Do Something New: Get A Bikini Wax

Being not-very-flush for a good portion of my life, moneywise, forced me into a line of thinking that went something like, if I don’t need it, it’s froo-froo. Lower-body waxing has fallen distinctly into the category of froo-froo, and as time went on, it just became an assumption that I wouldn’t get a bikini wax. I’d pass waxing places and know in my subconscious that the answer was “no,” and so not even think about it.

It was also froo-froo because it just seemed so girly. Like, the women on “Sex and the City” must have done bikini waxes in between cosmos, and I don’t want to be anything like that. It’s so not me. It’s the reason I don’t call myself Becky. I’m not a Becky, I don’t drink cosmos, and I don’t get bikini waxes.

But there’s a decently thick line between “it’s just not me” and “I’m being sexist,” and I think I’ve been toeing the sexist side of that line. I mean, I’m calling bikini waxes “girly” as if something being “girly” is necessarily a bad thing. And here I have to admit an uncomfortable truth: I can be kind of sexist sometimes. Against women, to be clear. I’m one of those women who’s always been friends with guys (well, guys and people with a huge variety of gender identities and sexual orientations).

I’m so, so uncomfortable when I have to be in a room filled with only cis straight women, especially if they’re the sort of cis straight women who love being in rooms filled with only cis straight women, who drink cosmos and so forth. I get flabbergasted. I have no way of relating to these women.

And, yeah, part of it is that I’ve just tended not to prefer acting conventionally feminine. Part of it is that I’m uncomfortable with femininity. Part of it is that it is very expensive to be feminine, the upkeep costs are sky-high, and I haven’t always had a whole lot of money. Part of it is that I just haven’t done this stuff, and not just bikini waxes – cosmos, too. I have not had a cosmo. I have been shitting on this cocktail for years, and I have no idea whether or not I’d like it. So, of course I can’t relate to girly women – I don’t have a point of reference for their life experiences and the ways they enjoy spending their time.

I went into the prospect of a bikini wax half-jokingly, because me doing girly stuff is kind of a joke, but also because, like I said, I tend to be sort of sexist and minimizing about feminine behaviors. But, hey, why not try it, right? So I went to the European Wax Center. It looked clean and well-run from the outside, which seems like the first standard you should have when someone’s hands are going to be close to your crotch, and was extremely pleased to find out that your first wax there is free, not to mention the fact that it was, in fact, a very clean place with a good, friendly staff.

My waxer did that thing that good professionals do, when their job induces pain or involves them being near parts of your body that you normally don’t let strangers touch, which was to keep talking the whole time, keep it conversational, ask about my tattoos, ask about my work, and explain the nuances of wax to me while she very nonchalantly applied it to my bikini line and then waited for it to harden. Then she said, “All right, I’m just going to get a grip here,” and tore up a portion of the wax from my skin. “Breathe in,” she told me, and I did, and then, “Breathe out,” and zzzzzip! The wax pulled off in one clean go.

And you know what? I liked it. It only hurt mildly (The 40 Year Old Virgin really oversold the pain), and it actually felt kind of good, in the same way that having my face poked with a lancet during my facial feels good, the way acupuncture and chiropractic feel good. Plus, I looked at my bikini line, and it was #flawless.

I’ve done a lot of new things this month – this is the thirteenth I’ve written about, but I’ve done a few more than that – and going into it, I had two hopes for the project’s impact on my own life. One was that just doing all these new things and getting out of the house would jog my motivation for the things I normally do, but with which I’ve fallen into bad, sort of lazy habits. The other was that I would find things that I really liked and would want to do again.

And despite myself, despite my prejudice, I have to say: Bikini waxing is the thing I’d do again. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to make next-appointments, but I’ve generally opted to say, “I’ll think about it!” Waxing, though, I made another appointment on the spot.

I don’t know if I’m reading too far into it, or if the personal really is political and even the seemingly frivolous things we do have bearing on our values and principles, but I feel really relieved that I liked it so much, because now I have a point of reference on feminine women, and I don’t have to go through the unhappy process of believing things about them that are unfair and untrue. Now I can stop rolling my eyes and thinking, in the back of my head, that women who do waxing on the regular are froo-froo and shallow. It feels nice to look nice, bottom line, and we all deserve to look whatever we deem is our best.

But still, don’t call me Becky.

[Image via Shutterstock]
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