Culture

Every Hairy Latina Can Relate To These 7 Stages Of Grief

Okay, so I wish this body positivity movement happened when I was 10 years old and was the first person (girls and boys) to start growing leg hair in the 3rd grade. I was one of the only Latinas in my religious school and girls were forced to wear skorts. We all remember el horror when you realize you are a hairy latina.

I present to you my story told by the collective consciousness of Latinas on the internet because there is nothing wrong with being a #HairyLatina.

Hey everyone, this is me today.

I’m half Puerto Rican and half Palestinian, which makes me an especially hairy human. Growing up, it was something I was always bullied for. It didn’t help that I was also the tallest person (boys and girls) in my grade (hint: Sasquatch is what the bullies called me).

Hair is something I have probably spent weeks of my life trying to hide (read: Nair, shaving, laser hair removal, waxing, threading, etc.) and years obsessing over. In South Florida, wearing long sleeves to cover your hairy arms just caused it’s own embarrassing, sweaty problems.

One thing we know for sure is that being native Latinx means we are hairy people.

@anaphant23_ / Twitter

If you grew up somewhere without a strong Latino presence, like I did when my family moved from Miami to Boca Raton (culture shock, af), you might not have known that it was a Latino thing. I know I felt like a total outcast.

For some reason, my retired model of a Puerto Rican mother does not grow hair on her body. In the midst of my hair obsession, I asked my mom when the last time she shaved her legs were. Her response: “Hmm, no sé, maybe 3 or 4 months ago.” Like I was literally the hairiest person in my own little family.

But once I found out that my “hairiness” connected me to my people, I started to feel proud.

@floresimbioticas / Twitter

Who says we’re the ones who are hairy and that other people aren’t just bald? The reason we’re hairy is because American beauty standards center around white, thin, hairless, blonde beauty.

My mom is just an enigma. I’m not jealous at all. I mean, I was seething as a young adult, but being hairy has given me an opportunity to love myself and my body without permission from both white and Latino culture. We probably support the entire hair removal industry.

The truth is, I was never alone in the world of hair.

@408araceli / Twitter

It’s our beauty mark, and while it’s not something that my mother always told me to be proud of, it’s something I will tell my kids. For the first few years of the bullying, I resented that my mom would try to comfort me but couldn’t relate at all. Her solution was the same as mine: get rid of the evidence.

By the time I was 15, I was getting my upper lip and bikini line laser hair removed. This was laser hair removal over ten years ago so it hurt like a mother.

And it didn’t help that mámi didn’t let you shave.

Sandra Mendez / Buzzfeed

Meanwhile, my own mother is somehow the same bald Puerto Rican beauty queen model she’s been since she was my age. Oh, and she weighed 20 pounds less and her nickname was Double D’s. You know…whatever.

Still, mi mamí was against shaving until I was at least 13 years old. It’s like Nair was the safety scissors of Latina grooming. As a good, stereotypical, vegan, composting, liberal lesbian, now I’m horrified that I intentionally smeared chemicals onto my skin that are so intense, they burn hair off. (!!!)

If you have brothers, you definitely had live-in bullies.

@IVIeghan / Twitter

My little brother was the worst. He sucked A$$. Gio, if you’re reading this now, this is your public retribution. My little, sweet brother was straight up always asking me if I was turning into a man what “y’know, because you’re growing a mustache to match your hairy arms.” Sometimes they were gorilla arms, but most of the time, I was Sasquatch at school and at home.

My dad and other brother would laugh and my mom would try so hard not to laugh, but it was pretty obvious. I’m traumatized.

And you f*cking hated it when your white friends would tell you they have the same amount of hair as you.

@jigganutttsssss / Twitter

“Pero like, your hair is literally invisible and glitters in the sun and my hair is as dark as outer space.” There is no comparison or reliability there at all. Nobody picks on the blonde girl for her arm hair. That’s fake news.

By the time I was 15, I had brunette friends that were bleaching their own arm hair every month. Since my mom wouldn’t let me do that, I was wearing long sleeves… to cross country practice… in August in SoFla.

To be clear, if you shave your arms and body hair, I have no judgement or problem with you.

@kalinawatsonroberts / Twitter

I say, do whatever makes you feel good in your body. For a time, I shaved from the bottoms of my eyebrows down to the floor, but, for me, it wasn’t worth it. I have friends who do that and feel like a glamorous queen and I love it.

Whenever my happy trail or arm hair or even back hair (I was being so extra), started to grow in all prickly, I would actively hate myself and my body. That’s just my experience.

Obsessing over my body hair made it harder for me to love myself.

