Advice I would give my 10 year old self

I was a hairy baby.

I was a hairy child and if I’m being TMI honest I’m quite a hairy grown up.

I was born with a giant mop of brown hair and looked like Kim Jong Il. That’s not to say I wasn’t a cute Kim Jong Il, I was very cute. In fact my mum did everything in her power to make sure I was cute. She made anyone who held me pin my ears back with their fingers whilst supporting my head. Neck safety as well as parental precaution against sticky out ears. She also refused me my dummy as soon as my teeth appeared to avoid me having sticky out teeth. She clearly had a problem with sticky out features. Unfortunately, there was not much she could do about the thin coating of dark hair across my body. Cheers for that dad. I remember being around 10 and my dad calling me a ‘Hairy Fairy’- it’s becoming apparent both my parents had interesting parenting styles. I was devastated. I did a thing I think only dramatic children (or unstable adults) do where you cry in front of a mirror to see how sad you are (but also probably to check out my mustache). I remember looking at my gross teary face thinking ‘it’s OK, if you just never wear your hair in a pony tail, or in a bun or up in anyway your side burns will be your little secret!’.

Unfortunately for 10 year old me I wasn’t just gifted with a natural jumper, I was also gifted with the voice of Phil Mitchell. As an adult I can totally own this as sexy and more husky than gruff but as a child I really didn’t have much to go on. Just the voice and tache of a middle aged man and a deep cackle where my childish giggle should have been. There really isn’t much you can do about your voice, although years later a singing teacher would tell me I was husky because I was lazy with my voice (sorry, what?) So the afternoon when I walked down the stairs to hear my friends — one mean ol’ boy in particular- doing a gruff voiced impression of me was as similarly heartbreaking as when my dad called me a hairy fairy. Back to the mirror I went.

The voice of an angel.

As I hit the teens being half girl half inspiration for Lady Gaga’s hair suit didn’t get much easier. I remember having my first ever bikini wax before a family holiday to Thailand, I was 14 and feeling pretty awkward. I gingerly peeled off my jeans and the family friend screeched ‘OOOOH, you do take after your dad’s dark hair’. It was as if her words were echoing on repeat around her garage/salon and have been reverberating between my ears ever since.

But recently, as I scraped my hair in to an unwashed bun and ran quickly to work I realised that as an adult I never really think about my side burns. Or my dark hairy arms or even my middle aged man tache. At some point between the plucking and shaving and the god awful waxing and also the skin burning bleaching I just stopped caring about it. By all means on a special occasion I might still bleach the old tache and on the beach I will still look enviously at my blonde friends but it sure doesn’t obsess my thoughts like it used to do whenever I wore a short sleeved top or accidentally pushed my hair behind my ears. (Even with my mum cursing the fact my hair made my ears stick out)

So my advice to my 10 year old self would be this; your voice won’t always make you sound like a builder. In fact when you’re a poor adult people will suggest you work on sex chat lines because your husky voice will be a money maker. And as for your hair, you’ll reach an age where 10 minutes extra in bed is worth more than washing your hair and the top knot/pony will become your best friend. Side burns out, loud and proud.

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