January 03, 2007

Lisa: Wax On

Factoid: it is surprisingly difficult to take a picture of your own eye. But aren't my brows fabulous?

Today on my lunch hour I went to the spa for a bit of judicious waxing, and I got to thinking about why more people don't wax. Here are the common obstacles I see:

1) It hurts.

Well, yes. It does hurt. BUT BEAUTY IS PAIN. No, I'm just kidding--if it was too painful, obviously it wouldn't be worth doing. Look at it this way: have you ever groomed your brows with tweezers? You know how much it hurts when you pluck just one hair? Well (and if you haven't waxed, you'll just have to trust me on this), if you yank out a whole section of hairs at once, it hurts about the same amount as plucking just that one hair.

Admittedly, most of us do not go after our bikini lines with tweezers, and that skin is certainly more sensitive--but what's the alternative? Shaving, with the associated razor burn and immediate prickly regrowth? Waxing the bikini line hurts, a lot, for about one second per cloth. That's six to ten seconds of pain, total, for two weeks of clean skin. Compare that to one or two days of clean skin followed by a week of itchy discomfort.

There's also anecdotal evidence that each time you wax, it hurts less. I don't know if that's from gradual desensitization, or because there's less hair to deal with each time (pulling hair out by the root often damages the root and a new hair won't grow there), or if it's just less scary because you know what to expect. Your mileage may vary.

1.5) Something will go wrong and it will RIP OFF MY SKIN/BURN ME/AIIIIIIIEEEE!!!!

Well, I guess if you were bleaching your own hair you could potentially give your scalp a chemical burn and your hair would all fall out. This is why we leave it to the professionals. Your waxer should be a licensed aesthetician who has gone through hundreds of hours of classroom training and clinical application.

2) I don't want someone else all "up in my business."

Okay. That can be kind of uncomfortable--but it's not as bad as going to the gynecologist. For one, you get to keep your panties on. And your waxer will be super professional; if she wasn't, she wouldn't get any repeat business.

2.5) I am embarassed to have a stranger see what I look like.

Trust me, your waxer has had clients who are much fatter and hairier than you are. Also, if you DO wax, those areas will look better and you'll be less insecure the next time!

3) It costs money.

Yes, services cost money. Just as you can dye your own hair or paint your own nails, you can wax your own brows or whatever area suits your fancy. There's going to be a quality tradeoff, though, due to inferior commercially available products, a lack of expertise, and your not being a contortionist. Also, I personally have never had the guts to do my own waxing--but a stranger won't chicken out before ripping off that strip!

Any hair-removal regime is going to cost something, whether it's razors and shaving cream, depilatory cream, or waxing supplies. You have to decide if the benefits of going to a professional are worth a few more dollars from your budget.

4A) My brows look fine naturally.

Yeah, maybe they do. But...they could look better. Even if you stay with your natural shape, there will be hairs that are "outside the lines." Get closer to the mirror. Yes, other people can see those. Brows are one of the most overlooked facial features, but one that can make a huge difference to the appearance of your eyes and your whole face. An aesthetician can help you determine a brow shape that will flatter your face, and will help you achieve that shape without overplucking.

4B) No one sees my bikini area anyway.

Maybe no one sees you naked. But what if you get invited to go swimming or hot-tubbing? What if you get in a car accident and the doctors have to cut off your clothes?

More importantly, YOU see your bikini area. Just like wearing pretty underwear that no one else sees, you will know when you are well groomed and you'll feel sexier and more confident. Plus, that pretty underwear will look even prettier without unsightly hair sticking out of it.

And...ladies, it must be said: if you are married or in a committed sexual relationship, then sack up. Your husband/boyfriend sees your bikini area, and even though he loves you no matter what, he will appreciate your grooming efforts. Keep the romance alive!

4C) Only sluts wax their bikini lines.

No. Clean and well-groomed women who have respect for their bodies and take care of them wax their bikini lines. You don't have to go Brazilian, and you don't have to shave in your boyfriend's initials. Your lady bits are not inherently dirty. Admitting that you have a bikini area and taking proper care of it doesn't mean you're showing it to all the boys.

4D) I am a dirty hippie.

I can't help you there.

Posted by lisa at January 03, 2007 05:11 PM

1. Just about everything is more comfortably than a Gynecologist, that is not a good point of reference.
2. Beauty is pain???? So if i stick a sharp metal object repeatedly into my skin i will get prettier? So maybe there is a association, maybe so far as a correlation between pain and beauty, but definately not equality.
3. Sorry about the rant. Your eyebrow does look very nice. And if you are there Sarah? NO YOU CAN"T PLUCK MY EYEBROWS, they are exactly how i want them.

Posted by: Young Jeffrey on January 3, 2007 10:14 PM

Jeff, I disagree with your two points. Laying on a table with a papery gown covering your crotch? Could be at the gyno or the waxer. Having a professional staring at your nether regions? Again, could be either situation. I thought her point of reference was valid.
Also, Lisa said "beauty is pain" in jest. It is a well-known saying. And she didn't say that pain is beauty. A statement like that doesn't imply equality. Just saying.

Posted by: sarah on January 4, 2007 08:38 AM
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