@elisexmia_ / Twitter

I would come up for air and have a moment of, “F*ck the patriarchy, I love myself and my big hips, and hairy ass body,” and then someone would call me Sasquatch. ???? Now it seems so below my radar, but during puberty, that would strike me deep.

We all feel awkward enough in our bodies, can we please stop commenting on each others?

In a way, learning to become resilient about people’s commentary on my body, forced me to give myself a degree of separation from what they say and how I feel about myself.

Maybe it’s maturity, or maybe it’s the #BoPo movement, but today, I see beauty in body hair.

@nono.rueda_ / Twitter

More than that, I see beauty in learning to unlearn the self-oppressive messages I saw through the ’90s and ’00s. I need to know if Jennifer Lopez is the same breed of Puerto Rican beauty queen as my mom and is naturally hairless.

We grew up with the few models of Latina beauty as totally hairless. Thankfully, full eyebrows and full hips are mainstream and we’re living our best lives up here. I’m also getting to see some of my own fearless friends get less serious and more playful around body hair.

The truth is that Latina body hair has superpowers like no other. This is Harry Potter sh*t.

@analsmasher420 / Twitter

I used to have a schedule: shave my legs every other day; armpits, upper lip and toes everyday; arms and happy trail once a week. Like that was ever enough. I was like a walking cactus, all prickly and conscious about someone touching me and noticing.

Thank DIOS for Twitter because never before have I felt so validated by the Internet. I hope my experience helps validate your own. You’re not a weirdo or an outcast for having body hair. You’re a badass Latina.

But that eyebrow arch is a universally accepted perk.

@melyyy_ms / Twitter

I *think* I have a unibrow, but I haven’t seen my natural brows since I was like 13 years old and let my best friend basically tweeze me into Cruella de Vil. My mom was *horrified* that my eyebrows were basically gone. In that moment, she told me that “my eyebrows frame the soul.” Y’know, since eyes are windows to the soul.

We’ve always been proud of our eyebrows from the moment we learned we could tweeze away the strays. We’ve got shape, baby.

And I get it–my blonde hippie friends have pressured me in the past to stop shaving and I hated it.

@tatianagonxalez / Twitter

Your natural blonde hair may make you look like an admirable, carefree goddess and be applauded in our society, but I resent any light hair Becky telling me how to experience my body.

I don’t resent Becky for going natural—I totally celebrate you and love that you think your little blonde armpit hair is cute. I resent Becky for pressuring me into living more “care-free.” It definitely takes a lot more confidence and my own lesson of self-love to walk around in the world with proud, thick black Latina leg and arm hair than it does for Becky to go natural.

But every single summer, me and my cousin would compete to see who could grow the longest leg hair.

@phoenixluv77 / Twitter

It’s too embarrassing for me to make up, I swear. So why was it actually all fun and games between us girls and a total nightmare when we left our little family bubble? Why is the outside world teaching young boys that it’s okay to police their classmates on their body hair? I’m finally getting it now and I’m enraged.

What would it have been like for me to see a hot, cool, hairy woman out in the world walking around with confidence?

If you’re reading this and in high school, plz @ us and tell us it’s better now.

@heidiramirez971 / Twitter

I see your generation dying your armpit hair hot pink and teal and lavender and I am both extremely proud and severely jealous. I have two lil chia pets under my arms that I could have made *art* with in high school. I mean, I guess I still can, but age (and those hours of grooming I was talking about) has made me lazy.

Here I am praying we live in a world where Latina women everywhere stop cursing their ancestors, cause before you know it, that’ll be me you’re cursing, guapa.

So, with all the reasons to shave installed in us since birth, I leave you with my own personal reasons not to shave.

@Life_OfA_LaTina / Twitter

What could you be doing with those 40 minutes? That’s 40 more minutes you can spend studying, or reading a book by Latina authors, or playing an instrument, or making art out of your armpit hair, or whatever it is that every other white girl and every single boy in America gets to have. You get to give permission to other women to stop shaving and stop buying into the hair removal industry.

Also, you get to save made water if you’re a person who cares about the environment.

Thirty days ago, I embarked on my own social experiment and stopped shaving.

@danymorc / Twitter

Full disclosure: I’ve already entrapped my girlfriend into living together, so she can’t leave me (jk, jk, jk) and I’m not trying to woo anyone. But really, being truly loved by someone has felt really good, and in some ways has given me permission to love myself in a more radical way.

It wasn’t a big decision or anything I gave much thought to. I just decided I wanted to challenge myself to make ultimate peace with my body hair and feel sexy and good in my natural body.

