Waxing Lyrical

This article is not for the faint-hearted. Anyone who is reading this over breakfast or objects to humoristic rhetoric about hair removal in personal places is encouraged to go and read something about cookery, flower-arranging or how to remove stains from garden furniture elsewhere on WordPress now. You have been warned. I doubt I’ll get “freshly pressed”: I’ll get over it.

Those of you who have continued reading: thank you for sparing a little time in your hectic schedule to read my blatherings about what I could only describe as a hairy experience.

I think everyone has an unofficial bucket list of things they’d like to do some day. I am no exception to the rule, and have a list of various “unachievables” like giving up peanuts, spending an hour reading in the bath without a member of my family trying to bust the door down, inventing cool, affordable, disposable clothing for kids and meeting my heroes (Kermit’s nephew and Sir Winston Churchill) in the afterlife. Until last night, my list also included trying out home waxing kits to tame bikini bottom overgrowth.

A long-distant memory of hair-removal cream and the disastrous results it procured after an “uh-oh” moment way back in 1992 got me curious to trying out the waxing experience. Having already given birth three times without pain relief, I am not a sissy. Yet I will not wax my bikini line a second time without a general anaesthetic, a bottle of Chardonnay, and a pencil clamped between my teeth. What the manufacturers omit to mention on the box is that yes, you do end up going hairless – but from the self-inflicted pain.

Gladys told Janet that she didn't understand  why had her husband asked her to wax poor Pussy. Photo credit: Imperial War Museum.

Gladys told Janet that she didn’t understand – why had her husband asked her to wax poor Pussy? Photo credit: Imperial War Museum.

Once I had successfully baited P.F and the kids with chocolate and a T.V. screen last night, I surreptitiously sneaked off to my bedroom and locked the door. I had decided it was time to take control of what the English coarsely describe as “the short and curlies” before running the risk of embarrassing my squad of under-18’s at the pool.

I pulled the kit out of the box and carefully read the suspiciously reassuring instructions leaflet. The whole thing looked cool, blue and refreshing. The packaging announced this to be a “cool effect, reduced pain” experience and the fresh blue and white illustrations supported this theory, although I was somewhat dubious about the three ice cubes, piled one on top of the other. The instructions announced that their miracle wipes prepared the skin then cooled it off afterwards, which had me nonplussed. Hey, Mr beauty company communicator. I know I’m splitting hairs here, but if my skin is supposed to be adequately prepared by wipe 1, why would it need cooling off with wipe 2 afterwards, huh? Would you be hiding something from me, perchance?

First step: “rub the strip gently between your hands to warm the wax”. After ten minutes of rubbing frantically like a boy scout attempting to light an evening fire in the Cornish summer mizzle, the wax was still hard as cement. As I didn’t have a blowtorch handy, I grabbed my phone and called my pal Emmamuse, a successful traveller of the waxing world. She laughed and unceremoniously barked, “sit on them, it works every time”. It did.

Five minutes later, I eyed the strips of blue guck welded to the tops of my thighs with horror, and wondered why I always felt obliged to give these things a whirl despite my gut instinct audibly screaming that it was a bad idea.

Shortly afterwards, my eyes were watering with the pain. My conclusion was the following: there should be a law against selling beauty products to people with a pain threshold. The pain of waxing your bikini line is probably the equivalent of gouging your own eyes out with a potato peeler, walking over burning charcoal in freshly pedicured feet or washing your hair in a sink full of piranhas. It would be number ten on my personal pain assessment range, going from one (being hit in the head with the T.V. remote as Bigfoot changes position on the sofa) to ten: ripping out your own body hair with the bright blue goo some male inventor decided to cutely describe as “wax”.

With one strip of wax still glued to their left thighs, the girls resolved to abandon anything with the prefix "Brazilian" for life. Photo credit: Imperial War Museum, London.

With one strip of wax still glued to their left thighs, the girls resolved to abandon anything “Brazilian” for life. Photo credit: Imperial War Museum, London.

