I look like Snow White. I’m not necessarily claiming the whole “fairest of them all” title (look at all the trouble it got her in to), but I definitely have the look. I have the peaches & cream complexion, the black-as-night hair, however the lips spend equal time between Aveda’s fig pencil and Urban Decay’s Bruise shimmery gloss rather than in the historical rosebud tones. Sounds lovely? Sure, I’ve elicited “suggestions” from men and I have inspired envy from women at the hair salon. Until the other women realize that I’m not at the salon for a manicure but for my regular waxing appointment. The dark hair/light skin combo may be striking from the neck up, but it’s striking from the neck down, too, but for very different reasons: dark body hair shows up more on that nice alabaster skin. And I’ve been struggling with the whole body hair thing since before I began wearing an unwarranted bra or carrying a tampon in my sleeve from my locker to the ladies room. I’ve tried most methods of hair removal and depending on how my mutual funds do, I’m going to give this new laser thing a try.
I first attempted to bleach the hair on my legs in grade six (probably due to a cross between Judy Blume influences and seeing my hair stick out through my navy knee socks). Then, I moved onto removing it. I started out with Neet. It was my mother’s preferred hair removal option. And although I continue to use the detergent she uses, I did not develop an appreciation for the scent associated with depilatories lotions.
I shaved throughout high school, avoiding the thigh area for some unknown reason. (This was back in the days before Always was making “ultra” thin pads and we weren’t on to the Milli Vanilli scam.) Perhaps it was part of some urban myth that it would grow back so thick and coarse that we’d be forever ostracized by the grade eight boys. (If I knew then what I know now, I would have welcomed such condemnation.)
Once I became legal, I started drinking and waxing (I wonder, could there be a connection?). Some assume you’d have to be under the influence to voluntarily have a stranger spread hot wax on your nether regions just to have them tear it off with a cotton bandage.
During the college years I went all bohemian-like and decided to go “natural” (whatever that is). Boyfriend at the time, dear, sweet guy that he was couldn’t have cared less. He was also nineteen and would have put up with anything if it meant he was having sex.
For the last 8 years I’ve been devoted to waxing, with the occasional dalliance with emergency shaving (“sure, I can be ready in ten minutes…”), the sandpaper mitt (if it seems too good to be true, it is too good to be true), tweezing (at least I’m not eating in front of the TV) and the battery powered machines (if I’m going to spend alone time with machines that vibrate, it ain’t gonna be about me hurtin’ – at least not in that way).
Now, when I say I wax, I mean full leg, bikini & underarm. I like keeping it under $50, I like not feeling shy about it, and I like not being left with red welts. The bleeding does not freak me out and I will attempt the occasional Brazilian. I do save them for the times when I am not likely to be seen naked below the waist (by the gynecologist and the old ladies in the locker room at the gym). I also prefer not to be completely bare with new lovers. Depending on the guy, it might frighten him in to thinking that I’m all va-va-voom or that I expect him to be all va-va-voom. No use making either of us nervous on purpose. Plus, not all estheticians make you feel all right asking for one. What a relief it is when the esthetician tells you to put your foot by your ear without having to ask. You know that it simply makes the next time your foot is by your ear a little more pleasant.
Guest post by Rita Gardner.
Originally published at Seska for Lovers 2001.