My upper lip has become the Unholy Trinity of Misery. Though I am not a religious person, I recognize evil when I see it. Allow me to share why my upper lip causes such misery. Let me introduce you to the concept of Ladystache:
Definition of LADYSTACHE
1: The appearance of hair above the upper lip of an individual who identifies as female.
2: A stripe of discolored skin, or a substance, on the upper lip of a woman.
Early 21stcentury: from North America, affliction of one Katherine Shaw
Examples of LADYSTACHE in a sentence
I tried to shave my ladystache and now it is a rashstache.
Ms. Shaw, you cannot have your upper lip surgically removed, for “ladystache” is not a medical condition covered by your healthcare plan.
I am going to assume (for my own emotional wellbeing) that most women participate in their own Fight against the Follicles, Battle of the Upper Beard, Skirmish with the Snot Mop. Since age fifteen, I’ve sat in painful inspection of the invasive growth of whiskers on a once smooth, prepubescent upper lip.
What evil evolutionary mechanism is responsible for this furry lip? The most I can muster is that my ancestors required more than the standard nose hair filtration system. Perhaps they lived in squalor and this familial Ladystache might’ve trapped bugs and dirt, shielding my foremothers from the Black Plague. Or perhaps the hungry hairs trapped pollen; after all, sneezing and puffy eyes can be life-threatening when surrounded by predators (hungry cats and rapey men).
But Ladystache does not end with hair; a teary plucking session is only the beginning. A lesser known branch of Ladystache includes the clustering of freckles that pops up whenever my upper lip touches sunlight for longer than five minutes. This demonic happening is something I call “Frecklestache.” In the summer months, no amount of concealer can erase the browning of my lip. Well, that’s only partly true. I’ve learned that four layers of concealer does, in fact, cover every freckle; it also creates a “I just had a skin transplant from a cadaver” allure.
In a desperate attempt to rid myself of this poo-strip-lip, I avoid sunshine. Considering how sunlight impacts my upper lip skin, I must be allergic to the sun. Or maybe it’s because I’m Irish. Or a vampire. An Irish vampire? I honestly don’t know; the Ancestry.com mouth swab I sent in neglected to cover vampirism in the chromosomal analysis.
The third demon that plagues my upper lip is sweat. And I don’t mean the gentle misting of perspiration that normal people experience. My pores hemorrhage fluid to the point that concerned citizens offer tissues and ask why I’m crying (they then see my Ladystache and offer their condolences). I’ve unaffectionately titled this phenomenon “Sweatstache” and it occurs whenever the temperature rises above 74 degrees.
Relatives have told me to “keep a stiff upper lip” about the adversity Ladystache has dragged me through; evidently, however, I was wrong in assuming this idiom was a suggestion for how to contort my face on the daily.
Maintaining a literal stiff upper lip brings both physical discomfort and social consequences such as:
- Facial nerve numbing.
- Children bursting into tears.
- Mandibular adjustment without the supervision of a certified dentist.
- Elderly people in the grocery store lineup offering you crushed Aspirin in cocaine lines with concerns that you’re succumbing to a stroke.
- The public deeming you an individual with immense psychological turmoil. These strangers will reckon your lip tic is just the beginning; at any moment, by the slightest provocation, you’ll attempt to slurp out their brains with your protruding, cannibalistic, stiff upper lip.
- The public quickly identifying you as an insufferable snob (this acts as a benefit for those times that we wish to apply People Repellant).
Hey, at least the morning coffee line parts like the Red Sea. I’ve found my silver lining! Call me Moses, Moses with the Stiff Lip.
Please, learn from my mistakes. Unless you want to be regarded as a snooty member of the Living Dead, keep that upper lip relaxed. Practice meditation with that upper lip, or lip-yoga, or rub a marijuana liniment on it. Whatever it takes to keep it chill!
Now I promise I won’t end without offering solutions. Ladystache, Frecklestache, and Sweatstache are aggressive afflictions and I’ve maximized the power of small fixes: SPF, tweezers, a black Victorian veil, a throng of men fanning me with palm leaves.
But these solutions require time. And the geriatric men I gathered from the senior’s home who hungrily slap on Speedos and fan me with palm leaves are beginning to request payment.
So my answer to Ladystache woes? Get over it.
Fixating on one’s imperfections is patriarchy’s fancy mechanism to distract women and suck their power. No longer shall I fritter away my energy! There are more important things to do – like asking my Irish relatives if they, too, enjoy sipping a good Bloody Mary and sleeping in coffins.