More disclosure: I’ve spent money and time on laser hair, so I’m not in my most natural state, and I regret it.

@TheZombiUnicorn / Twitter

I pray that nobody from Costco reads this, but I 100 percent used an at home body hair removal system where I shaved my entire body every 3 weeks and spent 2 hours laser hair removing it. It was boring AF, and I’m just as hairy but with a couple of random bald spots on my legs. Now that my armpit hair is all grown out, I can see that it was all a waste of time…but not money.

I returned the machine just before it’s 12 month return policy came up. ???? Patriarchy makes you stupid sometimes.

But I do feel more liberated than ever.

@Steph.quixotic / Twitter

It feels good to stop subscribing to other people’s beauty standards and start living in my own. My natural body is my standard of beauty, no matter what it looks like. This is just one, very easy part of my healing from body dysmorphia and disordered eating. Loving all of my body.

While life is a whole lot more bearable outside of school, I still get some long stares at my pits by older white ladies out and about. At first, I felt a little uncomfortable with the attention, but then I felt proud to know that there might be someone younger in the same room who feels like they can take up more space.

Plus, poco a poco, we’re seeing Latinas truly represented in TV, like in One Day at a Time.

Netflix

Also, now we know that it’s a myth that shaving makes your hair grow back thick. Throw away the Nair my friends. Shaving is SAFER. If you want to join me, you can also toss your razor and just see how it goes. When it comes to our bodies, we’ve all probably seen our own moms take a pinch of fat, diets, or a wrinkle way too seriously.

I know my own tias would be talking mad sh*t about me if they knew I wen’t #shavefree. But I saw my leg hair measuring cousin, Cecily, take that step and felt permission to do it for myself. You don’t need permission from anyone to live how you want to live–whether that’s hairless or a hairy latina

This is just my story, but maybe you can relate. No matter what, my message is to love yourself.

If you feel like a liberated goddess with baby soft, hairless skin, do you boo. I applaud you as my Latina sister in this life. I know how much time, money, and effort it takes and I respect how women decide to take care of themselves in this world.

If you’re like me and felt like body hair removal was more oppressive than liberating, I encourage you to take the 30 day challenge. It has been a healing experience for me and I don’t feel the same pressure I used to feel to prioritize a 40-minute shave over getting a project done or doing some self-care. I probably will shave again at some point in my life, but it feels pretty great to let go of the pressure. ❤️

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This Poor Mom Had To Spend 20 Hours Detangling Her Daughter’s Hair To Free It Of 150 Velcro-Toys

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This Poor Mom Had To Spend 20 Hours Detangling Her Daughter’s Hair To Free It Of 150 Velcro-Toys

I think it’s safe to say that during this strange time of quarantine, that we can definitely count parents among the heroes.

Stay at home orders and efforts to keep children at home, have caused parents to have to reevaluate their daily schedules. Now, so many parents are working double time to give their students the attention and education that they truly need.

A Pennsylvania mom recently highlighted the chaos of this new reality after showing what happened when she let her children play with toys after they’d finished their school work.

In a post shared on her Facebook Lisa Hoelzle shared a nightmarish experience of having to detangle her daughter Abigail’s hair after her son Noah dumped her into a hairy situation.

I post the good …. well here is some of the bad ☹️☹️☹️ Friday at 4pm until Saturday at 10pm was my worst Mom…

Publicado por Lisa Tschirlig Hoelzle en Domingo, 10 de enero de 2021

Hoelzle’s children are both 6 years old and like most kids in the United States right now, staying at home and doing virtual school. After finishing their school day, Noah and Abigail headed down to their basement to play with Bunchems, a toy that includes tiny Velcro-like balls that stick together.

It didn’t take long for sweet Noah, who Hoelzle describes in her post as a “jokester,” to dump a full container of the Bunchems on his sister’s head. Little did he know he’d just launched his sister into a mother’s “worst Mom nightmare.”

“I think I had an out-of-body experience,” Hoelzle wrote of the moment she saw her daughter’s hair. “She had about 150 of these things layered and matted in her hair. They made it worse trying to remove them themselves because they connect together kinda like Velcro.”

Bunchems hair
LISA TSCHIRLIG HOELZLE/ Facebook

Speaking about her initial plan of action Hoelzle, said that it took around three hours to remove fifteen of the Bunchems. When her husband, Dan, arrived home the two Google their next approach and only then realized “the severity of what we were up against. It suggested using conditioner and vegetable oil to loosen it but that made it worse and so messy. He got out about 10 more Before you knew, it was 1 am and Abigail could not keep her eyes open I slept with her head on me so they wouldn’t get more tangled. Not that I really could sleep.”

