him after that? Surprisingly, I’m looking forward to the premier of Spectre. Maybe I will be converted to a 007 fan after all.

Alexandra Petri’s “Women in a Meeting,” phrases are totally nailing it

By Thea Voutiristsas

Washington Post opinion writer, Alexandra Petri, released an article last Tuesday on Jennifer Lawrence’s recent office experience. The actress explained:

A few weeks ago at work… I spoke my mind and gave my opinion in a clear and no-[BS] way; no aggression, just blunt. The man I was working with (actually, he was working for me) said, ‘Whoa! We’re all on the same team here’ As if I was yelling at him. I was so shocked because nothing I said was personal, offensive, or to be honest, wrong. All I hear and see all day are men speaking their opinions, and I give mine in the exact same manner, and you would have thought I had said something offensive.

In response, Petri took famous sentences from history and translated into the phrasing a woman would be expected to use in a meeting to avoid being called bitchy.

“Give me liberty, or give me death.”

“Dave, if I could, I could just – I just really feel like if we had liberty it would be terrific, and the alternative would just be awful, you know? That’s just how it strikes me. I don’t know.”


“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

“I have to say – I’m sorry – I have to say this. I don’t think we should be as scared of non-fear things as maybe we are? If that makes sense? Sorry, I feel like I’m rambling.”

The apologetic, round-a-bout language here points out exactly what’s wrong with our rhetorical expectations of women in the workplace. Sure, many women have gone from secretaries to CEO’s since the fifties, but we are still expecting the same passive, submissive, indirect language of a secretary. Does direct language from a woman make people that uncomfortable? If that’s bitchy, let’s be bitchy. Let’s be bitchy until we change the standard of what bitchy is.

What if Women’s Roles were Played by Men?


By: Maritza Gordillo

I came across this article on and it caught my attention as it described something we’re not used to seeing: reversed gender roles. As you see the video it seems pretty funny and absurd to switch the women’s roles to men’s, but why? Could it be that we are so used to seeing women objectified on the big screen and internalize it? The answer is yes. Society has created tools tailored to view women as sex symbols or objects. Just think that if men look ridiculous playing these roles, why shouldn’t women look ridiculous too?

Feminism doesn’t ruin lives!

by Torshawna Griffin

Recently, I read an article that was titled “Blame Women’s unhappiness on feminism? Sure, say conservative gals”. Before I opened the article, I thought that it was just another man writing about how feminism is wrong and unnecessary. However, I discovered that the writer was a woman writing about what three educated women said regarding the feminist movement.

First, I was outraged at what I saw because they talked as if being a feminist was a bad thing. Like, men had programmed them to make these remarks. “We’re telling women they should delay marriage, ‘lean in’ on career, focus on themselves,” Hemingway said. “And we know these things don’t lead to female happiness.” I thought that the whole point of feminism was to let each woman decide what was best for her, so why are these women saying these things? Feminism is supposed to show women that the lioness is just as strong as the lion and in the words of Katy Perry, “Hear us Roar”. Read the article and then comment on our facebook page to tell us what you think about it.,0,5693630.story#ixzz2xvubtE1z

Pens for Her

By Maritza Gordillo

As I was browsing through, I came across a video from Ellen DeGeneres. I love her show because it is humorous, but I especially love her sarcasm when it came to standing up for women as she talks about the new product the company BIC came out with; Pens for Her. She criticizes the fact that this company wanted her to promote a product that is totally sexist; c’mon, Ellen is a feminist! The product describes that these pens are made to fit a woman’s hand and they come in woman colors like pink and purple and because of this they are more expensive (even double the price). Watch the video and laugh at this absurd, sexist product, but more importantly share it with others to bring consciousness of how ridiculous our society has become.


What’s in a Name

"...there are no powerful women, but all women are powerful!" Image from Creative Commons

“…there are no powerful women, but all women are powerful!”
Image from Creative Commons

By Morgn Paul

Paul, Morgan?

I’m used to hearing teachers mess up names, giggling and drawing out letters to avoid embarrassing themselves (or the student), but I never really had to deal with this. “Morgan Paul” is too simple to screw up saying, aside from the occasional “Megan”. What I’m more used to is “Paul Morgan”. It never really fazed me until my professor was handing back papers one day and I noticed the way she paused. My name was clearly typed at the top of the page, “Morgan Paul” In that order, no comma.  But when she got to my paper she stopped, whispered my name to herself, and then asked “Paul Morgan?” I politely corrected her, took my paper, and checked to see if I had written my name backwards. I had not. I soon realized that even though it was more likely that my name was written correctly she was worried that if I were a man it would have been insulting to have been confused with a woman. She may not have blatantly recognized this fear, but I do believe that is why she said my name that way. I believe that’s the reason why most teachers throughout my education career have not questioned my gender, but immediately assumed that I was a boy. This experience reminded me of a quote by Ian McEwan that has lodged itself into the most concrete part of my brain and peaks its head out daily to remind me why I am fighting against the patriarchy. “Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short and wear shirts and boots because it’s okay to be a boy; for girls it’s like promotion. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, according to you, because secretly you believe that being a girl is degrading.” These words are constantly haunting every piece of me. When I want to celebrate the growth of women’s rights I realize it’s not a growth of women’s rights but a transition into a new category of masculinity. This is the same reason that women in pant suits working in corporate offices are seen as manly instead of powerful women. This is the same reason that girls playing in the dirt are tomboys instead of girls who don’t mind getting dirty. And furthermore, this idea of quiet weak women makes me feel the need to make the distinction between women and powerful women or girls and girls who don’t mind getting dirty as if they’re not still women or girls! I hope that I’m not the only one who is upset by these realizations, and I hope that I’m not the only one who will support the idea that there are not powerful women but that all women are powerful!