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Middle school is a time of obsession: over your crush, your body, your newsfeed, your grades. Nothing is good enough, everything is terrible, and they’re all going to laugh at you.

If there was a guide to middle school, reality edition, we probably wouldn’t have even read it back then because we’d have been too busy obsessing over the little things. But it would have been filled with some useful gems:

Acne is not the end of the world. Someone will love you someday. You will most likely get an unexpected period in gym class, and everyone will mock you for a week. The “bad boy” with the puka shell necklace that you’re crushing on will end up in jail.

Ha! Yeah right.

The one section I would have read? “What to do with your new moustache.”

Our head hair is influenced by hormones that change throughout different phases of a woman’s life: puberty, pregnancy, fertile years, and menopause. Same goes for your facial hair. So, as a dark-haired, tan girl mothered by a fair-skinned, Irish mother, we can assume I knew exactly what to do when my 6th grade moustache sprouted and was fertilized by hormones and greasy skin. Cue the quintessential pre-teen eye roll.

The worst advice I ever received about my lady ‘stache:

“If you shave it will come in thicker.” False! Why do you want me to have a moustache forever?? Upper lip hair waxes and wanes in thickness and shaving won’t make you get a burly man stache. What it will do is remove the hair painlessly though. Those tiny facial hair razors were invented for a reason…to shave hair off in small areas!

My blonde friend’s lady ‘stache advice:

“Oh, just bleach it, and it will go away.” Nope! As a hormonal pre-teen, those staches are about as thick as they will get. My long lip locks just turned from brown to blonde. And for a tan kid, this was actually more noticeable. Maybe bleaching works for fair-skinned ladies or those who have no chance at winning the women’s moustache and beard competition. But for the rest of us, it’s just terrible advice.

Everyone else’s lady ‘stache advice:

“Just pluck it.” Aaaaah, what? Do I pluck each of my leg hairs? Do I pluck each of my hoo-ha hairs? Yowie.

Late advice to my 6th grade self about my budding lady ‘stache:

I wish I had just listened to my best friend’s Chilean mother. What did she do? Get laser hair removal. What did she tell her daughter to do? Shave it off until her hormones stop raging, then get laser hair removal.

Despite the occasional stress dream where I give birth to a Yeti, this whole facial hair issue never significantly impacted my social life or overall self-confidence. Maybe I was great at plucking or maybe my moustache wasn’t as important to the world as I thought. I’ll never know. But what I do know is how to deal with it. And ladies, that’s my gift to you.

Kelsey Muller

Kelsey attended sewing camp as a kid and now is a fish tank aquascaping hobbyist. You could say she’s always been cool.

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