When it came to cutting her losses and, cutting her daughter’s hair Hoelzle said she just couldn’t do it. “If we cut them out because of how deep they were she would have winded up with a short pixie cut,” she explained. “It crushed my heart and I just couldn’t in my heart give up without trying my best to get them out. I am that Mom that has a bow to match each outfit! Haha”

The next day, Lisa went back to work, this time armed with mineral oil and a detangling comb.

“There was also a lot of tears (mine)” Hoelzle joked. “Abigail consoled me and Noah because he felt awful what he did. Abigail was surprisingly amazing about it !! She is usually the child that acts like you are killing her when I brush her hair! When she started to wine about it my Mom brought in a Lollipop and stuck it in her mouth! Lol. Hey, you got to do what you got to do! It was such a long day. I never watched so much kids U tube to entertain her but after 20 hours total after pulling and working them out of her head and lots of hair loss I got them all out. Followed by an hour or more in the bath tub with conditioner and combing out the knots.”

“I feel like we had a miracle with all of our prayers,” Hoelzl added. “We saved her hair and although it is thinner it wasn’t as damaged and ruined as I thought so Thank you God!!!” she wrote.

While Hoelzle says her fingers are “literally swollen” from the experience she is thankful to be done with the “awful situation.”

Bunchems hair
LISA TSCHIRLIG HOELZLE/ Facebook

She is now set on getting the word out about Bunchems and the severe consequences the toys can have.

“This will be something we will never forget very traumatic experience in the Hoelzle household this weekend,” she said before asking her friends to spread the word. “Trash you Bunchems if you have them or if you love them where a shower caps when playing with a sibling! Lol. This will be something we will never forget very traumatic experience in the Hoelzle household this weekend. I kept trying to think we have our health it [could] be worse but boy oh boy what a sickening feeling!”

Bunchems are still available to purchase but they were discontinued last year, likely for this reason.

According to New York Post, spokesperson for Spin Master, the company behind Bunchems said that they “quickly developed instructional videos for our YouTube channel and websites as a way to proactively educate people on how to play with the product and how to remove Bunchems from hair if they do get tangled.”

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Amidst SNL Skit, Gorilla Glue Woman Says She Is Still Recovering From Her Sudden Internet Fame And Cyberbullying

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Amidst SNL Skit, Gorilla Glue Woman Says She Is Still Recovering From Her Sudden Internet Fame And Cyberbullying

Updated Feb. 22, 2021.

We can all appreciate the diversity and spring backness of Black hair. Typically curly or kinky in texture, Black hair allows women and men alike the ability to style their hair in just about every which rich way. From sporting a thick and out there afro to tresses that are layed and slayed, Black hair can do it all. So much so that some consider Black hair to be a superpower.

However, Black hair isn’t all-powerful. When it comes to glue in particular, a very sad TikToker recently figured that out.

TikTok user im_d_ollady, real name is Tessica Brown, explained that she got herself into a pretty sticky situation thanks to Gorilla Glue.

In early February, Brown posted a video to her TikTok page and revealed that her hair has been stuck in the same slicked-back style for a month now. Explaining the situation, Brown started off sharing that she often turns to a glue spray product called göt2b when styling her hair “just to keep it in place.”

But when she ran out of göt2b glue spray she turned to a can of Gorilla Glue spray adhesive.

The Gorilla Glue advises that the product is “heavy-duty.” According to the Gorilla Glue’s website, “Gorilla Spray Adhesive forms a clear, permanent bond that is moisture resistant and can be used on projects both indoors and out. This spray adhesive is also photo safe. Its wide pad nozzle and controlled, fine mist spray provide an even application on the project you are working on.”

Gorilla Glue’s FAQ advises “wiping adhesive with a dry cloth and then washing the area with soap and water,” to remove the product if it gets on your skin or body while still wet. “Once cured, rinse well with water.”

No doubt the commentary on her hair has been overwhelming for Brown. Recently her attorney sent a cease and desist letter to a blogger who is described as having gone “way too far” in an online campaign that accuses Brown of being a “liar.”

Brown says what has been particularly difficult to deal with however are the comments by Black women who she once admired, including Wendy Williams and LisaRaye McCoy. Recently, her hair incident inspired a sketch for Saturday Night Live.

In her “Hot Topics” segment of the Feb. 8 episode of The Wendy Williams Show, Williams suggested Brown “might have something wrong with her, like mentally.”

“The thing is, I used to like Wendy,” Brown told Buzzfeed news. “We just had a whole watch party to watch her Lifetime movie. I mean, I really liked it, but, I mean, then it made me very angry.”

