Hope your Monday doesn’t feel anything like having a strip of hot wax torn off your genitals, although I suspect that it might.
Here’s yesterday’s Sunday Times column.
A MILLION MILES FROM NORMAL – By Paige Nick
WAX ON – WAX OFF
I don’t think I’ve ever heard a pleasant waxing story. No-one ever says, ‘you know what, I’ve just had the loveliest wax, I feel so relaxed.’
We can fly to the moon, and cook whole meals in under three minutes, but we’ve yet to develop a humane way of removing body hair, using hot wax.
Nothing about the process is even vaguely dignified, particularly if you’re having a wax ‘downstairs’. You go into a tiny room with a complete stranger, get your kit off and spread your legs. They don’t even have to buy you dinner first. Then they pour hot wax onto your genital area, and rip it off, all whilst making the most ridiculous small talk, which always feels like a bizarre attempt at avoiding the elephant in the room. Yes, let’s talk about the weather, as if you’re not standing there staring at my crotch, shall we? Sometimes the small talk is more excruciating than the wax.
A good friend was at a salon recently. Half way through her wax there was a knock and without waiting for as much as a ‘come in’ or ‘we’re busy in here’, the receptionist threw the door wide open and barged into the treatment room. The bed was unfortunately positioned so that my friend found herself legs akimbo, with the entire reception area, and mall beyond that, staring directly at her baby maker. She couldn’t even close her legs because of the wax, and there was nothing nearby to cover up with. After a few hour-long-seconds the therapist managed to shove the receptionist out and close the door. Then she simply continued as if nothing had happened. ‘So, do you have any pets?’ she asked my mortified friend, in a chatty tone.
After years of lying back and thinking of England, another friend finally decided to take matters into her own hands and bought a do-it-yourself cold-wax kit. It came with a box of strips that you’re supposed to rub between your hands to warm up. Then you peel them apart and apply the sticky side to the ‘area’, or should we call it ‘hairea’, then rip it and all the hair off. In theory.
Wanting to be thorough, my friend decided to blast the strips with her hairdryer on its hottest setting, instead of rubbing them between her hands. Then she put one foot up on the edge of the tub and laid two strips overlapping end to end all the way from the right side of her bikini line, down-under and then up into her right butt cheek.
She took a couple of life-affirming deep breaths, held the skin around the first strip taught, and ripped.
At this point, not having given birth to a child without an epidural myself, and so having nothing to compare it to, I can only begin to imagine her pain. When her sight finally returned she looked down at the strips in her shaking hand, only to discover they didn’t contain a single hair. Confused, she reached down to find that the cold, sticky wax had remained bonded to her skin.
Horrified, she put her foot down on the ground to get her balance, and that was when the wax stuck her vagina and her butt closed. She was sealed as tight as a submarine down there. It was a waxing apocalypse.
She hobbled around like a penguin, trying to figure out how to unstick herself. Visions of never being able to poop again haunted her. Then she had a revelation. Surely hot water would melt the wax and she’d be able to wash away the homemade chastity belt. So she ran the hottest bath she could stand.
Her third and final mistake was when she sat down in the bath and found her already-stuck self firmly glued to the bottom of the tub. It turns out scalding water does not melt cold wax. I repeat, scalding water does not melt cold wax! The thought of the entire fire department traipsing in to rescue her naked from the tub with the Jaws of Life proved too much to bear. So she attempted a few McGuy
ver moves before she eventually discovered the cream in the kit for removing excess wax. And so, an hour after she began, she finally freed her still-hairy self.
But this isn’t just about the drastic measures ladies take in the pursuit of hairlessness. Guys are doing it too. Most salons can help a dude out with a back, sack and crack wax. And for men who’d rather not have a stranger pour boiling wax onto their most prized possession, there are guy’s DIY hair removal creams on the market too.
But beauty costs, even for dudes. I found this online customer review of a tube of men’s hair removal cream: ‘Being a loose cannon who doesn’t play by the rules, the first thing I did was ignore the warning and smear cream all over my knob and bollocks. The bollocks I knew and loved are now gone. In their place is a maroon-coloured bag of agony, which sends stabs of pain up my body every time it grazes my thigh. But I’m giving this product five stars, because despite the fact that I think my bollocks might fall off, they are indeed now completely hairless.’
And below his comment it says that 20 180 of the 20 304 people who read his review found it helpful. My guess is the other 124 are still in too much agony to respond.