Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Wax on, wax off...

Hair is obviously a bit of a theme this month, now I am considering a move..ahem..further down the body. I have become aware of what is possibly another great age divide, the waxing, pruning and trimming of our lower abdomen.

 copyright whyatt

Here I really can nail my colours to the mast. I regard full waxes and strips ‘down there’ to be physically repulsive. For me at best they are imitative of porn stars, done so all the ‘action’ can be filmed (even the positive comparison is icky) at worst it is redolent of naked small pink mammals at birth. A denuded woman looks like a pre-pubescent child, I don’t even want to go there. On all counts it is repellent. Thats why there are no images in this post apart from Whyatt's cartoon, they are all quite gross and some readers of this blog might be enjoying a sandwich.

However I gather that this is becoming, for women under 30 a ‘standard’ part of their grooming regime.  Well people can do what they want with their private parts but WTF can be the reason for this adoption of nastiness?  Well I can see that a really hairy bush could be off putting but surely if you are standardly European a bit of tidying up is all you need. Perhaps some people are phobic (menaced by an angry guinea pig in childhood, who knows?).

Apparently it is viewed as hygienic, well it isn’t. Underarms can trap sweat in the summer but this is a different party of the body. Legs look nice shaved because we wear stockings, but to be honest unless you are hairy shaving legs is not terribly necessary and shaving/waxing legs, cuts and allergies aside, has no health ramifications.  Shaving and waxing in the lower area however increases the likelihood of infection, disease and ingrown hairs dramatically. No doctor would recommend it and those parts of the body are no longer shaved prior to operations because of the known risks.

If you consider the fact that this is the case in a clinical setting how stupid is having this done in a commercial beauticians? A little known fact is that I used to license beauty salons; they are never ever clinical level clean no matter how sparkling they look and are in fact not expected to be.  Why would you have your private parts fiddled about with in such an environment?

The final nail in the coffin of the hygiene argument is the ugh factor. Don’t these people wash in this area as a given? Do they just want a wet wipeable area? Surely you’d only notice any problems if you were a bit unhygienic? Is shaving here a sign that people are in truth a bit grubby.

So what about aesthetics? I have referred to porn already, is the motivation the nagging suspicion that men/boys expect it? There doesn’t seem to be any basis for this, a bit of tidying up is nice and an excessively hairy women might (not always though) put them off but they don’t much seem to  care. They never do, same applies to nice underwear and killer perfume. Mind you the odd stupid sexist comment does crop up.  A woman who Brazilians is ‘expecting men to look at her parts and might be a bit loose’. So the usual fine in the pages of Loaded but not on my girlfriend stuff. But it appears that all the gents want is cleanliness and a bit of trimming.

What about bikinis and performers? I can see that the latter might have to be a bit more circumspect, but womankind has survived bikini wise for several decades without agent orange applied to their lady parts.  Who is taking a magnifying glass to you anyway?  I am amused by tiny bikinis, so you shave everything off, just to cover it again with a tiny triangle that mimics pubic hair, but with spangled fabric.

I wouldn’t mind this if it was about fun, women dying their bits pink or having Micky Mouse tattoos on their mounds of Venus or something.  But young British women regarding being waxed to hell and looking like a plastic doll or camp survivor as basic necessary beautifying is something I find really worrying.  I cannot help think it is linked to a tendency to self-hate, men are not making us do this to ourselves nor are they doing it to themselves.  In this endless search for perfection things get warped, being totally hairless is as freaky as being covered in hair. It is painful, it is unnecessary, it is expensive, it is time consuming and it is unhealthy. In my own opinion it looks awful. It is not like a manicure, ordinary neat clean nails are not considered unacceptable but for some bizarre reason young women find the existence of body hair repulsive when they should find its absence creepy.  I’m not advocating a lack of grooming or the cultivation of lady forests that resemble guardsman’s busbys.   I just don’t like the extremism, the body hate and the invasiveness of the strip/Brazilian. If you love it, fine. Some women love tattoos/piercings, some hate them. The difference is that these body modifications are a choice, not a required or expected routine activity. Personally I cannot get my head around wanting to look like a child/sex worker/unwell person.

Do you agree/disagree? Comments welcome.


Helen Highwater said...

For the first time in my life recently I used a razor on my leg (I've tended to use depillatory cream or silky mitts) and it grew back quicker, or at least seemed to, and I cut my knee!

I have been known to prune "down there" but I find it terribly itchy when it grows back. So I haven't repeated the experience. then again, a trim in warmer weather is welcome. But not going bald, it's not for me!