As I took a breather before attacking strip number two, I tried to fathom out why on earth anyone would want to PAY someone to rip their hair out by the roots for them. The only clear advantage that I could see is the fact that when someone else yanks that strip off with all the enthusiasm of Bigfoot ripping open a family-sized bag of Maltesers, there’s diddly-squat you can do about it except lie back, grit your teeth and think of Britain. Apart from the fact that you have paid, and when half of the hair has been uprooted you can hardly pelt out of the door with the other half escaping from your knicker elastic like spring regrowth in the Amazonian rainforest.

But at home, you can’t chicken out either once you’ve glued the damned thing firmly onto your anatomy, and the idea of spending all summer with it hanging out of your bikini bottom kind of forces you to pull the damned thing off. I pulled tentatively on strip number two, trying to coax it away. This brought back memories of trying to tease the elastoplast off my arm on the way home from primary school before tearing the thing off in one sudden movement, my eyes smarting with tears as it ripped out all the hair in a clearly defined rectangle. Yank this thing off your lower abdomen, and you see stars whilst the entire neighbourhood mistakenly presumes that you have taken up opera singing as a pastime.

The remaining wax strips are supposed to be for my armpits. I think I’ll put a bit of jam on them and hang them in the kitchen to catch flies instead.

This post was written way back in 2012, and I’m reposting it today for the fun after reading a hysterical post by Barbed Words, entitled “Big girls don’t cry…. Unless they’re waxing their bikini line”

56 thoughts on “Waxing Lyrical

  1. That has bought back horrific memories of the only time I ever tried it. Which must be 15 years ago. And it was not blue and there were no soothing strips just what appeared to be strips of overpriced sellotape. But it also reminded me of my friend Vivienne who was my next door neighbour some years ago. She had given up on waxing and decided to do the coyly named bikini area with Immac cream. She applied it carefully to achieve the chic shape she was looking for in a hot and steamy bathroom and after the designated waiting time got into the bath to remove it. As William, her husband, put his head round the door to offer her a glass of wine, her entire undercarriage lifted off like a music hall toupe and floated to the surface … William was so appalled he ran. And then regailed us all at a dinner party because that’s the sort of helpful chap he is!

    • Maybe we should all just go for duct tape instead – probably just as efficient, and a snip of the price 🙂 Your story of your friend’s experience with Immac had me howling with laughter because it is so close to my own experience. Never again.

      • I rather like the current fashion for bigger bottom halves to the bikini … I think this is the way forward. And duct tape – if you go first 😉

  2. Cheer up. When you get to be my age (quite a big number) the need for hair removal south of your belly-button will be a thing of the past. However, I do have a wee problem with my soul patch. Sigh.

    • I think I’ll just invest in one of those cossies that cover half of your thighs until I get to the hair-removal free age you refer to. Gravity will have done it’s job by then anyway, and my boobs and belly will happily block my view of my bikini line. 😀

  3. Ha ha, love it! No wonder you could totally sympathise with what I went through. Did the wax strips work as fly paper?? I once had the great idea that I could use wax strips to remove paint from my banisters (not a euphemism…) Sadly, it didn’t work but I still reckon there’s money to be made in the idea somehow 😉

    • Never again will I trust the bull they write on those packets. Nope, the flies were obviously savvy and wanted to keep their leg hairs intact. As for taking the paint off the banisters.. why am I surprised that it didn’t work? Try shaving your armpits then rubbing them down the banisters after three days regrowth? Hey, we could have an all-girls working holiday in Italy. Bring a razor and a smile.

  4. You can only wish to have been the Biblical “smooth man”(read wo-man) rather than his brother Esau! I know nothing of the Bible, save that which the book of Google tells me, but I’m damn sure I wouldn’t be applying hot wax to my nether regions:)

  5. A friend of mine once made the mistake of having her bikini line ‘professionally waxed’, unfortunately the girl who performed the job was newly trained and made the mistake of not checking the temperature of the wax before applying it .Needless to say such friend now has to wear the kind of swimsuit you described, one that covers the tops of your thighs, due to the scarring she incurred!

