Femme ‘Stache

New ‘Zine Will Put Hair on Your Lady Chest

Graphic Sebastien Cadieux

Two Concordia students are throwing away the razor to express their own ideas on facial hair and launching ‘Stache in January, a magazine studying how facial and body hair represent gender presentation, identity and sexuality.

Mitra Kaboli, co-creator of the ‘zine, said the content will be based completely on submissions, anonymous or not, which they are accepting until Dec. 17.

“We are taking in anything that could be put into print form,” said Kaboli.

Photos, comics, sketches, essays, fiction, prose, poetry or any kind of art that can be put into print form is fair game.

“So long as it relates to body hair—and more specifically, but not completely exclusively, facial hair,” she added.

‘Stache is meant to be a space for discussing bigger issues of gender and sexuality by challenging one specific aspect of the two—facial hair.

“[It relates to] all these different ways of experiencing facial hair and body hair in one’s sexuality, in one’s presentation [and] in the way people relate to or talk to them,” said Kate Killoran, the other force behind the project. “Something so small like a mustache can completely change your experience.”

It was because of personal experience that both organizers endeavoured to start ‘Stache.

“For me, this was the beginning of a discussion that I haven’t even had with myself,” said Killoran. “The reason why I wanted to do this was because I am queer and I’d go to parties and sometimes I’d put on a mustache and it would make me feel very different about myself and my sexuality.”

The idea that body hair belongs in the masculine realm is one of the themes these girls want to talk about in ‘Stache.

“We, in our society, view body and facial hair as a masculine thing—like Movember is this hyper-masculine thing,” said Killoran. “People who identify with femininity and things like that are told that they can’t have that, but I don’t think that’s necessarily true. There is no reason why you can’t be feminine and have body hair.”

But the ‘zine is not only about women redefining the mustache; it is also about people’s freedom of choosing how to handle their body hair.

“When I see women who confidently rock their hair, I’m like, ‘That’s amazing, I wish I could do that,’” said Kaboli. “But I don’t feel awesome with a mustache. Absolutely not. There is something ingrained in me that tells me I can’t. And that’s o.k., that’s totally o.k. I own that.”

With no prejudice, ‘Stache is a place to talk about those feelings of insecurity, as well.

“Facial hair is not always an empowering experience for everyone, definitely not,” she said.

So if you have a love-hate relationship with hair and want to get it off your chest, don’t sit there with curlers in your hair. Join the dialogue.

Send questions comments, concerns and submissions to stachezine@gmail.com

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 16, published November 30, 2010.