I read recently that pube-removal was popular in history, but in the UK it was to control pubic lice. Niiiiice.

Helen Highwater said...

Oh - and men do sometimes go hairless, but I think it started as mainly a gay man thing, and one gay bloke told me he did it because he reckoned it made his willy look longer. So now you know....

Anonymous said...

I so agree with you, i had a girly night recently and this subject came up and i horrified the rest of the group by being (what i though was normal)with hair. They actually seemed shocked, i was shocked that they were shocked and i was the only one. Made me feel like the odd one out but at the same time i have more important thing to do with my time than fiddling with my tweeser or wax each time one hair dare to appear. I don't wear tiny bikini, i don't make porn movies so a trim and tidy seemed enough grooming.

mrs_sock said...

The only clinical positive is the reduction in the prevalence of pediculosis pubis (in case someone is eating that sandwich). I see more clients with concerns over folliculitis, in grown hairs, allergic reactions, cuts & burns etc. It's really a preference thing, I'm lucky, my hubby doesn't have one!

LollyWillowes said...

Once again I agree with everything you say, absolutely bang on.
I loathe it, looks sooo perverted, just gross. Get a grip women, you are not playthings/passive dolls/objects etc etc etc. Starting to froth now, better stop!
Medically speaking you are right too, it is a stupid thing to do, really stupid.

garofit said...

ditto, great post!

Vintage Scans said...

Steady on! I'm not sure I understand the level of ill-feeling towards women who completely shave or prune their lady-garden to a nice little landing strip/ triangle/dot. Good manners prevent me from divulging my better half's depilatory regime but whatever she does, she does because she wants to.
There is nothing gross or perverted about the trimming of hair, whether on legs, bottom, head, eyebrow, nostril or lug 'ole. It is a mere trifle.
I found out recently that a surprising number of my less than god-like male workmates baldify various parts of their bodies (yes, Helen, it apparently adds an inch to the cock). I did lecture them on the pitfalls of reducing themselves to mere playthings but the would-be porn machines simply laughed. Their wives and partners like them shaved.
None of us likes to look unkempt, which is why most men shave their faces or have silly little pencil moustaches. Some, male and female, simply apply the same aesthetic to their nether regions.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post! I have always felt rather embarrassed that unlike my friends I'm not hairless down there. I get serious ingrown hairs (and almost had to have surgery once when one get majorly infected) so shaving/waxing down there is not really an option. My body just doesn't like hair removal anywhere... Nice to know someone else shares the opinion that we shouldn't all have to have everything completely hairless.

Helen Highwater said...

People should do what they want with their pubes, but I do find it a bit worrying when people who don't go bald in the trouser department are greeted with horror. Why is au natrel so disturbing to some people?

Do what you gotta do, but baldness down there does seem to be becoming the norm, and those who trangress seem to be viewed as being horrifying grotbags. Or something.

superheidi said...

Thanks for stirring this up, it's a hot topic, it seems. :)
I always assumed that this final frontier lay around 40 years old. But I am mistaken.

Maybe it's what you're used to seeing most of your life? The younger generation got used to other views.

For me, all this baldness is very much related to porn and especially the wrong kind. I can't help it, but I think it's too much of how little girls look.

More disturbing to me, is the newer "fashion" of labiaplasty. Is this a stepping stone? All these retouched pictures in porn magazines set the trend. There are many American girls, women and their male counterparts, that find specific parts of female bodies revolting.
I find lasering off healthy, and to some, beautiful, parts of your body quite weird. Just as weird as female circumcision.

Anyhoo, shaving legs is already quite a nuissance with minor mishaps every now and then. I'm too old to be bothered with the bald & "beautiful". And I am glad most men of my generation couldn't care less either.

Anonymous said...

Lyra said...

I am never going to tell you you're wrong or gross for not pruning your pubes just because *I* do. It's stupid. I get rid of everything "down there" because I HAAAAAAATE the feeling of having hair there. This is just my preference. Porn or men or society have nothing to do with it. It's my own brand of crazy.

Keith (kcm) said...

Yes, I agree with you. The wanting to look like porn stars aspect doesn't bother me; the needing to look prepubescent does. OTOH each to their own. Basically it is all fashion, m'dear; it'll pass like all fashions.

LollyWillowes said...

It's not tidying up that bothers me, it's the child like aspect of nothing at all that is repellent.
All this surgery nonsense has gone too far, it's self hating destruction.
This is not emancipation, it's another form of oppression. We don't need to collude in it.

Anonymous said...

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