Be young and shut up

A blog about student activism.

Body hair pride

with 2 comments

I’ve never been a feminist who was particularly interested in discussion about body image. I found it all kind of obvious – how could anyone not agree that women’s bodies are so much more heavily policed than men’s? There are an awful lot of articles about women’s perceptions of our bodies as well as numerous TV programmes and references in other areas of popular culture. Frankly, I thought it’d been somehow ‘done’.

A few weeks ago my mother very kindly offered to pay for me to go on holiday with her to Spain. I gladly agreed and bought a bikini a couple of days ago. In preparation for the holiday, today I went and had a bikini wax.

It was one of the most painful experiences of my entire life. I’ve had four rounds of root canal surgery on my front teeth, I’ve had tattoos, piercings, I’ve had my lip sewn up right in front of me under local anaesthetic, and I once burnt the entire palm of my hand and all of my fingers on a really hot stove. I can honestly say that I found the bikini wax more distressing than most of these.

I take a lot of care over my appearance (or should that be I spend hours trying to achieve some sort of bullshit aim) – plucking and darkening my eyebrows, dying my hair, getting regular haircuts, shaving some of my body hair, and the most time-consuming of all: layering on loads of makeup in order to detract from the acne I still suffer from at the age of twenty three. (Before any smart arse says anything, I’ve tried absolutely everything and the reason I have acne is hormonal and something I can do very little about. I would not suffer with acne for ten years without trying everything.)

I usually fool myself into thinking that these things are a ‘choice’. Some of them are, for sure, but some of them aren’t.

I have absolutely no idea how women get their whole cunt area and bumhole waxed (a ‘Hollywood’) or even worse getting everything waxed – whole leg, armpits, bumhole and cunt area.

Even more baffling is why having experienced what I did today, you would go back and get it done again?!*

I came back from my appointment raging at why that is seen as a normal thing to do. I had a bit of a rant at my parents (who I’m currently staying with) who said I should try hair removal cream (it really, really stinks and should not be used near anyone’s private parts, ever) or just shave (I’m sick of spending ten minutes shaving most days when I could be doing more interesting things).  They then kept repeating a ‘story’ about one of their French friends who doesn’t remove her pubic hair and still wears a bikini. Apparently my dad had to ‘avert his eyes’ and they both found it ‘embarassing’. So women should remove our pubic hair in order to make other people feel comfortable? Er, just, NO.

It’s really, really hard to actually just stop caring what people think – and sadly I don’t know if I can just stop and grow my body hair out – but it’s actually just disgusting that getting rid of nearly all your body hair is ‘normal’ and not doing it is ‘weird’ or ‘masculine’.

If it were seen as something extra special to do in order to ring the changes and to make oral sex a bit different, I wouldn’t really care. But it’s not. It’s like ‘normal’ to have an almost hair-free minge and plenty of ex-boyfriend wankers have actually commented on the fact that I leave most of my bush alone.

The response should always be, go and wax your ball sack and then I might consider it. Or even better, ‘You’re dumped’.

Basically, anything that is compulsory for women but not for men is a load of shite and needs to be smashed.

And people feeling like they have a right to comment on anyone else’s bodies? I can’t even put into words how fucking wrong that is. Mind your own business ya dickheads. Worry about the fact that you have scummy views rather than worrying about what other people choose to do with their furry bits.

Just – RAGE.

 

*My friend Darcy has rightly said that the pain is different for everyone and that my bafflement might be misplaced. I don’t mean to be judgemental here. I just won’ t be going back myself.

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Written by CakeCakeCakeCakeCake

July 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. “Basically, anything that is compulsory for women but not for men is a load of shite and needs to be smashed.”

    Err… waxing isn’t compulsory… regardless there’s plenty of things that are ‘compulsory’ for men and not for women, but you never address this, do you?

    What if a man wanted to wax his legs, there’s just as much stigma attached to that as women with visible bush. I’ve read a lot of your articles and without fail the chip on your shoulder always shines through. It’s not always men that are at fault, and I would argue that on the subject of these gender norms women are generally the greater perpetrators… but admitting that wouldn’t fit in with your ideology, would it?

    Michelle

    July 5, 2012 at 11:42 pm

  2. Surprised this doesn’t have any comments. Only just got to it as I’ve been away, hope you don’t mind my late-to-the-party commenting?

    As a teenager I worked weekends and holidays as an assistant in a beauty salon, and saw first hand the sort of degrading contortions women were required to get into in order for the beautician to smear hot wax into their intimate crevices and then rip it out again. Some clients used to weep in pain. And it wasn’t exactly pleasant for either client or beautician — women being politely asked to kneel and spread their asscheeks with their hands in front of a total stranger? It used to make me shudder to the core. And then I was the one who cleaned out the pedal bins afterwards…

    I have no idea what a basic bikini wax costs these days, but ten years ago during my beauty salon stint (I’m pretty sure this job had a lot to do with me becoming a ranting feminist btw), even a quick tidy-up was not cheap, and if you wanted the full no-hair-anywhere-because-my-boyfriend-wants-me-to-look-like-a-10-year-old-girl situation, it was a stupid amount. I’m guessing it can only have gone up.

    So who the hell do women do this for? Surely no one actually ENJOYS having a bikini wax, and although I have no first hand experience I assume that regrowth must be a serious [b]itch. Are women torturing themselves because of other women — because there’s a precedent? Or are they doing it for their menfolk? If so, I couldn’t agree more with your assertion, ‘go and wax your ball sack and then I might consider it’! At the salon, we offered the ‘back, crack and sack’ option for men and the entire time I worked there, we had only ONE taker (and he claimed he was a pro swimmer, so, not doing it for his woman, then). And yet we had dozens of female clients for whom a bikini wax was a fortnightly commitment. WHAT THE HELL IS THIS DOUBLE STANDARD?!

    As for the people who swoon in disgust/shock at seeing a few ladypubes sticking out of a bikini, I would be tempted to ask, ‘what exactly were you on holiday for? Is minge-spotting a new hobby I don’t know about?’ Maybe stop looking at women’s crotches, you pervs?

    I don’t really have a point here. Just FOR FUCKSSAKE HUMANITY.

    Claire A

    July 23, 2012 at 7:29 pm


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