I live in the Southern United States of America, also known as The Bible Belt.
There are certain things I can count on here: mosquitoes, iced tea sweet enough to make my teeth throb, and a perpetual debate about Creationism versus Evolution.
Being an educated woman with a natural fondness for math, science, and common sense in general, I have always stood firmly entrenched on the side of Darwinism. In fact, I’m not a bumper-sticker kind of gal, but if I were, I suspect I’d have one that says something like “We’ve got the fossils. We win.”
But there are times when I look at myself in the mirror and wonder, “What on Earth could be the evolutionary purpose of that?”
No. I’m not referring to those two swaying tube socks formerly known as breasts.
I’m thinking about my signature chin hair.
As a forty-one year old woman, I often wonder why it is that my chin hair would suddenly begin to flourish at the same time as a decrease in my ability to see things up close. That common age-related vision impairment is called Presbyopia, by the way. And no, it doesn’t mean a heightened ability to spot Presbyterians.
How am I supposed to pluck my implacable chin hair if I can’t even see it anymore? And why must this phenomenon also coincide with a time in my life when I’m surrounded by curious young children who stare and poke at my whiskers and make comments to strange men in public like “My Mommy has a beard, too.”
Is there an evolutionary reason why I should suddenly have this beard? Or is it just a cruel twist of fate, like when your children finally become old enough to let you sleep through the night again, if only your bladder and weakened pelvic floor would cooperate.
No, there must be a reason. Darwin tells us so… survival of the fittest, and such.
It must be linked somehow to propagating the species. Perhaps female facial hair is a sign for men indicating “Warning: Unsafe Conditions. Detour Ahead!” Because really, nowadays? Between the push-up bras and the Botox and the hair color and the personal trainers, how else might men know our middle-aged eggs are shriveling up by the second?
Unlike our primate sisters, whose naked red genitalia visibly swell at peak fertility, we highly evolved and clothed humans only have our faces as indicators of our fecundity. Hairless female faces are, in theory, much easier to read. Like a glowing red Krispy Kreme Hot Doughnuts Now sign, a young, hairless female face is a beacon of hope for a man with a plan.
Could female facial hair be nature’s way of telling our males “Move along. Nothing to see here”?
Because if so, I think I’d rather have the red vagina please.