  6. Firstly I did consider closing the post immediately as I had a horrible thought that you might just add a photographic time line of the event…. but then decided that as this is a woman thing I may as well read on and I’m glad I did… I’m home today sick with a real good dose of Gippo guts and feeling terrible I really needed the laugh… thank you, now to find a tissue to dry up the tears …

    • Hey up, Bulldog 🙂 I wouldn’t be that graphic – it’d put everyone off the blog and not just the boys 😀 Glad I introduced you to the secret world of self-inficted girly torture and left you with a smile on your face. Hope the Gippo guts get better soon xxx

  7. 🙂 Well done you! I have also given birth twice with no pain relief and you wouldn’t get me near a pot of wax and a bikini for love nor money!!
    (PS I really should be working but now I’m off to read Barbed Words post….!)

    • I think there is some strange equation for pain thresholds: all the girls I know who wax had gas or epidurals for childbirth. How do you explain that?
      Hope you enjoyed BW’s blog – sign up, she’s a corker 🙂

  8. Dear MM, there are times that I kiss the floor and thank the lord that I am male…..waxing the hair bits is one of those times.

    For sure, if I was a woman I would go for the natural European look…. 😉

  9. Great story and it deserved a resurrection! Kudos to not using pain relief during childbirth. I did that too, only not 100% by choice, since when it got right down to it, I changed my mind, and was begging the midwife…but she said it was too late by then and the drugs wouldn’t kick in till afterward. Tara’s dad told me later, “Before then I had never heard anyone actually yell the word “oowwwww” before.” But anyway, if waxing the nether regions is more painful than that, I think I’ll skip it.

    • Tournesol refuses to repeat any of the stuff I said during the birth of our children. You were very restrained to limit your vocabulary to “owwww”! That said, I still prefer giving birth to going to the dentists, or getting my short and curls ripped out.

    • I’m quite worried about trying it actually; In films the bad guys put it over their hostages’ mouths, and when they rip it off to make them talk, they still have their mustaches… I don’t think this is gonna work… any bearded boys reading this who’d be prepared to contribute to research?

  10. Only men could be involved in writing the information on the wax strips packaging!
    I once tried using wax strips on my legs. Goodness, that was bad enough and I only did one leg – I can’t imagine doing a more sensitive part of my anatomy!

  11. Been there, done it, and I can confirm that the bikini wax is the worst thing about going swimming. Just one word: laser. Yes it hurts, but less and you only need to do it a few times. Just saying.

  12. I echo mumugb. Laser rocks. A few minutes of pain, 6 to 8 times, followed by a life-time of smoothness. Totally worth the bucks.
    Finishing off my eggs benedict, then off to give some self-tanner a go. Any tips?
    (I’ll check back in later and let you know if I end up glowing like a war-zone carrot.)

    • Gypsy, Nooooooooo! Put the bottle down, lady. Put your hands above your head and back off…. that thing’s loaded with enough orange pigment to see you glowing at night from the ME to London. I tried it back in 2008 – an expensive brand that was supposed to give “instant results”, and didn’t. So I put more on. Result: I woke up orange. Head to foot. Think mandarine on legs. I proceeded to the longest and harshest exfoliation ever, resorting to the green side of the kitchen sponge in a desperate attempt to get rid of the stuff. Never again. As for laser, if there’s pain involved, forget it. Rasors are the way to go 🙂

  13. HA! Lie back and think of Britain. I’ve heard so many Brits say that same thing– it makes me laugh every time. I’m refreshed now, and ready to tackle my afternoon. Funny post, awesome post. I snorted.

  14. Nothing, but nothing, would make me wax any part of my body. Pulling off an Elastoplast is bad enough. But your brilliant post did bring tears of laughter to my eyes – much the best kind. 🙂

    • I think that Elastoplast and duct tape work very much the same way and are a lot cheaper 🙂 I’m glad I made you cry laughing though. PF and I cried laughing yesterday at the dinner table, which surprised my mother-in-law. They were the first “good” tears in a long time, and they were appreciated by all.

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