I love Brazil. On my vacation there years ago, I saw beautiful countryside, sophisticated cities, and rockin’ nightlife. I love Brazilians. They are warm and loving. They are awesome plastic surgeons, and they are singlehandedly reviving the NY Real Estate market. Some of my best friends are Brazilian. No, really. Bruno and Elizabeth. I love them.
In fact, I like Brazil so much, I’m hoping that, lexicographically speaking, “Brazilian” bikini wax is kind of like “French” Fries. No one really knows why it’s called Brazilian. But I’m guessing it’s more like French Kissing. Anyone who spent her Junior year abroad in Paris knows where that came from. And it ain’t lexicography. Trust me on that.
What I don’t love, is the Brazilian Bikini Wax.
Remember that episode of Sex and the City where the girls all go to LA and Carrie gets waxed? She’s surprised by what the waxer leaves her: nada. nothing. zip.
It’s called a Brazillian, she tells Samantha and Miranda. Out here in LA, everybody’s doing it.
Well, here in NY everybody is, too. And the other day, not on purpose, I came close. First of all, ouch. And second of all, I don’t think so. Why am I so opposed? Here goes:
1. I am not a porn star. We all know about the skewed body image girls get when they are surrounded by images of impossibly thin models and ridiculously beautiful movie stars. It’s bad enough that that’s the standard of beauty we’re supposed to live up to.
Now I’m supposed to aspire to look like a porn star, too? Because that’s where this lack of pubic hair look comes from. Porn stars have been trimming and shaping “down there” forever. But until now, “regular” women weren’t. Now they are. Really? Is this what it’s come to? We have to look like porn stars to be desirable? Yuck.
2. I am not pre-pubescent. I find it hard to imagine that any mother of a girl anywhere near puberty would wax off all of her own pubic hair. Because it’s saying that childlike genitals are sexually appealing. Maybe when you don’t have kids, or don’t have a girl, or don’t have a girl nearing that age, you don’t see it that way – but I do have a girl approaching that age. And that men find that attractive? That has a name: pedophilia. What a sad, shocking, and upsetting thought.
3. It sends a bad message to young girls. What does it say to a child who is already uncomfortable about her changing body that her mother does everything in her power not to have hair exactly where she, the child, is getting it? Thatit’s so bad to have hair “down there” that her mother pays someone to rip the pubic hair off her body?
I’ll tell you what it says: your changing body is horrible. Your changing body is bad.
Is that really the message we want to send?
There was an uproar recently over an article about Virgin Waxing: the practice of taking young girls to get their bikini lines waxed the moment hair appears. Ostensibly, it is to prevent overgrowth in the future. But a lot of women were outraged. “It tells girls their changing bodies are bad and ugly” they claimed.
Well, where’s the outrage over grown women being sent the same message? And then sending that same negative message themselves every time they lie on a table, remove their skivvies, spread their legs, and have some stranger slather them with hot wax and rip out every last one of their public hairs by the root?
Look, I’m all for shave and a haircut. I’m all for a neatly trimmed look. I don’t want – to go back to aterm – to have “a situation” down there.
But I also don’t want to look like a porn star or like a child. And I don’t want my daughter to look like that either. Who would?