The Louisiana woman recently got her first new hairstyle since having her hair fixed.

Brown headed to Below Zero Salon in Violet Louisiana for her Valentine’s Day hair appointment and left with a shorter, cuter look. Not only does it look good on her, but it also pairs well with her new level of clout. Along with a new merchandise line, Brown also recently partnered with manager Gina Rodriguez of Gitoni, an agency that represents celebrities like Blac Chyna, Lamar Odom and Tommy Lee.

Brown headed to L.A. earlier last week to have procedure to remove the hair operation by a plastic surgeon.

Dr. Michael Obeng  successfully removed all of the “Gorilla Glue out of her hair” with the help of a special formula he created.

Video taken at Dr. Obeng’s office show’s Tessica sitting on an operating table after the procedure running her hands through her liberated tresses and tearing up with relief. Dr. Obeng used a custom mix of chemicals and natural products to dissolve the glue.

Speaking to TMZ., Dr. Obeng said that he “looked up the compound, the main active ingredient in Gorilla Glue: polyurethane” before figuring out the science of how to break it down.

Brown’s circumstance highlights the lack of general understanding of Black hair care and the extremes Black women go through to obtain even just sufficient products.

Many users have questioned and criticized Brown’s use of Gorilla Glue asking how she could do this to herself.

“Gorilla Glue isn’t even on the hair aisle in the hair store or the grocery store. Gorilla Glue is located in the hardware section. She knew better,” one user commented about the situationTwitter. But in reality, Black women are often forced to search outside of the hair care aisles to get products for their hair. Black women, and other women too, use products like avocados, olive oil, honey, eggs and even mayonnaise to make their hair healthy.

As one Twitter user pointed out often times hair products are packaged to purposefully resemble food products.

The truth is , as user @_knotURfrend_, pointes out if Brown’s Gorilla Glue use had actually worked, it likely would have gone viral as a new product go-to. “So many are being dismissive of #gorillagluegirl. Given the history of how black women are targeted and still battle the pervasive belief that our natural hair is unprofessional, unkempt, or in some way ‘a statement’ pls show her some grace and understanding,” The View’s Sunny Hostin tweeted.

Brow’s hair looks amazing in the video but it’s clear it was heavily sprayed and shows no sign of letting up.

“Bad, bad, bad idea,” Brown says in the video..

“My hair don’t move,” Brown goes on to share while she scratching at her hair and noting that she washed her hair 15 times to no avail.

Brown finishes her video saying “So if you ever run out of Göt2B glue spray, don’t ever, ever use this,” she says, holding up the Gorilla Glue can, “unless you want your hair to be like that.”

Brown’s video has garnered over 2 million views on her TikTok page.

Many users were quick to point out that the old trusty Moco de Gorila could have been confused for Gorilla Glue. The woman did make a point of noting that she’d run out of Göt2b Glued Blasting Freeze Hairspray before opting for the Gorilla Glue.

In a follow-up video posted to her account on Thursday morning, Brown shows herself attempting to wash her hair with shampoo while fighting back tears. So far TikTokkers, Twitter users, and Instagram users are attempting to help give Brown solutions.

The official Gorilla Glue Twitter page even chimed in “Hi there, we are sorry to learn about your experience! We do not recommend using our products in hair as they are considered permanent. You can try soaking the affected area in warm, soapy water or applying rubbing alcohol to the area.”

On Feb. 6, Brown posted photos of herself seeking medical treatment for the glue on her head.

In one image Brown can be seen lying on a hospital bed. The other image shows an emergency room entrance to St. Bernard Parish Hospital, in Chalmette, Louisiana. The final image to the post is a video of a friend applying a treatment provided by the hospital to Brown’s scalp who clearly appears to be in pain.

Now Brown might be considering a lawsuit according to the New York Post.

According to New York Post “Brown hired an attorney and is weighing litigation against Gorilla Glue, because while the product’s label warns against using on eyes, skin or clothing – it does not mention hair – the outlet reports.”

Gorilla Glue tweeted a statement in response to suggestions of a lawsuit saying “We are very sorry to hear about the unfortunate incident that Miss Brown experienced using our Spray Adhesive on her hair. We are glad to see in her recent video that Miss Brown has received medical treatment from her local medical facility and wish her the best.”

In response to Brown’s story, a Gorilla Glue spokesperson told Newsweek in an interview that “We saw the video as well, and we do not recommend using our products in hair, as they are considered permanent” and recommended, “soaking the affected area in warm, soapy water or applying rubbing alcohol to the area.”

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