I decided to go swimming today and thought if I’m going to do this I might as well go all out and wear my bikini which I would not usually do! My OH thought I had bought a new bikini because he had not seen it before, that’s how often it comes out. I usually wear an all in one swimming costume so only my arms and legs are on show. I felt really nervous about wearing a bikini but was comforted by the fact I had the company of a very good friend, her toddler son and my daughter. The pool was very busy with adults and children. Initially I felt more nervous for wearing a bikini than being hairy so this was a double whammy for me as I was out of my comfort zones for two reasons. I asked my friend to keep an eye out and let me know if she saw anyone looking at me or heard any comments. As I was busy looking after my daughter in the pool (she can’t swim yet so bobs with arm bands) I don’t get as many opportunities to notice other people’s reactions towards me compared with when I am out alone. After we had been in the pool for about 20 minutes my friend informed me a man had looked at me across the pool but she believed this was due to the fact I was wearing a bikini not because I was hairy. The noticeable hairy areas of my body on show were my underarms, my navel and my face and neck. We were in the pool for approx. 45 minutes. I felt VERY self-conscious the whole time I was in the pool and although this lessened after the first 20 minutes, these feelings didn’t leave me. Having my daughter with me as well as being with a close friend was a welcome distraction from my anxious feelings. I will consider going swimming again before my challenge ends on 6th September 2014 and do my best to try and actively seek other people’s reactions.
This evening I decided to thrust myself in to another public place (I went to my local supermarket) as I have not been out and about much today. It’s important to me to ensure I am out in public as much as possible to highlight the challenge I have chosen to complete whilst raising awareness of PCOS the national UK charity Verity and excess hair as a symptom among women. There were a few people present in most aisles of the supermarket although not as busy as if I had of visited the store earlier in the day. I wore my charity t shirt and shorts. Although I did not notice anyone obviously looking at me I did feel very nervous. More so than when I was at the swimming pool in my bikini where it was busier. I feel it definitely helps me being out and about with hair on display when I am with friends/family. I find myself feeling more nervous and fearful of possible reactions from other people when on my own. I have the up most respect for women who choose to accept their excess hair and not remove this. I honestly still prefer to remove my hair and as I feel today I cannot see me changing my view on this. Not because society is telling me to but because I personally prefer a hair free appearance.
Wearing my charity t shirt can be comfortable and uncomfortable as I am constantly thinking about the possible thoughts from people who read this and reflect on these. A positive reason for my t shirt is it promotes why I am hairy and a negative reason is it points my hairiness out when I don’t want any attention due to a lack in confidence. I started out believing my t shirt would be a security blanket and although it has felt like this at times, as I get hairier I am getting more nervous about wearing it now. Today I have felt the most nervous about my challenge as my hair is getting noticeably longer and I do feel uncomfortable when out of my comfort zone. (Environments I am not usually found in and when unaccompanied by friend/family member)
I am going to ensure I place myself in different public environments during the next 13 days no matter how fearful I feel to ensure I get the most out of this challenge as time will have soon run out.
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Please find today’s photos below and thank you for taking the time to read this.