When I was growing up, I thought I was the hairiest girl in the world. My two best friends were Chinese and Vietnamese, and were virtually hairless. Compared to them, I felt like an ape.
Then when I was in medical school, my best friend was Indian, and after talking with her, I decided that maybe I was just the hairiest white girl in the world.
Lately though, I've been talking to more and more women and realizing that not only am I not the hairiest white girl in the world, I'm probably about average. I really had no idea how much hair removal women go through.
Many times, we will have a woman admitted to the hospital who had some sort of significant traumatic brain injury or stroke, and because she can no longer take care of it, her facial hair gets a little bit out of control. It's not at all uncommon if the woman is elderly, but I feel much worse if the woman is in her 30s or 40s. I'm pretty sure that she wouldn't want her family and friends seeing her with a mustache and beard.
Obviously, these women have much worse problems, but at the same time, I still feel like we should do something about it. We should let these women have their dignity.
But what can we do? It's not like we're some sort of experts in hair removal. And it seems like a weird thing to even broach the topic with the patient or family. "Hey, would you like us to wax your wife's mustache?"
So generally, we just let them be hairy.