Disclaimer: Do not read this if you’re squeamish, a pervert or a family member. Thanks.
The pretty blond in the white lab coat is going to rip my lips off. I’ll be a lipless loony. Thanks to Lauren. Thanks to me.
This was my idea. Getting waxed was one of the items to tick off the list of things-to-do-during-final-days-in-New-Zealand.
It’s not that I needed an emergency hair-offa-me; I’m not a particularly flocculent female. But I’d always been curious about waxing.
I texted Lauren from the library, where I was writing a blog. She runs a small salon from a studio above her mum’s garage. I’d visited once before, for a pedicure. I wrote,
How much 4 a bikini wax? How much 4 Brazilian? (the wax, not the boyfriend J) [Lauren’s boyfriend is Brazilian.]
Lauren: $25 for bikini/$40 for Brazilian
Me: How much does the Brazilian hurt? (the wax)
Lauren: I usually describe it like a bandage it hurts when u pull it off but then it goes away, it will help to take a Panadol [OTC pain reliever] an hour before the treatment J Great, I can book you.
For the un-ripped, a Brazilian is the removal of all hair in the pelvic region. You can go bald or leave a landing strip (vertical strip in front). I once had my eyebrows waxed, but never a leg, and certainly not Monty in all her fullness.
I figure the Partner will appreciate it. And bareness will spare me the embarrassment of looking like Borat in a swimsuit, rogue hairs poking out like dandelions on a putting green.
I take two Panadol an hour before the treatment. I climb the flight of stairs in 60 kilometer an hour winds, entering the calm chicness of Lauren’s studio. The back window displays a panoramic view of Mount Maunganui. Lauren pulls back a curtain where a treatment table sits, empty and waiting.
“Do I remove everything below the waist?” I ask.
Lauren says, “Yes, it’s better, especially since you’re doing a Brazilian.”
I disrobe, laying face up with a white towel over my pelvis.
“Are you ready?” asks Lauren.
“Yes,” I say, half-heartedly.
Lauren dips a small white spatula in wax, which she applies to my outer labia, i.e., delicate lady bit. The wax is hot – somewhere between barely tolerable and burning. Then, my pretty 20-something tormentor holds a white cloth to the waxy area and in one swift motion – RRRRIP – pulls the cloth, plus offending hairs from my body. No amount of Panadol could mask the pain. It f*&#-ing hurts! A lot.
Lauren says, “It’s worst the first time because the hair is really coarse. It’ll grow back finer, which makes it easier to pull out.”
“Uh-huh,” I mutter. I’m bracing for the next round of uprooting. Being neither a doctor nor a porn star, I’m uncomfortable describing the waxing process in minute anatomical detail (and hopefully anyone saying TMI, TMI, TMI!!! clicked outta here after the first 100 words). I will say the frontal depilation was enough to peel my upper lip from my teeth in an impersonation of an angry race horse.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I say to myself. And I’m not even Catholic.
“Do you want me to stop?” asks Lauren.
God, yes. Make it stop. Make it stop. Half-Monty’s fine. We’re done.
I blow out a breath: “Whoooo” and inhale deeply.
“No,” I squeak. “It’s okay.” The pain would be worth the effort when the Partner discovers his girlfriend’s had her Britney Spear’d.
My tiny tyrant tells me to tug on my lower abdomen so she gets a smoother surface from which to pull. Like a Stockholm Syndrome victim, I empathize with my captor, complying with her instructions. I look up at the poster on the wall behind my head which displays a large pair of hands. I imagine those hands reaching out to rescue me.
Stop the madness. Stop the madness. Stop the –
“Arrggh!” Another rip. Shit. It HURTS. I picture Finley’s crowning head. I’ll trade you one natural childbirth for a Brazilian wax…
I tense every muscle in my face, though I know it won’t mitigate my misery. Some areas are much more sensitive to waxing than others. I quickly understand why one might leave a landing strip. Disturbing certain dandelions is like tattooing your crotch when an upper thigh tattoo would’ve done the job – it demonstrates your commitment to artistic expression and self-mutilation without the accompanying torture of needle-on-nether-bits.
Between pulls, Lauren pauses every few minutes – not to let me unclench my upper lip, but to tweeze whatever rogue stubble the wax didn’t grasp.
“OW!” Tweezing hurts more than waxing.
After 20 hours (really, 15 minutes) Teeny Torturer asks if I want my - um - backside waxed. I hesitate.
“Uh-huh..,” I stutter.
“It doesn’t hurt nearly as much as the front,” says Lauren.
Having my teeth extracted sans Novocaine probably wouldn’t hurt as much as having (as Borat says) “vagine” hair waxed, pulled and plucked. Lauren instructs me to lay on my side and grasp one cheek. More hot wax. Oh my God. She charges just $40 to deforest women’s private parts. Yet some of us [not me] pay $200 to have our hair colored. The world is truly upside-down.
More hot wax – at the back door. Another rip. Only this time, I hardly feel a thing. My fiery crotch distracts me from pain anywhere else.
After 20 minutes, my tormentor excuses herself to wash her hands and leaves the room. I’m scared to inspect her work. I roll to a seated position and look down.
“BWAH!!!” I Shriek.
I laugh – really belly laugh, because this is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. An image of Foghorn Leghorn - the rooster from the Looney Tunes cartoons – leaps to mind. Someone’s ignited a dynamite stick from Foghorn’s rear. The resulting explosion has left Mr. Rooster bare-skinned and goose-bumpy. That’s what I look like. It’s as if Vulva picked a fight and lost. One lip is slightly sunken. I half-expect to see a tuft of feathers aloft.
I’m still laughing as I dress. I pay Lauren $40 for the privilege of battering Buffy.
“It does get a lot easier,” she says as I leave.
Bits of wax cling to my undies as I walk to the car. Even using the toilet feels odd – like someone’s disconnected my urethra and replaced it with a squirt bottle. I need an ice bucket – preferably a champagne bucket with a bottle of bubbles on the side.
That night, at my farewell dinner at a Mexican restaurant, my friends ask what I did today. With a margarita on my lips and a tender feeling between my hips, I tell them. They squeal, laugh; then two of them tell me they, too, have gotten ‘ripped off.’
“I get a full Brazilian every month. My husband loves it. It’s amazing how that $50 expense shot to the top of the family budget.” Monica tells me she downs a gin drink before the treatment.
I check myself again before bed. Still pink, pinched and looking wounded, I wonder if my beautification effort will be mocked. It looks pretty funny to me.
I’m gonna close this Hairy Tale by saying the makeover was joyously received.
Would I get ‘ripped off’ again? Not sure. There’s gotta be some kind of hydrochloric acid that gets you to Mexican Hairless Chihuahua state without pain.
Or maybe I’ll return to impersonating Borat at the beach.
In case you really need to know: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bikini_waxing