It Takes Years Off You

Ever since that story cropped up in the Daily Mail, the one about women needing to shave their faces every day in order to retard the ageing process, I can’t stop thinking about it.

I found myself mulling it over earlier in the Dr’s surgery, and again when I was making dinner. I pondered it over breakfast and when I woke up in the night for a wee, it was playing on my mind.

Clearly, I am powerfully attracted to beards on ladies. Or the lack thereof.

There is a lot to think about. After all, when I was a child the subject of ladies and beards must have cropped up one evening as we were sitting around the piano, making our own entertainment because I distinctly remember my mother telling me that women should not shave their faces, because it will cause a beard to grow.

I can’t imagine why we had been talking about women and beards in the first place. I have no frightening memories of hirsute and aged aunts creeping up to give me bristly kisses. Or maybe I have repressed them, and it is this that has been causing my sporadic panic attacks for the last thirty years.

It’s a theory.

Perhaps we had been discussing bearded ladies from the circus. I read quite voraciously as a  child, and I have a feeling that some writers, like Enid Blyton, who were forever writing about circuses, perhaps mentioned a bearded lady or two.

Maybe, like Tallulah does now, I just really fancied growing a nice, dense beard in which to nest birds, and keep jam sandwiches and other such things that you can use a beard for.

So, all my life I have known for a solid gold FACT that ladies who shave their faces end up with huge, bushy beards. Now it seems, all this is being turned on its head, and we must shave, shave, shave until we are as smooth as a baby’s bum, and look about as old. For shaving will give us eternal access to the fountain of youth, or something.

I have several theories about all this brewing at the moment.

Firstly: What if you do actually just get a ruddy great chin pie appendage and that’s what’s supposed to make you look younger? Beards might turn out to be the one thing that successfully hides signs of wrinkles and crows feet. Or they could simply be so alarming that everyone is mesmerised, looking at your vibrant beardage and forgets to notice that you are in fact a wrinkled old crone of extreme decrepitude and advanced years.

It might work. After all, pamphlets in the GP’s surgeries used to recommend that heavily pregnant women wore very busy necklines to de-emphasise the huge baby growing in their bellies. It’s a form of camouflage. Much like a beard.

Imagine how young you would look if you grew a beard and wore a ruff?

Secondly: What if you are just whittling layers of your face off, and it is this that is making you seem younger? Effectively you will be peeling yourself like a potato. How long are you supposed to do this? Do you get that kind of Bride of Wildenstein thing going on after so long, as you try to even up the edges, and shave more and more of your own face off until you become known as the human pencil and have to join a circus freak show?

Oh, the irony.

Thirdly: What if all this is a careful plant by Gillette, who have realised that they simply cannot make razors with more than four blades on, and how are they going to make more money now if they cannot turn every razor blade into the Swiss Army Knife of razors, and use the word TURBO very loudly?

That’s right, they must market to women, who have yet to even embrace triple bladed excellence and a small doodad for picking stones out of horses hooves. Us ladies are an untapped resource.

Yeah, because it’s not like we don’t have enough to do already, what with shaving legs, and armpits, and lady garden areas if we can’t be arsed to wax them, and as if that doesn’t take fourteen times as long as it does for a man to run a razor over his chin.

I realise that shaving for ladies is a choice, by the way, and if you are someone who doesn’t shave, I am totally fine with that, although you might have to take it up now, if you want to look sprightly.

I envy you your free time, frankly.

I, on the other hand, am a martyr to my razor due to the fact that I ruddy hate having hairy legs. It is a family legend that when I was in hospital, many years ago, after nearly having died, I was more worried about having hairy legs than I was about my possible impending demise.

I am also Hobbit like in my ability to manifest hair upon my person.

This perhaps explains my current obsession about the whole face shaving thing actually.

If I had to take up shaving my chin (which, let’s face it, I might have to post menopause regardless of how young or otherwise I might look, although I think I’ll probably electrocute the  crap out of it all, as I really don’t fancy razor burn on top of everything else), as well as all the other shaving style maintenance I currently do, I would never leave the house. I would get RSI. Razor strain injury, and probably have to wear a chin splint, along with ninety seven small bits of bloody tissue dotted about my person.

Were I to shave my face, it is almost certain that I would look as if I had fallen into a wood chipper, although that too might be a sign of youth. I will gaze more earnestly at any youths I come across in the near future to ascertain what it is about their faces that makes them youthful, and whether my hacking lumps out of my cheeks and chin will achieve the patina of youthfulness that is so very desirable.

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