I have hairy arms and it’s not blonde hair. I have dark brown locks and people often inquire as to what exactly makes me look so fantastically exotic. These are the places where people think I might be from, or might be at least in some sort of conjunction with: France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Palestine, Argentina, Uruguay, somewhere Native. I’ve gotten, “Are you sure you’re not Mediterranean?” Though that was also after someone looked at my butt.
People, I have to tell you, I am really not that interesting. I am an anti-climax. My genes hail from England, Germany, maybe Ireland and then my father’s grandmother was evidently 100% French-Canadian. I like to pin the whole dark hair thing on her, like maybe she was Native and that’s why I’m special! But I don’t know anything conclusive. All I know is that I am another result of a bunch of males and females doing what they’ve always done.
One time I paid for what turned out to be a pretty weak massage in Malaysia, and when the masseuse lady saw my hairy arms she drew in her breath for a minute, translated her thoughts into English and said, “…Incredible! Truly incredible!”
And then whenever the sleeve of my baju kurung happened to slip, exposing my hairy arm to the elbow, my female students would drop their pencils to run their hands up and down, as if petting a cat, which they would never actually do, I’m guessing, due to the God-awful state of cats over there.
The boys would just look at my arm and then into my eyes and ask, “Why?”
I was a terminally self-conscious adolescent and I much preferred for everyone to deny the existence of my hairy arms and visually painful cystic acne. I didn’t bring it up and I expected you to do the same. The minute you reneged on this unspoken agreement, I spun off into some foul-smelling swamp of moody despair, only to return, and reluctantly at that, days later.
That swamp shrivels more with every birthday. I’m still young, but I’m not the younger person of the above paragraph anymore. If anything, I’ve become quite skilled at laughing at myself, which is kind of necessary when you happen to be a weirdo.
After living in Malaysia, that swamp is microscopic. It’s like a droplet on a blade of grass that a baby ladybug is sipping from. So I might as well tell the internet:
I AM A GIRL AND I HAVE HAIRY ARMS AND IT’S EXTRA NOTICEABLE BECAUSE I ALSO HAVE REALLY DARK HAIR!