Furry Femmes: Facial Hair in Femme Expression
Recently, within certain feminist circles, it has become common place to see women and femme non-binary people reject the idea that femininity requires hairlessness. This translates to folks forgoing the usual shaving spots, like legs and armpits. However, there are some femmes in the world whose body hair does not end with a few wisps below the belt and under their arms.
For masculine presenting and identifying folks, facial hair is seen as rugged and sexy. For femme presenting and identifying folks, facial hair is deemed unprofessional and down right disgusting. And while femmes with leg hair are often seen as unprofessional and unhygienic, the same mainstreamed reclamation of body hair that legs and arm pits have gotten has not really extended to the rest of our beautiful bodies.
But, as a furry femme myself, I see facial hair as an amazing accessory your body throws at you for free.
Not only do furry femmes reap the benefits of free accessories, but they push back against mainstream ideas of beauty. Furry femmes recontextualize facial hair and reconfigure what it means to be feminine. Sure, growing out your leg hair is radical, but rocking a beard and a dress can take a sledge hammer to limiting transmisogynistic infantilizing ideas of femme beauty.
Furry femmeness also creates space for more types of femmes to come forward and claim femmehood. So many trans, queer, and gender-non-conforming folks get left out of he definition of femme, sometimes by the same people who flaunt their hairy legs and wiry armpits. Redefining femme as something that can include beards, mustaches, unibrows, and sideburns is not only an amazing way to push the limits of person style, but is necessary to create an radical understanding of femininity that includes all femmes.